Opinions on fixing ICBC

I think ICBC is doing a fine job and a public corporation for auto insurance is the way to go. Other provinces that have privatized auto insurance have only seen rates go up and services go down.

 It has been well established that any financial losses at ICBC over the past few years have been because the BC Liberal Government was siphoning funds to "cook the books." Rate hikes are also necessary because there are too many accidents to underwrite and too many claims to pay out. That is also a government problem, the government must bring in measures to make driving safer and reduce claims.

Here are a bunch of ideas that many people won't like but would probably work. Reduce speed limits everywhere, re-install photo radar in problem zones, re-design problem intersections, illuminate high pedestrian crossings, enforce running yellow lights in Vancouver (it's a problem), eliminate right hand turns at red lights, fund attractive transit options, higher rates and deductibles for luxury vehicles, a rebate for dash-cam users, long driving suspensions for repeat offenders, mandatory re-examination following accidents, etc. 

Not all of those ideas need to be implemented, they are just ideas after all, but there is no denying that they would all have a positive effect at reducing claims. Even broader policies like addressing the housing crisis, better land-use management and region-based urban planning would have positive spin-off effects on safe driving by reducing commutes, easing congestion, and providing other transportation options. 

Saying "privatize ICBC" is a bit too simple and is not the silver bullet people think it might be. There are dozens of better options that will actually work at reducing rates  and might end up saving lives in the process.  

Stephen Atherton

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