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Behind-the-Wheel

Make the right choices

 

We just renewed the insurance on our car. It cost us $764 for basic insurance coverage on our 2013 Honda CR-V.

I can hardly wait for next year to see what we will be paying to make up for this year's $935 million ICBC loss.

I usually stay away from politics, but the temptation for me is just too much this time. Our Attorney General has likened actions by the previous Liberal government to a financial dumpster fire.

We can hear him screaming loudly now, but what about way back when this was happening? Isn't the job of the opposition to oppose in real time, not after the fact?

Sober second thought is supposed to prevent the government from making mistakes not shout about what should have been done after it has happened.

Meanwhile, the numbers continue to rise. Today's estimate extrapolated from the five-year average includes:

  • 24 fatalities
  • 5.310 injured
  • 612 hospitalized
  • 27,014 reported collisions.

Part of the problem, perhaps even the majority of it, appears to be that we tend to collide with things when we drive.

One suggested solution put forward is to cap insurance payouts by moving to a no-fault scheme. As always, there are views for and against this.

Your view may simply depend on whether you are the person paying the premiums or the person receiving the benefits.

Having spent a career writing traffic tickets, I feel bound to try to follow the rules faithfully when I drive. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I make mistakes. We all do, even when we try our best. That's just being human.

However, there's a big difference between making mistakes and deliberately doing whatever you please. Keep to the speed limit and you will eventually see something like the video at the top of this column.

These two selfish drivers just couldn't wait, so the rules were something to disregard for their convenience.

Depending on your point of view, they are either someone who deserves a violation ticket and the larger share of paying for insurance costs or someone who is practising civil disobedience because the speed limit has not been set high enough.

We all balance our behaviours based on what we think it's going to cost us in terms of risk. This situation is just one of many examples that occur on our highways with increasing frequency. The police weren't around, complaints fall on deaf ears and nothing bad happened anyway. Why worry?

Perhaps I take this too much to heart. I don't mind paying for vehicle insurance to cover the results of human error. I do mind paying for the deliberate disregard for others.

Does our current insurance scheme make it just too easy for drivers like these to do what they want when they want knowing that if they mess up we'll all share the burden with them?

To some extent, we've made life difficult for drivers who drive while impaired, don't hold a valid driver's licence, participate in races or try to run from law enforcement.

If a crash is the result of their choices, they're insurance doesn't cover them and ICBC takes action to recover what is paid out to others that suffer damages.

Should we extend this to other deliberate unlawful actions? Will the threat of significant financial penalty moderate making the wrong choice for fun or convenience?

Just how do you motivate drivers to try and make the right choices in all circumstances in an effort to reduce insurance costs?

Story URL: https://www.drivesmartbc.ca/behaviour/make-right-choices



More Behind the Wheel articles

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About the Author

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. He has been writing his column for most of the 20 years of his service in the RCMP.

The column was 'The Beat Goes On' in Fort St. John, 'Traffic Tips' in the South Okanagan and now 'Behind the Wheel' on Vancouver Island and here on Castanet.net.

Schewe retired from the force in January of 2006, but the column has become a habit, and continues.

To comment, please email

To learn more, visit DriveSmartBC



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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