ICBC Investment Aids B.C. Police in Identifying Uninsured Drivers

ICBC has invested $1 million into B.C.’s Automated Licence Plate Recognition (ALPR) program to assist police in removing uninsured drivers from the roads. This technology enables police to scan up to 3,000 license plates per hour, efficiently identifying drivers without valid auto insurance.

“ALPR technology allows officers across the province to check for valid insurance, as well as identify stolen vehicles and prohibited drivers,” said Chief Superintendent Holly Turton, Officer in Charge of B.C. Highway Patrol and Co-Chair of the BC Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Standing Committee. “British Columbians can expect increased enforcement as we aim to ensure our roads are safe for everyone.”

New data on ICBC’s website reveals that in 2023, police issued 16,837 tickets for driving without valid auto insurance, a significant increase from previous years.

Tickets Issued for Driving Without Insurance in B.C.:

  • 2023: 16,837
  • 2022: 10,144
  • 2021: 10,227
  • 2020: 12,336
  • 2019: 11,423
  • 2018: 13,123

Despite the rise in tickets, the uninsured rate in B.C. remains low, with less than 1% of crashes involving an uninsured vehicle. The number of vehicles on B.C. roads is also increasing, with over 3.6 million active vehicle insurance policies in 2023, up by 53,800 annually since 2018.

Chief Constable Neil Dubord of the Delta Police Department and Co-Chair of the BC Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee emphasized the importance of utilizing more ALPR units as the number of drivers and vehicles grows. “Driving without valid insurance can be costly. If an officer scans your plate and finds your vehicle isn’t insured, it will be towed, and you’ll receive a $598 fine.”

ICBC’s investment, announced in 2022 with the launch of online insurance, aims to modernize and enhance the ALPR program by helping police acquire new units, replace old ones, and update software.

“We share the concerns of police regarding uninsured vehicles and encourage every vehicle owner in B.C. to check their insurance policy renewal date,” said David Wong, ICBC President and CEO. “With renewal options at Autoplan brokers’ offices, over the phone, or online, it’s now easier than ever for customers to renew their auto insurance and ensure they’re covered.”

ICBC customers can use an online estimator tool to check the current status of their auto insurance policy and make any necessary changes. Policies can be renewed up to 44 days before expiration.

Since the launch of online renewals in May 2022, approximately 279,000 online renewal transactions have occurred, taking an average of just 10 minutes for customers renewing an existing policy.

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