Increased penalties come into effect today for drivers who put people at risk through excessive speeding, impaired or distracted driving and other violations.
Penalty amounts are up by 20% this morning, with motorists deemed menaces on the road facing a driver risk premium and subject to driver penalty point premiums as well.
“Reckless drivers put others at risk, and they’re contributing to the rise in crashes we’re seeing on our roads,” said David Eby, Attorney General. “To help make our roads safer and hold people accountable, we’re bringing in higher penalties for drivers who engage in dangerous behaviour behind the wheel.”
The Driver Risk Premium (DRP) is charged annually to drivers who are convicted of dangerous driving offences such as excessive speeding, two or more distracted driving violations, impaired driving convictions, roadside suspensions or prohibitions. Drivers could pay for the same offence multiple times, as the DRP depends on a person’s driving record in the last three years.
The Driver Penalty Point (DPP) premium is a penalty for collecting four or more points from traffic violations. The premium amount depends on the total number of points accumulated in a 12-month period.
The DRP and DPP are insurance penalties drivers must pay to ICBC in addition to the fine they must pay for the original violation. A driver will only be charged under one of the programs each year, whichever penalty is the highest.
The Driver Penalty Point premium currently ranges from $175 for four points to $24,000 for 50 or more points. With the 20% increase starting today, these penalties will go up to $210 for four points and $28,800 for 50 or more points.
Penalties will increase by 20% again on Nov. 1, 2019, to keep in line with previous increases in basic premiums.
Drivers who do not pay their DRP or DPP penalty cannot get a new driver’s licence or purchase vehicle insurance through ICBC, and will be charged 19.6% in interest after 60 days without payment. However, drivers can reduce or eliminate the penalties by surrendering their driver’s licence for some or all of their billing period.
The province says revenue generated from the penalties will help offset overall basic insurance premiums so that safer drivers are not paying for the risky driving decisions of others.
Currently, there are about 66,000 drivers who pay one of these penalties.