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Tougher New Driver Rules, Fewer Accidents: ICBC

March 25, 2010  

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British Columbia’s enhanced graduated licensing regulations prevented over 17,000 accidents and saved 31 lives between 2003 and 2006, new ICBC figures reveal.

In the three years since stricter rules new drivers took effect in 2003, the crash rate for that demographic went down by 16%, the overall number of accidents dropped by 28%, and the number of accidents involving injuries fell by 4,000, Solicitor General Kash Heed announced November 30.

The upgraded regulations extended the novice and learner stages, raised the age for drivers needing supervisors and limited passengers for new drivers. “"Increasing restrictions for learner and novice drivers gives them time to learn essential road safety skills and attitudes that save lives and reduce injuries," Heed said.

New drivers in the province face additional rules in January 2010, when they’ll be banned from using both hand-held and hands-free cellphones or electronic devices while driving. Younger drivers aged 16-24  are more likely to be distracted by phones or MP3 players because of their inexperience at the wheel, according to the ICBC.

This story was originally published by Canadian Insurance Top Broker.