Increased penalties for high-risk drivers begin tomorrow

Oct 31 2018, 3:37 pm

The BC Government has announced that increased penalties are coming into effect for high-risk drivers, specifically, those who engage in excessive speeding, impaired driving, and distracted driving.

Attorney General David Eby said in a statement that “reckless drivers” are contributing to a rise in crashes on B.C. roads, and it’s hoped the increased penalties will be a deterrent and hold people accountable.

Starting tomorrow, on Thursday, November 1,  penalties will be increasing for two programs, the Drivers Risk Premium (DRP) and the Driver Penalty Point (DPP) – both by 20 percent.

The DRP is an additional premium that’s charged annually to drivers who are convicted of:

  • Excessive speeding
  • One or more driving-related Criminal Code convictions
  • One or more 10-point Motor Vehicle Act convictions
  • Two or more distracted driving violations (within a three-year period)
  • Two or more roadside suspension or prohibitions

The DPP premium is a penalty for collecting four or more points from traffic violations. The premium amount is based on the number of points acquired in a 12-month period.

The current premium for DPP ranges from $175 (for four points) to $24,000 (for 50 or more points), according to ICBC. Starting tomorrow, the penalties will go up to $210 (for four points) and $28,800 (for 50 or more points).

Both the DRP and the DPP are separate from an insurance plan and are billed even if a driver doesn’t own or insure a vehicle. They’re also paid in addition to whatever fine is charged for their original violation, however, a driver can only be charged for one program per year – whichever is higher.

Anyone who refuses to pay their penalty will be ineligible to get a new driver’s license or purchase vehicle insurance through ICBC and can be subject to additional interest.

“Revenue generated from these penalties will help offset overall basic insurance premiums,” said Eby in a press release. “Currently, there are about 66,000 drivers who pay one of these penalties.”

The penalties will increase by another 20 percent in a year from now, on November 1, 2019.

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