Funds improve road safety

In 2015, ICBC invested $50,400 in five road improvement projects in Vernon to make roads safer...

In 2015, ICBC invested $50,400 in five road improvement projects in Vernon to make roads safer.

ICBC’s partnership in road improvement projects (including here in Vernon) has led to a 24 per cent reduction, on average, in severe crashes – those resulting in serious injuries and fatalities – and a 15 per cent reduction in property damage claims after an improvement is completed, according to a recent evaluation report.

The evaluation was conducted by Dr. Tarek Sayed and Dr. Emanuele Sacchi and analyzed crash data at 111 locations, three years before and after the road improvement projects were completed.

“We’ve been working together with ICBC and local governments on road improvement projects for two-and-a-half decades,” said Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “These projects have brought immediate benefits for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians in communities across B.C. The evaluation results are evidence that the road improvement program is working.”

In Vernon, the 2015 improvements are:

– 24th Ave. sidewalk and curb extension from 34th to 39th St., $5,000

– 27th St. and 35th Ave. traffic signal, $18,900

– 32nd Ave. and 18th St. curb extensions next to Lakeview Park, $8,200.

– Highway 97 at College Way and Clerke Road, signal and sign improvements, $11,800

– Highway 97 at the Kalamalka Lake Rest Area, parking stalls and facility improvements, $6,500.

“Drivers make errors for a large number of reasons, and in a complex road system many things can go wrong,” said Mike Morris, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “ICBC’s road improvement program ensures that good road design helps drivers avoid mistakes. Better and safer infrastructure helps to reduce injuries when crashes happen, bringing us closer to our goal of having the safest roads in North America by 2020.”

While the cost and frequency of injury claims continue to increase in B.C., the road improvement program is showing positive results in reducing injuries and crashes at targeted locations.

“Since 1990, we’ve invested more than $138 million in road improvement projects and studies across B.C. to help reduce death and injury on our roads,” said Mark Blucher, ICBC’s president and CEO. “While the findings of this evaluation are very encouraging, rising claims costs continue to put substantial pressure on customers’ insurance rates.”

 

Vernon Morning Star