Crash reductions on the way

The new improved corner on Highway 16 near the Smithers Regional Airport was one project benefitting from ICBC’s Road Improvement Program in 2010.

  • Apr. 12, 2011 1:00 p.m.

The new improved corner on Highway 16 near the Smithers Regional Airport was one project benefitting from ICBC’s Road Improvement Program in 2010.

ICBC contributed $26,800 towards the geometric and intersection improvements to the corner. They also provided $28,500 towards geometric improvements along Hwy. 16 from Lake Kathlyn Road to Smithers as well as installing wildlife collision mitigation systems near Telkwa, worth $13,300.

Overall, the Smithers region received $69,000 for highway improvements designed to increase driver safety.

“Road safety is a priority and the ICBC road improvement program brings together numerous stakeholders to help make our communities safer,” Shirley Bond, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General said. “Working together we can identify and implement changes that will reduce crashes and save lives.”

These improvements help with reducing claim costs and helps keep rates stable for ICBC customers, ICBC’s manager of the road improvement program John Pump said.

As found in an independent evaluation in 2009, for every dollar invested into the program ICBC and their customers see a return from five to 12 times that investment, ICBC reports. Over two years, ICBC customers can expect to save $5.60 for every dollar invested from lower crash costs.

Using Smithers as an example, ICBC installed $16,600 worth of rumble strips along the centreline from Houston to Burns Lake.

The 2009 evaluation found that these rumble strips resulted in a 34 per cent drop in property damage claims and a 19 per cent drop in severe injury crashes, saving $700,600 in two years, or $1.6 million over five years.

“Road improvements deliver real value to our customers,” Pump said. “Our road improvement program is one aspect of our commitment to help make B.C. roads safer.”

Since its inception in 1989, the project has invested approximately $100 million across B.C., $883,000 of which have been in the north central region.