ICBC invests $160,000 in East Kootenay road improvements
Roundabouts, new crosswalks and designated turning lanes are the types of road improvement projects ICBC invested in B.C. last year to help make roads safer for everyone, including pedestrians and cyclists.
In 2013, ICBC invested approximately $160,000 in 10 road improvement projects and safety studies to help make East Kootenay roads safer for everyone.
“Road safety is a high priority for my constituents in East Kootenay,” said Bill Bennett, MLA for Kootenay East. “I am pleased to see the collaboration between ICBC and the Ministry of Transportation that is benefitting our region.”
ICBC launched its road improvement program in 1990, and since then has invested approximately $120 million in road improvement projects and safety studies across B.C. In 2013, ICBC invested approximately $1.7 million in the Southern Interior and $8 million in projects and safety audits across the province.
“Everyone benefits from road improvements – from drivers to pedestrians – because safer roads mean fewer crashes, which also translates into lower claim costs,” said John Dickinson, ICBC’s director of road safety. “We’ll continue to invest in road safety initiatives that help us keep rates as low as possible.”
All proposed road improvement projects are assessed based on their ability to make roads safer. The most recent evaluation of the program concluded that over a two year time period, overall, for every dollar invested, ICBC and its customers see a return rate of five times the investment. More importantly, the benefits of road improvements can continue well beyond two years. The evaluation found that following a project’s implementation, there is on average, a 20 per cent reduction in severe crashes and a 12 per cent reduction in property damage crashes.
ICBC also participates in engineering studies and assists communities in the planning of roadways and managing traffic.
As road improvements are made, drivers may also need to adopt new driving behaviours, such as adjusting to traffic pattern changes and understanding the rules of the road. The majority of crashes are preventable and have more to do with driver error than road engineering. Drivers need to do their part by making smart driving decisions to prevent crashes.
Over the last 24 years, ICBC’s road improvement program has evolved significantly – community investments and successful partnerships have led to award winning projects and the contributions have helped advance the knowledge of the road safety engineering industry in B.C. and across Canada.