EDITORIAL – Photo radar and other questions about auto insurance rates


An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

AUTO INSURANCE is going up yet again — about $130 a year including both basic and optional insurance, according to an ICBC announcement yesterday.

The insurer blames it on more crashes, more claims and higher costs.

B.C. Attorney General David Eby says things are in the works to stop rates from going up even more.

For example, red light cameras at intersections will be activated 24 hours a day instead of six. As well, safety improvements will be made to the worst intersections.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops, former school board chair, former editor of The Kamloops Daily News, and a current director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He was awarded the Jack Webster Foundation’s lifetime achievement award in 2011. His editorials are published regularly on CFJC Today and he appears Wednesdays on the CFJC-TV evening news with his Armchair Mayor commentary. Contact him at

About Mel Rothenburger (7453 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

9 Comments on EDITORIAL – Photo radar and other questions about auto insurance rates

  1. Beverly Hewlett // September 7, 2017 at 9:12 AM // Reply

    One comment was “make them pay” yes, make the idiot drivers who are causing the accidents pay. Your insurance rate should be based on your driving record. I am sick of tired of paying for the ridiculously high salaries of the “suits” and of those who are defrauding the system with fake injuries. I would like to see privatization. Also, I can’t believe people are still on their phones and driving. Too bad technology can’t come up with something that makes your phone inoperable when in motion..

  2. Personally, I would feel a great deal better about ICBC if I was assured that they had stopped handing out bonuses to all their upper management at the end of their fiscal year. Hope it gets a major look-see and overhaul as I have NO faith in it at all.

  3. Dear Mel,

    Please, please read up on the waste of time & money & citizen outrage photo radar causes. Start at

    I, for one, am sick and tired of the mantra pounded in to us by the agencies that should know better, that speed is the thing that’s causing all our woes. Yet, we see no funding for real monitoring of traffic behaviour (highway patrol, anybody?), no driver re-testing which should be done regularly, nor driver re-education. Yet, somehow, moving your in-motion vehicle a little faster than a number on a posted sign constitutes being the real danger out there.

    How about everyone out there who can’t figure out how to stay between the lines on our 2-lane highways? How about people who drive slowly and hold up 30 cars in behind on the same highways without a notion for pulling over for a minute? How about real enforcement of all the distracted driving? People are on their cell phones & texting still all over the place. The message about dangerous driving just doesn’t sink in.

    But speeding is an easy target. All the expense of putting in photo radar netted BC essentially nothing over the years that it was operating, and it seems nobody has a study that says that crashes are reduced where it’s implemented. How can that possibly be?

    Let’s get some sense on approaches that could actually help reduce crashes, and perhaps we can actually begin to gain some ground on the problems our insurer faces. (Or hey, perhaps the safety priority might be nice to be paramount as well)

    • I love your comment, Adam.
      However, driver education is like the education efforts for water conservation…what works is water meters…make people pay!

  4. Privatize, there must be some exceptional salaries at the top of that ladder! Insurance companies own 67% of the worlds wealth I believe that’s over 80% in Canada, fishing for a solution by implementing photo radar is ridiculous! This must be the worst managed insurance company in the world?

    • Which is where actual real highway patrol needs to come in. Pointing a radar gun at cars is ineffective, lazy, and doesn’t do anything to change driving safety. Stopping people for driving dangerously (and fining where appropriate) could start to affect real change – though, as mentioned, that’s only one piece of the puzzle in encouraging real change in people’s driving behaviours.

  5. Raise rates without cutting costs? Libs kicked this can down the road for years too but come on make some tough decisions. Maybe they will but i doubt it.

  6. And just to add a little more practical experience to the greater conversation I must tell you about my harrowing experience driving to and from Bridge Lake yesterday.
    That highway is narrow and windy and the speed of the big rigs is absolutely insane! Then there are plenty of careless idiots passing them under the most questionable of circumstances!
    Then on the way back home I had to once again witness the “zoo” of the Peterson Creek hill…a semi-slow big rig trying to pass another slightly slower one. The absurdity of driving in BC is reaching epic proportions.
    No enforcement in sight and millions in losses! ICBC rates weren’t on my mind yesterday but making it home safe to my family was!
    Did I also tell about some of my neighbors driving habits?
    Beign hit at 30km/hour nothing really happens.
    Beign hit at 40km/hour you can break a leg.
    Beign hit at 50km/hour you can seriously injure or even kill someone.
    But to them none of this matters.
    And the “authorities” are more interested in finding excuses than solutions!

  7. Dear Mel;
    Governments can’t fix absolutely everything for you. One way for you to keep your your driving affordable is to move closer to town and to buy a smaller more fuel efficient vehicle…those are just ideas. By no means I want to sound like I want to impose my ideas on you…
    But I agree, speed limits should also be brought down because, because, because laws should set a good standard.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: