EDITORIAL – Hit bad drivers in wallet, make training mandatory

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

THE B.C. GOVERNMENT’S latest public-input exercise is underway and this time it’s about auto insurance.

The overall objective is logical: make bad drivers pay more for insurance, while good drivers pay less.

Nothing gets people’s attention and modifies behavior like hitting them in the pocket book if they don’t follow the rules. Together with a fine of a couple of thousand dollars for distracted driving, tougher insurance guidelines should make a big difference.

And, we’re being asked for our opinions.

When you look at the survey we’re asked to fill out, though, one gets the impression it’s designed to justify what the government and ICBC already want to do.

Be aware It requires some background reading and it’s lengthy at about 20 minutes.

It strays heavily from opinion questions into data collection, asking for such things as where we’re from, how often we drive, how long we’ve been in B.C., where we got our first driver’s licence.

Why does ICBC want to know how much money we make? What does that have to do with driving safety and auto insurance?

And if somebody drives further than somebody else, what does it matter as long as they both drive safely? Really, do we need to get into submitting photos of our odometers to prove how far we’ve driven, as proposed in the survey?

In some cases, “I don’t know” or “No opinion” is accepted as an answer to a question, but a lot of others are “mandatory” and you get blocked if you don’t answer.

Still, the province is heading in the right direction but besides hitting us in the wallet, there’s another solution that keeps getting overlooked: mandatory driver training.

Not just a suggestion or incentive as it is now. Mandatory.

If every new driver was required to take training from an accredited driving school, and experienced drivers were required to re-train every five or 10 years in a condensed program, you can bet skills and safety would rise significantly.

There would, of course, be substantial costs to it, but given the costs of bad driving, it would be a good investment.

Drivers can take the survey until 4 p.m. on April 5.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger’s Armchair Mayor editorials appear Mondays through Thursdays on CFJC- TV. His Armchair Mayor column is published Saturdays on and CFJC Today. Contact him at

About Mel Rothenburger (7147 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.

2 Comments on EDITORIAL – Hit bad drivers in wallet, make training mandatory

  1. ” Still, the province is heading in the right direction but besides hitting us in the wallet, there’s another solution that keeps getting overlooked: mandatory driver training. ”

    I live in an area that these so called driving schools like to use on a daily basis. Let me tell you, from what I have seen, these schools teach more bad habits than they will ever cure. Some of the things I see them teaching just make me cringe, like u-turns , right in front of oncoming traffic, pulling out of parking spaces with out looking properly, blocking intersections when it is clear to turn or leave the light, but they don’t, just to mention a few. It is scary to watch these schools in action.

  2. Deann Martin // March 8, 2018 at 8:52 AM // Reply

    Impaired driving distracted driving etc it is all too costly to everyone. I was always of the opinion that zero tolerance was just that —not tolerated. How about govt just doing that —for any driver caught driving impaired or any type of distracted driving. a first offence would carry a $1,000 fine & 30 day driving ban — 2nd offence up fine to $5,000 with 90 day suspension —should there be a 3rd offence up fine to at least $10,000 with one year suspension anything over that a total ban on driving. Some people just don’t learn. A similar formula for speeding should be in place. All drivers need to have current of safe driving course from govt approved agency &must be renewed every 5yrs /renewing licence plus anyone committing driving offence should have to take course again at their expense all driving courses should also include sessions on driver courtesy. Unless give really tighten up on these things costs/injuries will continue to skyrocket.

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