ICBC seeks 200 volunteers for distracted driving pilot program

The project will use telematics to disable smartphones when a vehicle is in motion

ICBC is looking for 200 volunteer drivers for a pilot project starting in January that’s aimed at reducing distracted driving.

Telematic devices designed to disable smartphones when a vehicle is in motion will be installed in the cars of the volunteers.

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“ICBC’s rates are under considerable pressure and one of those reasons is a significant increase in crashes, many of which are the result of distracted driving,” said Mark Blucher, president and CEO of ICBC.

The findings gathered “will be used to inform future decisions around distracted driving prevention and enforcement, as well as changes to improve the fairness of how insurance rates are set,” ICBC said in a statement.

Volunteers must be residents of British Columbia who are at least 19 years of age, and a member of ICBC’s customer advisory panel.

Starting in the spring of 2018, ICBC will also be working with the provincial government to test the use of Bluetooth-enabled scopes that will allow police to capture images of people suspected of distracted driving.

“These pilots are the first step in a thoughtful examination of the role technology can play in preventing distracted driving,” said David Eby, the minister responsible for ICBC. “I look forward to the results to help us better understand their potential to influence driver behaviour and inform changes so insurance rates are set fairly.”

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Transcontinental Media G.P.