ICBC is changing its policy on when vehicles charge cyclists, pedestrians, and other active transportation users for damages where they are party responsible.
ICBC will no longer seek recovery for costs in the following defined situations:
– Where a cyclist or pedestrian has suffered a severe or catastrophic injury.
– If there has been a fatality.
– When ICBC must determine liability as 50/50 because there is not enough evidence to determine what happened.
“Government and ICBC listened to the concerns raised from cycling advocates and Mr. Bolliger about the decision to bill him for vehicle damage after he was involved in a collision,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.
“The previous approach was not reflective of the changes we’ve made to auto insurance in British Columbia and that needed to be fixed.”
Ben Bollinger is a Vancouver cyclist who was charged $3,752.01 for a collision last year. Bollinger was billed even though the other driver was at fault because his bicycle is considered as an uninsured vehicle.
A final report from police on Mr. Bolliger’s claim has led to a change in the liability decision to hold the driver of the vehicle 100% responsible for the crash. That information was new to ICBC and now, Mr. Bolliger will not be responsible for any damages or costs. He will be fully compensated for damages to his bicycle and any other items.
Moreover, any cyclist or pedestrian injured in a crash with a vehicle is entitled to receive all of the care and recovery benefits they need under Enhanced Care, regardless of whether they were responsible for the crash or not.
“We are committed to continuing to improve and this claim highlighted a situation where improvements needed to be made, and we are now making those changes,” said Nicolas Jimenez, President and CEO of ICBC.
“Our new care-based model is just one year old and we will keep looking for ways to improve on how we deliver Enhanced Care to British Columbians.”
A committee of experts will consider claims involving a cyclist or pedestrian who has suffered a non-severe injury. Thus ICBC will have much more limited instances to seek recovery from cyclists or pedestrians.
ICBC met with the BC Cycling Coalition and Hub Cycling to receive their feedback on the changes and how they better meet the needs of cyclists and other vulnerable road users.
BC Cycling Coalition Executive Director, Mike Koski, believes that these policy changes is the right step to help vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists.
“We thank ICBC for recognizing the issues and being open to listening to the ongoing concerns of our members,” said Koski.
“By listening and taking action, positive change was made within just a matter of weeks.”