WATCH: After more than 100 BC youth died in crashes over ten years, a coroner’s report says it’s time to review recent speed limit increases and the graduated licensing program. Here’s Kylie Stanton.
A panel that reviewed all deaths of young drivers in B.C. over a 10-year period is calling for the government to develop an “automated speed enforcement project” at sites where there have been several speed-related crashes.
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It was one of three recommendations by the Child Death Review Panel, created by the BC Coroners Service to review the deaths of 106 young drivers who died in accidents between 2004 and 2013.
The panel says it doesn’t mean bringing back photo radar, but that it would be helpful to measure and enforce speeds at a limited number of sites where crashes often occur, and see if “automated speed enforcement measures result in a reduction in the number and severity of crashes.”
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The report says most of the people who died between 2004 and 2013 were between 17 and 18 years old. They say “speed, impairment, lack of seatbelt use and inexperience were common contributing factors.”
Despite the drop in young driver deaths, motor vehicle incidents remain the leading cause of death in B.C. for youth between 15 and 18 years.
The report recommends increasing awareness about fatal crashes involving young drivers through enhanced data collection by the coroners service and the Insurance Corp. of B.C., along with calling for a review of the province’s Graduated Licensing Program.
It says fewer young drivers have died in the province since the program was introduced in 1998, but input from teens is needed to implement safe driving practices.
The licensing program involves a learner’s stage when drivers who pass a knowledge test must display an “L” sign on their vehicle, followed by a road test that leads to the novice stage and an “N” sign on vehicles.
– With files from