ICBC’s trailblazing road improvement program celebrates 30 years of safer roads and over 7,500 projects
January 05, 2021
For the past 30 years, ICBC's road improvement program has championed innovations in road safety such as modern roundabouts and road safety audits, and invested over $209 million in 7,688 projects.
ICBC's road improvement team is made up of engineers from across the province who work closely with local and provincial government to provide road safety expertise and research.
ICBC's road improvement projects have reduced severe crashes – those resulting in serious injuries or fatalities – by an average of 24 per cent and reduced property damage claims by 15 per cent, according to a 2014 evaluation report of treatment sites.
When ICBC launched the road improvement program in 1990, it was the first of its kind in North America and became the model for other programs including State Farm's Dangerous Intersections program in the U.S. and AAA Michigan's Road Improvement Demonstration program.
“Since 1990, we've invested more than $209 million in road improvement projects and studies across B.C. which has helped save lives and prevent injuries on our roads," said Nicolas Jimenez, ICBC President & CEO. “We're proud of this program and the work of our engineers, and will continue to invest in road safety to make roads safer for everyone."
In its initial decade of operation (1990 to 2000), the program helped co-fund a broad range of projects including rumble strips, signals, barrier installations and intersection re-design. ICBC also looked at improving visibility on B.C. roads with upgraded highly-reflective road signs and replacing stop signs.
ICBC championed two innovations in the second decade (2000-2010) – modern roundabouts and road safety audits. To date, ICBC has participated in 82 roundabouts throughout B.C., including numerous studies. Roundabouts are effective at reducing the frequency and severity of intersection crashes. Since vehicles aren't forced to stop, they also reduce delays, congestion, noise, fuel consumption and emissions. Road safety audits are used to evaluate safety concerns and identify improvements at the design stage of a project to ensure safety issues are fully considered before construction begins.
In the last decade (2010 to 2020), ICBC has continued to work on improving high-crash and high-risk locations. This includes major projects on high-risk corridors such as Highway 3 from Princeton to Hope, reviewing sign and pavement markings for upgrades to best practices, expanding the roundabout program to new communities and completing numerous road safety audits.
Over the past 30 years, ICBC's Road Improvement Program has won numerous awards, including the Transportation Association of Canada Decade of Action Road Safety Award in 2015 and the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award from RoadSafe in 2002.
The road improvement program is one aspect of ICBC's commitment to help make B.C. roads safer. ICBC's road safety investments focus on the systemic causes of crashes – drivers, roads and vehicles – and support programs that are proven to prevent crashes and help keep everyone safer.