Should My Driving Record be Available to the Public?

AngelYesterday's edition of the Victoria Times Colonist newspaper contained an article about Justice Minister Shirley Bond considering making the driving record of B.C. drivers public knowledge. The idea is that if conventional methods of convincing drivers to follow the driving rules are not successful, then it is time to find other solutions. This one would be aimed at embarrassing a non-compliant driver publicly.

It is definitely an interesting idea that would work if a person considered that a bad driving record would cause them loss of face. I know that I would feel that I had failed if I had a string of convictions out there for the world to see because driving responsibly is important to me. I would even pay to exchange a ticket for formal driving training if I made a mistake, but that's a story that I've already told.

Would this make a difference to the motorcycle rider in Saanich who rode through traffic at 299+ km/h and then posted his video recording of it on YouTube? Not likely. Sometimes the only way to prevent a driver like this from endangering us all is to put them in a cage. Even this doesn't necessarily make a difference in attitude, it may only protect the public from the individual for a time.

While we are thinking about this though, may I suggest that we also include National Safety Code records for commercial vehicle misbehaviour available to the public as well? It would be useful information to me when I was trying to decide which taxi company to take a ride with or who to haul my goods. If enough clients did this it could eliminate poor commercial vehicle driving practices and the businesses that allow them.


Submitted by E-mail

Most of the time neighbours have no way of knowing the guy next door is driving while prohibited. If neighbours knew his license had been lifted, they could easily and promptly report his driving to police the minute he leaves his driveway. Just knowing he could be 'ratted on' by neighbours could be enough to keep him from crawling behind the wheel while forbidden to do so.

Not a Bad Idea

How about posting thier pictues in the comunity News Papers,so the whole town knows who they are,not just thier neighbours.

Same with transportation companys with dismal safty codes.

If theres a Vote,,they have MINE.

My 'take' on this.

If Shirley Bond was to do a little research before shooting her mouth off, she would probably have a brighter future in government.  From memory - and I could have the chronology wrong here - it was around the time that Robyn Allan (then head of ICBC) was found to have acquired several tickets for her antisocial behaviour as a driver (this following the discovery that Moe Sihota, the one-time ICBC Cabinet Minister who had acquired seven tickets himself) that the edict went out to all ICBC employees that the database for anybody's record was strictly off limits except at their request, and punishable.

So whether or not one might believe that each individual's driving record should be publicly available, it's not going to happen.  Besides, there's a judicial system in place to punish offenders, through fines, demerit points, and - in the case of the vehicle owner - insurance premium increases for at-fault collisions.

Making the NSC records available is an interesting idea - but is it necessary?  About 23 years ago, there was a horrible collision at the bottom of the steep grade down to the Horseshoe Bay ferry lineup.  Following enquiries into how to prevent this occurring again, various improvements (including a mandatory brake check, situated just before the Caulfeild Exit) were made.  But these enquiries also revealed that the driver at fault had acquired enough demerits on his Class 4 license to have it suspended four times over, yet had still been able to apply for and obtain a Class 3 license to drive that (overloaded with defective brakes) asphalt truck.  Which is why, these days, it's theoretically impossible to obtain or renew or upgrade a professional license (or instructor license) in BC if you have too many points on your license.

It's also why (in my strong opinion) police forces in this province need to be more willing, and actively encouraged by those in charge, to issue tickets against drivers who are at fault, instead of pretending that ICBC will 'deal with it' by increasing premiums against the vehicle owner, which is not the same thing at all.  These intentionally uninvolved police are part of the problem, when they should be part of  the solution; this is not a revenue issue, it is a public safety issue.



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