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‘Just on my way’ tops list of excuses uninsured drivers give Kootenay highway patrol

Kootenay highway patrol reports ‘shocking’ number of uninsured drivers
BC Highway Patrol Kootenay covers roadway enforcement in the East and West Kootenays, including Golden and Revelstoke. Image: BC Highway Patrol

“I am on my way right now,” and “ICBC never sent me a reminder,” are top excuses non-insured drivers have given BC Highway Patrol when pulled over on Kootenay highways.

From Dec. 1, 2023, to Jan. 11, BC Highway Patrol Kootenay says it has located a whopping 177 people driving around in uninsured vehicles.

The offence doesn’t come without a hit to the pocketbook: each driver was fined $598 for driving without insurance.

“Drivers should think about the risks of operating without insurance which include paying a significant fine, being financially responsible for a collision, and expensive towing costs,” says Insp. Chad Badry, officer in charge of Kootenay Highway Patrol.

“There is a risk of a driver’s licence suspension or increased sanctions in court for repeat offences.”

As a result of so many people caught cruising without coverage, BC Highway Patrol has compiled a list of the most common excuses encountered.

Top 10 excuses for driving without insurance

ICBC never sent me a reminder;

I am on the way to purchase insurance right now;

I forgot;

I don’t have a decal anymore;

My insurance is paid for automatically, so I thought I didn’t need to renew;

The registered owner is my mom, dad or friend and it’s their job;

This is a company vehicle;

My vehicle is actually insured, but I don’t have the documents;

I cancelled the credit card that was making the pre-authorized payments;

I know I don’t have insurance, but I really needed to go somewhere.

Advice from BC Highway Patrol

Owners must renew their own insurance as it is not automatically renewed;

Drivers should check the expiry dates on a vehicle’s documents before driving;

Renewal notices are sent only as a courtesy and your address should be up to date;

Set a reminder in your phone’s calendar;

Documents must be kept in the vehicle or drivers may receive an $81 fine.

Moreover, highway patrol says to arrange a ride with a friend or find alternative transportation if driving to renew your insurance is your only option.

“Taking the bus, rideshare or taxi is cheaper than a $598 violation ticket and towing costs.”

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Sheri Regnier

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