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Cyclists and pedestrians injured in crashes no longer need to pay costs: ICBC

Changes made after cyclists and pedestrians went public with their stories
FILE: Chilliwack firefighters and paramedics tend to a teenager who was struck by a vehicle outside Chilliwack Secondary. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

ICBC will no longer seek costs from cyclists and pedestrians for damages when they are struck by vehicles.

In a press release on Wednesday (May 4), ICBC said it is making changes to its policy on cyclists, pedestrians and other active transportation users, who previously could have been charged if they had some responsibility for a crash.

Moving forward, ICBC will no longer seek recovery costs in situations where a cyclist or pedestrian has suffered a severe or catastrophic injury, if there has been a fatality, and when ICBC must determine liability as 50/50 because there isn’t enough evidence to determine what happened.

In cases outside of these specific situations, ICBC said claims involving a cyclist or pedestrian will be “carefully considered” by a committee of experts.

The changes came after multiple media reports found that cyclists and pedestrians were being charged thousands of dollars for damages to vehicles that put them in hospital. The bills were being issued after ICBC moved to a new no-fault insurance model last year.

One of those cyclists is Ben Bolliger, who brought awareness to the issue by speaking to the media. In the news release, ICBC said “new information” resulted in the driver being found 100 per cent responsible for the crash and Bolliger will no longer be on the hook for costs. He will also be compensated for damages to his bicycle and any other items.

“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.”

In a Tweet, Bolliger said he’s hopeful ICBC and the government will make improvements to “meaningfully” compensate vulnerable road users injured in crashes.

ICBC added that 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.

READ MORE: $150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

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