Our Transportation Partners: Who Does What in BC?

We’ve talked with you before about what the heck it is we do anyways – but lately we have begun to realize that there might be some confusion around what we don’t do; Or rather – where exactly we step out of the transportation picture and where our transportation partners, such as ICBC and Road SafetyBC, municipalities and the federal government step in and help you. Here’s a rundown of what those partners do, in a nutshell.



We asked the folks at ICBC to give us a quick rundown about their transportation role in BC and here is what they had to say:

Insurance, registration, licensing and fines:
The Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC) has been the sole provider of basic auto insurance in the province since 1973. All motorists in B.C. are required to buy a basic package of ICBC insurance that provides coverage for third party liability protection, accident benefits, underinsured motorist protection, hit-and-run and uninsured motorists’ protection and inverse liability. We deliver these services on the ground in communities throughout B.C. We also provide a number of services on behalf of the provincial government, including vehicle registration and licensing, driver licensing and fines collection.


ICBC also helps support provincial transportation laws by educating the public through road safety awareness programs. These programs are aimed at helping reduce traffic-related deaths, injuries and crashes, auto crime and fraud. That’s something we all stand behind.

ICBC Myth Busting:
A common misunderstanding is that ICBC is responsible for the Motor Vehicle Act and its enforcement on our roads – but the Ministry of Transportation is actually responsible for that legislation and police and RCMP follow up with the ‘on the ground’ enforcement.



2. Road Safety in BC

We spoke with our colleagues at RoadSafetyBC (previously the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles) about their role in provincial transportation and here is what they wanted to share with you:

As a leader in road safety, our vision is to have the safest roads in North America by 2020 and work toward an ultimate goal of zero traffic fatalities and zero serious injuries.  RoadSafetyBC is responsible for overseeing programs and laws (e.g. drinking and driving legislation) that address the consequences of unsafe driving in B.C. We work in partnership with police, law enforcement service providers, professional organizations and community groups to ensure drivers on B.C. highways are safe. RoadSafetyBC is a branch within the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General. A multidisciplinary team in a variety of positions support the Superintendent in his duties.

We operate three core program areas:

Our staff of adjudicators help make administrative decisions regarding individuals’ driving privileges. We work very closely with our partners at ICBC, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, and other government agencies to respond to inquiries from citizens about their individual files or general road safety issues.

At RoadSafetyBC, we are also responsible for the development of specific legislation of other important road safety issues under the Motor Vehicle Act, including distracted driving and seat belt use. Recently, RoadSafetyBC released our updated report, Moving to Vision Zero:  Road Safety Strategy Update and Showcase of Innovation in British Columbia.  The strategy highlights the application of the safe systems approach and embraces the need to continue to work collaboratively with all stakeholders and road safety partners to address all aspects of road safety.  The report also reaffirms RoadSafetyBC’s commitment to road safety principles that will lead to British Columbia having the safest roads in North America.


Gov Can

3. Local Municipalities and the Federal Government

Sometimes BC highways run through local municipalities or federal parks. What then? In the case of local municipalities, the highway remains our responsibility up to the curb, at which point it becomes the business of the local municipality itself. Unsure if your road falls under municipal or provincial jurisdiction? The answer lies in your taxes. If you pay your taxes to your city, then you are under their jurisdiction and you need to contact them first, if you pay your taxes to a Regional District, then your road is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

When it comes to improving or fixing a roadway, it’s a team effort – municipalities work with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and ICBC road safety engineers to assess and deliver road improvement projects, or community safety enhancements such as: roundabouts, new crosswalks and designated turning lanes, making our roads safer for everyone, including pedestrians and cyclists.

Where our highways run through federal parks (such as the Pacific Rim on BC Highway 4), the road and its maintenance become the responsibility of the federal government. Maintenance and rehabilitation works fall to them but we work together to ensure that the transition from provincial highway to federal and back again is as seamless as possible.

So, there you have it. It takes many levels of teamwork to keep you sailing smoothly and safely on roads across B.C. Any questions? Let us know in the comments below.

If you liked this and want to see more, check out the links below:

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Page 1 of 53 comments on “Our Transportation Partners: Who Does What in BC?”

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  1. I’m trying to find out if family is in an area you need to get to but the road is closed because of wildfires, will they permit you to enter? Highway 1 is closed from Hope to Lytton, they are located in Yale. We are trying to get to them, but we are from Alberta. Any info would be wonderful.

  2. Im looking to request a traffic light on the intersection of the entrance to Alice lake and the sea to sky highway.

    I almost got in an accident yesterday and it is not the first time. Its extremely dangerous and we need a traffic light there.

    Can you help me? Hope you can send my request to the right department and let me know what else I can do about this.

    • Hi, Mel – thanks for connecting with us here to share your concerns. We have forwarded your comment to local staff responsible for the area and will reply again here if they get back to us with any more information about their plans for the intersection.

  3. Why don’t police move fender benders out of traffic and quit causing back ups that last for hours. I was appalled yesterday – May 26, 23, to be stuck in a traffic jam on HWY 1 – at noon. It was a parking lot from the Cassier Tunnel to past Willingdon. A traffic jam that would once again – cause problems on the north shore and bridge for hours and hours.
    4 lanes of traffic pushing through one lane because the police, fire truck and tow truck had taken over 3 lanes – no ambulance, no flipped car, nothing. Literally a 4 car fender bender that left hundreds of other people stuck in a traffic jam for hours and once again traffic nightmare for hours on a Friday. Why didn’t the police move the vehicles off to the side – literally it was a fender bender! Taking up 3 lanes out of 4 to create a border around a fender bender. Disgusting! I finally drove by – fire fighters joking with each other- laughing, one police vehicle – policeman in vehicle – no lights flashing. Just cones and chaos! Disgusting disgusting disgusting- the amount of traffic backup and air pollution caused by this one incident that NOBODY was dealing with other than letting people on the highway suffer. Move vehicles off the road – get traffic moving – that is the priority when there is a fender bender.
    ICBC has not helped – the No fault insurance makes sure nobody moves when they bump into someone- creating traffic jams and frustration.
    Do better! Do something!

    • Hi there Patti,

      Thank you for connecting with us. That certainly sounds like a frustrating situation—glad it seemed like no one was seriously injured. We do have signage which encourages drivers involved in a fender bender to move from the travel lane or move to the nearest exist (depending on the location). Once police and first responders are called and, on the scene, it is up to those officers on the ground as to how to proceed to maintain safety for everyone involved. And with 4 vehicles involved, I’m sure there were many factors at play.

      There is a newer regulation that allows police to clear collision scenes before filling a report when there are no injuries and damage does not exceed $10,000 to help avoid this extra congestion and delays. You can read more about this here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019PSSG0027-000343.

      Thank you again for your feedback. I’ve shared your concern with our staff in the area for their review. We are always working to keep everyone moving as safely and efficiently as possible on BC roads.

  4. I would like to know who manages ARGO road maintenance operating in Chetwynd bc. I would like to help direct complaints to the proper place as they are now just being posted on Facebook. There is a definite line between here and the next town where you can see the difference in the crews looking after the roads. On the Chetwynd side the roads Have either NO or very little attention. Once you’re past that line the roads are usually clear and safe. Since argo took over from CRS the accidents and fatalities have increased considerably. Currently our roads are covered with ice. There has been NO sand and NO salt spread. This needs to be addressed.

    • Hi Heather,

      Thanks for taking the time to connect with us here to share your concern. We shared your comment with our road manager in the area and they advised us that, as you are aware, there were adverse weather conditions in the Chetwynd area which have spread the contractor thin. They have been working around the clock to catch up after the storm this past weekend and road conditions have since improved. If you would like to discuss any concerns, you can reach out to him directly at 250-615-2179 (his name is Rylan Anderson). In the future, the fastest way to attend to the problem or raise awareness of an issue is to tell our maintenance contractor directly. Our contractors are required to keep records of public concerns and this helps us during our auditing process to ensure the contractor is responsive to any problems brought to their attention. Here’s a list of our maintenance contractors and the ways you can connect with them to communicate your concerns. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/transportation-infrastructure/contracting-to-transportation/highway-bridge-maintenance/highway-maintenance/contacts

      We hope this is helpful. Safe travels.

  5. Good morning. If, for example, there is a “curve” sign warning of a sharp corner ahead with no speed limit posted below it, but the speed limit going through that portion of highway is 90km/hr, what is the advisory speed for going through that corner/curve in favourable weather conditions?

    • Hi Kelly,

      Great question. All speed limits, be they regulatory or advisory speeds for curves, are established in the field during ideal conditions, which represent both ideal weather, and ideal road surface conditions. Curve signs and any associated advisory speeds are established with ball-bank testing of the curves. If a curve warning sign does not have an included speed advisory sign, it means that the curve is safe to be negotiated at a travel speed of 10 km/h below the posted regulatory speed of the highway. We only start adding advisory speeds when the ball-bank testing of the curve says a reduced speed of greater than 10 km/h is needed to go with the curve warning sign. So in your 90 km/h example, a curve warning sign without a curve advisory generally means that a motorist can without too much effort and discomfort, negotiate the curve at 80 km/hr, i.e. 10 km/h lower than posted. We hope this is helpful!

  6. I am a commuter who travels in the morning and evening and I have witnessed far too many incidents of cars being driven in the early moring or early evening hours without their lights turned on which in turn causes a dangerous situation. The drivers of these vehicles are not aware and when I have been able to communicate with them to turn their lights on they are completely unaware.

    A main reason for this may be because the car’s daylight running lights are on as well and as their dashboards are fully lite because the are digital or led.

    Auomobile manufactures could save major money by no longer installing headlight switches by simply wiring “ALL” lights to come on when the vehicle is started up. Having a switch that has and auto on/off position has not proven towork as the drivers don’t seem to use it.

    For sometime I have wanted to express this concern but been unaware as where to start.

    Help and report anyone who has seen dangerous situations like this arise.

    • Hello Paul and thanks for your message.

      You will be happy to know that as of September 2021, the federal government has mandated canadian vehicle lighting regulation will require that all new vehicles, including trucks, sold in Canada have one of the following:

      Tail lights that come on automatically with daytime running lights
      Headlights, tail lights and side marker lights that turn on automatically in the dark
      A dashboard that stays dark to alert the driver to turn on the lights

      Great news for those of us frustrated by following phantom cars on the roadways.

      Safe travels.

  7. Large pot holes resulting in vehicle damage, who is responsible? As the driver on the highway after dark it is impossible to see pot holes due to limited lighting. From what I have learned from my service provider the giant car gobbling pot holes are resulting in large volumes of damages. Is tire damage covered by ICBC comprehensive? Either way there are significant costs associated resulting from the damage caused by these giant potholes. There really is no excuse for these to go unrepaired. Is the ministry waiting for damage beyond the vehicle such as personal injury resulting from an accident caused by hitting the car gobbling potholes? This is irresponsible practice and should be addressed before the issue results in more serious incidents. The pothole is on hwy 19 northbound just before the exit for Parksville…

    • Hi there Susan – thanks for sharing your concern with us here. We’ve shared it forward with our staff in the area. If you ever notice any issues which cause you concern on BC Highways, please report the concern directly to our maintenance contractor responsible. Here’s a link to our report a highway problem on DriveBC: https://drivebc.ca/rahp/

      Winter weather can make it hard to fill potholes, with any temporary fixes only lasting so long. Our crews are likely aware of this issue and waiting for a window of opportunity (ie – no snow or freezing rain in the forecast) to make a temporary fix at the location you mentioned. Safe travels.

  8. Re Merging because of lane ending (for construction etc).
    Often Merge left/right signs are a long way from the lane end.
    Most people merge long before the lane end. Some people speed by and merge at the lane end. This generates great anger among those who merged much earlier.
    I am reading that the correct way in many countries is to merge at lane end.
    Who is responsible for the required rule/regulation.
    What is it. Please advertise it throughout BC

    • Hello Dave and thanks for reaching out to us here with your question.

      Merging certainly seems to be a source of frustration and confusion for some motorists. We wrote a blog outlining the fine art of merging and have shared the link below. In a nutshell, motorists are allowed to merge whenever it is safe to do so, but have until the lane ends to do so. Motorists in the lane which is not ending are also required to allow those vehicles merging, to move into their lane, when it is safe to do so.


      ICBC (who educate drivers on the rules of the road) outline more here: https://www.icbc.com/driver-licensing/documents/drivers4.pdf

      We hope that this information is helpful.

      • Hello,
        You have avoided the crux of the matter.
        When temporary merge signs are posted a long way from the lane ending, most drivers merge immediately and are
        angry when others pass them and merge at lane end.
        a) The signs are posted by hwy workers much too far from the lane end.
        b) Highly publicized driver education is required.

        • Hello again Anonymous. While we like to think of the education we do on our platforms as “highly publicized”, we might be getting away from ourselves. Nevertheless, we create content (such as the zipper merge blog) and share it regularly across all of our platforms (DriveBC included), in order to get the message out. We will share your comment about the placement of merge signs in temporary construction zones with our construction and maintenance group; however, the same rule of the road applies regardless of where the sign is placed. Motorists have until the end of the lane to merge. Thanks again for sharing your concerns with us here. We hope this additional information was more helpful.

  9. Hi, we have a high deer traffic area on one of our roads. Who would I contact to get a deer crossing sign put up. Deer are frequently being injured or killed in this area. Silver Star Road, Vernon, BC
    Thank you for your time.

    • Hi Vanessa – sounds like you should reach out to our staff in the Vernon area office and let them know of your concerns.

      Vernon Area
      4791 23rd Street
      Vernon, BC V1T 4K9
      Telephone: 250 503-3664

      Hope that this helps!

  10. I emailed City of Langford and they said it was beyond their jurisdiction.
    My concern is, there are No Pedestrian Cross Walks or X-ing Sign on 2663 Sooke Road, Langford. The are BC Transit Bus Stops with Shelters on Both Sides of the on 2663 Sooke Road between Anders Road and Glen Lake Road- yet there are No crosswalks on either side. The vehicles are on regular speed and it is an extremely busy road- this is a Safety Hazard for people trying to get to the BC Transit bus stop. My elementary school child boards the school bus at the BC Transit Stop. We are a community of about 600 residents in the Aggregate Court Buildings. A lot of us take the BC Transit. I am requesting a Cross Walk and X-ing sign on 2663 Sooke Road.

    • Hello and good morning Sandra. Thank you for your comment requesting the placement of a crosswalk between Anders rd and Glen Lake Rd. The ministry generally does not place crosswalks in mid block locations; however, we will review the location to see if there is an appropriate location for a crosswalk that meets ministry warrants. We hope this is helpful. Thanks again for connecting with us here.

      • Hi,
        For your information, Anders Road is a 4 point / intersection. I have seen vehicles from Aggregate on that intersection. There are no traffic lights and all the vehicles try to scoot out onto Sooke road amidst the oncoming traffics on both sides. I have seen a lot of elderly people trying to cross Sooke road to get to the BC transit on both sides. It is a SCARY scene. I just do not want anyone getting hit by a vehicle or worse. Thank you for sending someone to view the area and thank you for your prompt response.

    • Hi again Sandra – we have also just heard back from staff in the area confirming that there is a crosswalk at the lighted intersection of Sooke Road and Happy Valley Road (which is between Glen Lake Road and Anders). We hope this additional info is also helpful.

  11. Having read the above breakdown as to who does what in bc, I am still unclear as to whom is in charge of garbage and vehicles obstructing the dead end rural road way that I live on on Vancouver Island. The residence of our road have contacted every department to no avail. Please help.

    • Hi Rhonda – thanks for reaching out to us. Have you reached out to ministry staff to confirm ownership of the road? Here is a link for contacting regional staff. Please choose the office closest to you and call to clarify your situation. If a staff member needs, they can visit the site to help you determine next steps. Hope that this is helpful.

      Vancouver Island District
      3rd floor – 2100 Labieux Rd.
      Nanaimo, BC V9T 6E9
      Hours of operation:
      8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday

      Saanich Area
      240 – 4460 Chatterton Way
      Victoria, BC V8X 5J2

      Hours of Operation:
      8:30 am to noon
      1 pm to 4:30 pm
      Monday to Friday

      Courtenay Area
      550 Comox Road
      Courtenay, BC V9N 3P6
      Email Operations
      Email Development Services

      Hours of operation:
      8:30 am to noon
      1 pm to 4:30 pm
      Monday to Friday

  12. Hello,

    With the double lanes going through Chase, BC. It seems you are cutting off tourism from the town. There are 3 main exits into Chase. With the brooke drive underpass no one will ever be able to drive through the quaint downtown of Chase where the town beauty is. As for residences on the East side of town there is no quick access to the highway anymore when the plan is to leave the access to the highway strictly to emergency vehicles. Having dedicated merge and exit lanes there going east and west for regular traffic would reduce a significant amount of time for residents to get out and in the town.
    This configuration would look alot like the one put in at Miner bluffs Rd (put in near where the Monte Creek highway 1 double lanes expansion several years ago). I agree with having the far eastbound exit removed to reduce serious accidents on the hill. Please help this small town out before it’s lost. Take a drive through it. With only two East bound exits at the far west/west side of town the loop for people to go into downtown will get missed.

    • Hello Selena,

      Our maintenance contractors are responsible for that (and sometimes our Adopt a Highway supporters pitch in too). Is there are particular stretch you are concerned with? Here’s a link to our report a highway feature on DriveBC. If you choose your location on the map – it will direct you to the contact information of the contractor responsible for that area. https://www.drivebc.ca/rahp/identifyProblem.html

  13. You took my license away for going 16 km over the speed limit because i was late for work. I need to drive my 82 year old dad to doctor and optical appointments and grocery shop so he doesnt get covid. U took it away even though i repealed it for a good reason. I could have gotten my full license this november but now i cant for another 2 years. Ur making me pay hundreds of dollars i wont have to get my license back because i wont have a job to commute to anymore. You are the devil. I hope u can look in the mirror and sleep at night.

  14. Hwy 7 between 207th & Laity. Was resurfaced in June 2020. Did they do such a terrible job that the are having to resurface again now?resurfacing twice in the span less than 4 months is either a screw up in the maintenance schedule or a blatant cash grab by the company with the contract

    • Hello Jennifer – thanks for connecting with us here. We shared your comment with our local area manager, Korry, who will be following up with you directly via the email provided here. Thank you!

  15. Hi I have a big problem concerning my invalid alberta driving licence which 3 year expiry happens in july. My problem is that ive been told by icbc in Osoyoos to get a drivers abstract which I did they would not accept that one because it was a driving summary so I went and got another drivers abstract and went back again to icbc and again I was refused saying the information they want is not on the abstract I went back again to registry in Leduc alberta requesting a confirmation of the information icbc is requesting and just today ive been refused again for the 3rd time ive jumped through all there hoops paid any outstanding tickets paid for bc identification ive even got on the 1 year insurance plan with icbc with full coverage I might add but they will not transfer my licence from alberta .I dont know what else to do who to talk to about this and how come this is happening im leaning on the side of a few types of discrimination now as there is no basis for not giving me my licence which expires permanently on july 27.Can someone who actually has any authority please answer to this .Help me put and end to this complete rediculousnessThank you in advance

    • Your System is Broken , I am living proof . Got hit in the head by a slamming door , Dec 31/2018 . Am still without a drivers licence and job to this day . Next will be losing my home . Because your system is broken . Alberta Transportation , you can talk to the people reviewing your case . You can e-mail forms and reports . And they even call you . I would have my license back long ago if I didn’t have to deal with road Safety. Reports have been misinterpreted , I have been totally recovered within 2 weeks of returning from Mexico . But because of 1 (young) locum misinterpreting me
      I have lost my licence , my job , my medical plan , next my home . I can’t call anyone as you can’t get past an agent , what they are there for I’ll never know . They can’t do nothing for you . No body there will lift a finger to contact your doctor , or neurologist , to find out for yourself . I just came from my Neurologist on the 4th of Feb . You know what she told me ? I have carpo tunnel syndrome in my left wrist . Duh , and you took my license for that ? Use some common sense and call my doctors to see for yourself why I don’t have a license . If B.C Road Safety wasn’t in my way I would have my Alberta Drivers license . That’s all they’re waiting for is for you guys to get out of the way .

      • Hi Doug,

        Thanks for contacting us about driver’s licence.

        RoadSafetyBC is a branch within the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General. It’s not part of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (this organization).

        RoadSafetyBC can be contacted at 1 855 387-7747 or via email at RoadSafetyBC@gov.bc.ca.

      • Hello – I’m trying to locate the legislative source for responsibility over safety on the highway (between the curbs). Specifically I’m trying to determine which level of government has responsibility to provide safe crossing by children over highways at schools by way of crossing guards.

        • Hi there,

          We are responsible for the operation and maintenance of all numbered BC highways; is there a particular stretch of road you are thinking of? We would be happy to direct you to staff in the local area to discuss further.