The Insurance Corp. of British Columbia (ICBC) spent a $1 each on 100,000 reflective pedestrian armbands awarding the contract in April, a month before Attorney General David Eby said the provincial insurer’s financial picture was unknown.
A request for proposals (RFP) for the reflectors was published February 5 with the competition closing nine days later. The request said delivery was to be over 12 months.
ICBC said in the RFP that the armbands are distributed through October for fall traffic safety campaigns.
“Distracted driving and failing to yield the right-of-way are the top contributing factors for drivers in crashes with pedestrians,” the RFP said. “Even when drivers proceed with caution, it's hard to see pedestrians at this time of year when visibility is poor.
“Because of this, ICBC conducts an annual pedestrian safety campaign with advertising and social media. And with the help of community policing volunteers and TransLink, we distribute the coveted safety reflectors throughout the month of October.”
Eby said in April that ICBC was facing a billion-dollar loss on its investments but later said a decline in claims due to the pandemic could yield a surplus.
On August 13, Finance Minister Carole James said the loss was $298 million.
The supplier chosen for the armbands was Salmon Arm’s C Me Pedestrian Reflectors.
For the fiscal year ending March 2019, ICBC spent 141,157, corporation financial records show.
ICBC could not immediately respond to queries