VICTORIA -- The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) is targeting drivers who have been taking advantage of reduced traffic during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The insurance corporation’s High Risk Driving Campaign is now on for the month of May. 

ICBC will be targeting speeders and aggressive driving along with distracted and impaired drivers.

Saanich police and ICBC teamed up on the Pat Bay Highway Thursday to get the message out to drivers to slow down.

ICBC says speeding increases the risk and severity of a crash and reduces the ability to react in a timely manner.

With fewer cars on the road, more people it seems, have been tempted to speed. It’s a trend that is being seen all across the province, according to Saanich police Const. Markus Anastasiades. 

“In the last seven days we have impounded 14 cars, so two a day,” he said. 

“It’s not just along this corridor on the Pat Bay Highway but also in construction zones, along the Trans-Canada Highway and also in rural areas.” 

Anastasiades said the volume of vehicles impounded for speeding lately is uncommon. “I think our numbers are showing that is is an unprecedented time.” 

On Wednesday, Saanich police pulled over a motorcyclist on the Pat Bay Highway near Elk Lake, doing 131 km/hr in an 80 km/hr zone, he said. On top of that, the driver didn’t have a licence at all.

“Our officers are out there trying to create safer roads, [for] pedestrians, cyclists and all the vulnerable road-users,” Anastasiades said. “It’s our job to create that safer road.”

A speeding ticket can set one back anywhere from $138 all the way up to $483 for excessive speeding, which also comes with a mandatory seven-day vehicle impoundment.

“Everyone has a responsibility to keep our roads safe,” said Colleen Woodger, an ICBC road safety coordinator. “We want everybody to drive smart, but sometimes that needs to start with ourselves.” 

ICBC and the Saanich police are also reminding drivers to be aware of the increase in motorcyclists on the roads at this time of year.