The risks of ridesharing

While the provincial government has introduced legislation to allow ride-hailing in 2019, it may be some time before Sun Peaks sees Uber or Lyft. In the meantime informal ridesharing is likely to continue in the community.

Despite the successful launch of Sun Peaks Taxi in October and increased shuttle service in the village, offers and requests for rides are posted online daily. But to avoid severe financial consequences those offering rides should be aware of what is legal.

The Passenger Transportation Act of B.C. has strict definitions of what counts as carpooling. To meet the definition the driver must not receive any payment more than operating costs. The driver may also only transport passengers between the residences or workplaces of either the driver or passengers or a common destination, they can also make only one round trip in a day.

Drivers operating outside of this definition can face fines of $1,150 per day.
The potential financial repercussions don’t stop there. If someone violates a term or condition of their policy with ICBC or fails to disclose required facts they can breach their policy. Those insured under “pleasure use” or “to/from work and school” rate classes who offer rides beyond the definition of carpooling would be in breach of their policy.

Consequences of breaching include losing the right to claim certain benefits, to have accident related repairs paid for, to be defended by ICBC in a lawsuit related to damages and to have ICBC indemnify you for court judgements against you or settlements paid as a result of your negligence.

In simple terms, breaching the terms of your insurance policy with ICBC would make you personally responsible for the costs of repairs to the vehicle and court judgements or settlements against you (third party liability) should an accident happen. Depending on the harm caused settlements can quickly rise into the millions of dollars.

Those who hold private insurance policies in addition to the minimum legally required with ICBC could face the same problems.

If you’re looking for a safe way to get around this winter consider the shuttle service operated by Sun Peak Resort LLP (SPR). This winter the bus will operate from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

A resort spokesperson said it’s a significant financial investment but it’s important for them to step in as the community grows.

“An effective and efficient transportation system is an important part of almost every world class destination. As Sun Peaks continues to grow and see more guests, we want to make sure the experience continually improves. More and more people are engaging in non-ski experiences in resort, so it’s essential that we can move guests around the resort outside of regular lift operating hours.”

Sun Peaks Taxi will also continue operations throughout the winter with two vehicles. Other shuttle services are available for those heading to Kamloops or beyond.