The B.C. government and its main internet contractor Telus are installing free public wireless capability at five highway rest stops in B.C., with another 20 sites to come.
ICBC is also part of the project, and CEO Mark Blucher said the new service is to encourage drivers to pull over rather than risk using their phones on the road. Signs notifying drivers of a “text stop” ahead will warn “It can wait.”
“More than 800 crashes occur every day in B.C., many of these caused by distracted driving,” Blucher said.
Transportation Minister Todd Stone said roadside wi-fi is a service to modern tourists and commercial truckers. The ministry has a $9 million budget to improve service and comfort of highway rest areas, and a target of 30 improvement projects per year.
Wi-fi stops are to be completed by spring 2017 at:
• Britton Creek Highway 5 – 67 kilometres south of Merritt
• Mt Terry Fox Highway 16 – 6km east of Tete Jaune
• Galena Bay Highway 23 – 49km north of Nakusp
• Glacier View Highway 16 – 7km north of Smithers
• Taylor River Highway 4 – 37km west of Port Alberni