Mapping drunk drivers in BC

My published map projects for globalnews.ca up until now have mostly focused on Toronto (as did the Open File maps and the Star maps before them). This was never exactly the plan – it just reflected what information was ready for use first, which can be somewhat random.

However, Global is a national news organization, and since I was hired back in February I’ve been working on building a deep store of geodata for western Canada, between a combination of FOI requests and data orders outside the FOI system.

The first of these projects looks at drunk driving in British Columbia, using data from ICBC. The two data points are licence suspensions for impaired (at all levels of seriousness, from 24-hour suspensions under provincial law to impaired driving causing death) and the base number of licenced drivers, over a base geography of BC’s 187 forward sortation areas.

The results have quite a lot in common with Ontario’s drunk driving map, with consistently lower rates in Vancouver and Victoria, especially downtown areas, and higher rates in rural areas. The BC equivalent of Parry Sound turns out to be the province’s northeast (Dawson Creek, Fort St. John and a large surrounding area) which have three out of the top five postal codes.

(The fact that this came out the same day as some Twitter merriment about whether Wellbeing Toronto had made me ‘obsolete’ is officially coincidence.)

Over 15 12.5-15 10-12.5 7.5-10 Under 7.5

Source: Insurance Bureau of British Columbia | Obtained under access-to-information legislation

Alcohol-related driving prohibitions between April 25, 2010 and April 24, 2011 per 1,000 licenced drivers totalled on April 30, 2011

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