Number of young drivers dwindling in Thompson-Okanagan, rising in Kelowna - InfoNews

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Number of young drivers dwindling in Thompson-Okanagan, rising in Kelowna

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July 05, 2016 - 10:30 AM

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - While young people across the province are picking up a bike or hopping on a bus instead of driving, the same can't be said for Kelowna.

Statistics from ICBC show that the number of drivers between the ages of 16 and 25 has gone down in Penticton, Vernon and Kamloops since 2003.

But in Kelowna, the number of young people with drivers licenses, especially ages 16 and 17, has been steadily increasing since then. 

In 2003, there were 1,640 16- and 17-year-olds on the road. In 2013, the year with the latest recorded information, that number spiked to 2,130. Kelowna has the highest number of young drivers in the region.

Penticton has the lowest number of young drivers out of all four cities, and it's the only city that's seen that number steadily decrease since 2003. In 2003, there were 1,870 drivers between the ages of 16 and 25 on the road. Compare that to 2013 when 1,790 young drivers were on the road. 

Vernon and Kamloops numbers have both fluctuated greatly over the same 10 year period. In 2003, Kamloops had 5,830 young drivers on the road, while vernon had 2,520. Five years later, Kamloops had a slight rise up to 5,900 drivers, and Vernon saw a big increase with 2,740 young drivers on the road.

But numbers went back down in 2013. Kamloops say 5,530 drivers between 16 and 21 on the road, and Vernon had 2,480.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or call 250-319-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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