VANCOUVER -- There may be fewer cars on the road during the COVID-19 crisis, but that doesn't give drivers licence to speed.

That's the message from B.C.'s public insurer after police in the province "observed an increase" in people speeding in the midst of the pandemic.

While British Columbians are staying home more and travelling less, ICBC said emptier roads are "no excuse to speed."

"Even though it seems safer with fewer cars on the road, it isn't," the Crown corporation said in a news release. "Speeding increases your risk of crashing and reduces the amount of time you have to react."

Last month, Mounties said they caught 11 drivers speeding excessively along the Sea to Sky corridor on a single weekend. That included a Lamborghini that was clocked going 154 km/h in an 80 km/h zone.

There are also signs that traffic is creeping back up again on some B.C. roads. Data from the Ministry of Transportation shows the number of people crossing the Port Mann Bridge, the Lions Gate Bridge, the Massey Tunnel and other major routes has increased since mid-March.

Speed is said to be the number one cause of car crash deaths in B.C., with an average of 82 people killed in speed-related crashes every year. Most of those occur in the Southern Interior, followed by the Lower Mainland.