IBC advocates for and supports safer roads in Ontario

TORONTO, June 2, 2015 /CNW/ - Today, the Ontario government passed the Making Ontario's Roads Safer Act that will increase fines and introduce demerit points for those convicted of distracted driving. Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) applauds the government on this important step as it continues to raise awareness about how important it is to put down the phone before getting behind the wheel of a car.

From campaigns against drinking and driving, to encouraging the adoption of a graduated licensing system, and now to increasing awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, Ontario's auto insurance companies have long advocated for safer roads in Ontario and across the county. Additionally, this summer IBC is once again visiting communities across the province with its Safety Mobile to bring to life just how dangerous texting while driving is.  

"Distractions are a major factor in many collisions, and the passing of this Act will help make sure people think twice about picking up their smartphones while driving," said Ralph Palumbo, Vice-President, Ontario, IBC. "We will continue to work with governments and consumers to show that the practice of texting or using a phone while driving is socially unacceptable and inherently dangerous."

The legislation passed today will increase fines and penalties for drivers who text, email or use a handheld phone while driving. The maximum fine is $1,000, and the penalty is three demerit points. Palumbo said that the introduction of demerit points is "an excellent addition and an approach that has been proven to change driver behaviour more than fines alone."

According to the Ontario Provincial Police, distracted driving is becoming the No. 1 killer on the roads, accounting for more deaths than impaired driving or speed-related collisions. To learn more about what IBC is doing to spread its message – "Drive now. Text later. Live Longer." – visit www.ibc.ca or check out IBC's YouTube channel by clicking here.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 118,000 Canadians, pays $6.7 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $48 billion.  

For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and @IBC_Ontario or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

For further information: To schedule an interview, please contact: Celyeste Power, Manager, Media Relations, 416-362-2031 ext. 4312, 647-384-9872, cpower@ibc.ca

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