Will you take the pledge? IBC kicks off 2015 Leave the Phone Alone campaign with Hot 105.5 FM

CHARLOTTETOWN, April 14, 2015 /CNW/ - "Leave the Phone Alone – Don't text and drive." That is the message Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), along with Hot 105.5 FM and the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, is sending to high-school students again this year. The 2015 road safety campaign that was kicked off today was launched in 2013 and aims to curb the dangerous practice of distracted driving.

"Distracted driving can have devastating consequences, and cell phones are one of the most dangerous distractions for drivers," said Amanda Dean, Vice-President, Atlantic, IBC. "A texting driver is 23 times more likely to crash than a non-texting driver. That's why IBC is proud to be a road safety partner in PEI, reminding drivers to leave the phone alone."

The campaign has seen great success in previous years: 4,500 Islanders took the anti-distracted-driving pledge in summer 2013 and over 5,000 Islanders took the pledge in 2014.

"We are thrilled that over 5,000 Islanders signed the anti-distracted-driving pledge last year. But it's absolutely critical that we convince all drivers that using a phone while driving is extremely dangerous and socially unacceptable," added Dean.

This year the campaign includes a new challenge to high schools across the Island to sign up as many students and community members as possible. The school with the highest number of pledges will win $2,000. Islanders can sign the online pledge at www.hot1055fm.com.

"We are pleased to be part of the annual Leave the Phone Alone Campaign again this year, and proud to use the HOT 105.5 airwaves to deliver such an important message to Islanders across PEI," says HOT 105.5's Jennifer Evans. "We hope that all of our listeners will take the pledge, and 'Leave the Phone Alone.'"

Drivers caught using a hand-held device while driving in Prince Edward Island face penalties of up to $400 and three demerit points, and more severe penalties if the offense results in injury or death.

"RCMP on Prince Edward Island are always working on getting the message through that distracted driving, no matter what the distraction is, contributes to significant risk, harm and sometimes death on our Island roadways," said Mark Crowther, RCMP Staff Sergeant. "We are encouraged by the campaign to leave the phone alone and applaud the partners involved, most notably the high-school students. We also look forward to applauding the many drivers who heed the campaign's advice and put lives ahead of texting, phoning and other distractions."

For more information about distracted diving, click 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_Altlantic or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2-ASK-IBC.

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

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

Image with caption: "Amanda Dean, second right, Vice-President, Atlantic, Insurance Bureau of Canada, along with RCMP Staff Sergeant Mark Crowther and Matt MacLeod, morning host at Hot 105.5 Radio in Charlottetown surrounded by students from various P.E.I high schools who attended the launch of a campaign against distracted driving today. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Brian McInnis (CNW Group/Insurance Bureau of Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150414_C7566_PHOTO_EN_14261.jpg

Image with caption: "Amanda Dean, right, Vice-President, Atlantic, Insurance Bureau of Canada, with P.E.I high school student Cassie Murray who signed a pledge to not drive while distracted. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Brian McInnis (CNW Group/Insurance Bureau of Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150414_C7566_PHOTO_EN_14262.jpg

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

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