Anti-theft devices deter vehicle thieves

    OTTAWA, Sept. 6 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister
of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced a regulation
that requires all new cars, vans, light trucks and SUVs come equipped with
electronic, anti-theft immobilizers. This amendment to the Motor Vehicle
Safety Regulations came into effect on September 1, 2007.
    "The safety and security of the travelling public is a top priority of
Canada's New Government," said Minister Cannon. "This measure will benefit all
Canadians by further reducing vehicle theft, save lives, and make our cities
and communities safer."
    According to Statistics Canada, over 160,000 vehicles were stolen in this
country in 2006, or more than 435 vehicles each day.
    Immobilizers make it difficult for vehicle engines to be started without
the proper disabling device. When armed, the immobilizer prevents the
activation of a vehicle by blocking out one of the vehicle's control units. To
start the vehicle, the appropriate combination code or electronic signal from
the vehicle key must be sent to the control unit.
    Currently, the majority of stolen vehicles are older models that do not
have anti-theft immobilizers onboard. Although about 80 per cent of new
vehicles sold in Canada are already equipped with the devices, the remaining
vehicles are left unprotected. The new regulation means that eventually all
vehicles on the road in Canada will be equipped with anti-theft devices.
    "We are proud of helping develop a regulation that will deter criminals
and improve safety for Canadians," said deputy director general Steven Chabot
of the Sûreté du Québec and president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of
    Transport Canada research indicates that installation of immobilizers
reduces vehicle theft, especially theft committed by youth. Studies have
demonstrated that an average of 244 to 345 serious injuries will be prevented
and 11 lives saved every year as a result of immobilization systems.
    "For years the Canadian Police Association has advocated for measures
that will reduce serious crimes such as auto theft. We expect this regulation
will have a real effect on decreasing the number of injuries and fatalities
among Canadians as well as police officers,' said Canadian Police Association
president Tony Cannavino.
    The National Committee to Reduce Auto Theft partnered with Transport
Canada in the development of the regulation, and completed a study between
1999 and 2001, which identified that theft of vehicles by young offenders led
to an average of 27 fatalities and 117 serious injuries each year.
    Under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act, Transport Canada establishes safety
regulations for newly manufactured and imported vehicles that are to be sold
in Canada.
    This regulatory amendment was published in Part II of Canada Gazette in
March 2005. It requires that by September 1, 2007, all new vehicles having a
gross vehicle weight rating of less than 4,536 kg, except emergency vehicles,
be equipped with an immobilization system. These systems must be able to meet
very stringent design and testing requirements.

For further information:

For further information: Natalie Sarafian, Press Secretary, Office of
the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613)
991-0700; Jessie Chauhan, Communications, Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613)
993-0055; Transport Canada is online at Subscribe to news
releases and speeches at and keep up-to-date on the
latest from Transport Canada. This news release may be made available in
alternative formats for persons with visual disabilities.

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