Award-winning Be Smart. Be Safe. Tour returns to London Sunfest with safety
messages and a fashion show designed to save lives

The DUMB Car 2.0 simulator and a donation to Swim to Survive highlight 2010 tour

LONDON, ON, July 10 /CNW/ - The Be Smart. Be Safe. Tour is at Sunfest this weekend as part of Insurance Bureau of Canada's (IBC's) award-winning community outreach program. Now in its sixth year, the tour uses entertaining, interactive displays, prizes and family fun to teach people how to lead safer lives and protect their property.

One of the highlights on Saturday was a fashion show designed to save lives. IBC's Be Smart. Be Safe. Life Jacket Fashion Show was created to remind boaters that every member of the family - even the family dog - should wear a proper personal flotation device (PFD).

"IBC has a long history of working with governments and safety organizations to make Canadian communities safer, and we like to support organizations in the communities we visit that are also committed to helping people lead safer lives," said Heather Mack, IBC's Government Relations Manager for Ontario.

After the fashion show, IBC, on behalf of Canada's home, car and business insurers, presented a donation of $5,000 to the Lifesaving Society to support its Swim to Survive program in the London area.

"The Lifesaving Society believes that a minimum swimming ability is a required life skill for survival, and if every Canadian could meet the Swim to Survive standard, the number of drownings could be reduced considerably," said Barbara Byers, Public Education Director of the Lifesaving Society. "We're very grateful for the support of IBC and the Be Smart. Be Safe. Tour to help provide the opportunity for children in the London area to learn this skill," she added.

Another highlight of the tour is IBC's popular DUMB Car 2.0 driving simulator, which demonstrates the dangers of distracted driving including talking on a cellphone and text messaging. It also allows drivers to practise other skills, such as driving in adverse weather, avoiding road hazards and identifying the point-of-no-return at traffic lights. In addition, an eco-driving segment teaches drivers how to improve fuel efficiency and reduce their carbon footprints.

"We are proud to have been a leader in the fight against distracted driving, having launched our campaign back in 2007," said Mack. "Most provinces have introduced legislation banning the use of hand-held electronic devices while driving. But we want to remind drivers that 'hands-free' doesn't mean 'home free.' Research confirms that even when drivers talk on a hands-free cellphone, they are still four times more likely to have a collision," she added.

The tour also shows homeowners how to protect their property and make their homes more resilient to effects of the increased severe weather that has become the norm. Tour displays highlight relatively easy techniques that Canadians can use to protect their homes, including changing the grading around the house or installing backflow valves in the basement.

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. The P&C industry employs over 110,000 Canadians, pays more than $6 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $39 billion.

Note to editors: View a short video on the Be Smart. Be Safe. Ontario tour by clicking on the link below. This footage is provided for the free and unrestricted use of media outlets.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

For further information: For further information: Ellen Woodger, 416-483-2358

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