IBC kicks off 2016 "Leave the Phone Alone" campaign

CHARLOTTETOWN, June 21, 2016 /CNW/ - Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), Hot 105.5 FM and the PEI government want you to "Leave the Phone Alone – Don't text and drive."

"We need to work toward zero tolerance of distracted driving," said Amanda Dean, Vice-President, Atlantic, IBC. "Driver distraction is a factor in four-million collisions every year across North America. We have to bring that number down."

Texting or talking on a cellphone is one of the most serious road-safety issues in Canada today. A texting driver is 23 times more likely to crash than a non-texting driver.

"The safety of travellers is my department's top priority," said Paula Biggar, PEI's transportation, infrastructure and energy minister. "If drivers leave their mobile devices alone and focus on driving, we will reduce the risk to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians."

This year, the "Leave the Phone Alone – Don't text and drive" campaign will introduce new social media features and IBC's distracted driving simulator, where people can actually try to drive and text on a video simulator. In addition, the RCMP and police will run distracted driving checkpoints.

A person caught using a hand-held device while driving faces a $575 to $1,275 fine and five demerit points. Newly licensed drivers face an automatic 30-day suspension for a first offence and 90-day suspensions for subsequent offences. The penalties will be more severe if the offence results in injury or death.

Earlier this year, IBC launched its distracted driving campaign, #likelife. The campaign centres on a video that raises awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. The video has had more than 100,000 views on YouTube and Twitter. 

"Since the launch of the 'Leave the Phone Alone – Don't text and drive' campaign in 2013, nearly 12,500 Islanders have signed the pledge to leave their phone alone," said Dean. "But we still have work to do in convincing all drivers that using your phone while driving is inherently dangerous and socially unacceptable."

By signing the pledge, Islanders are agreeing to leave the phone alone when behind the wheel. Sign the pledge here.

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 120,000 Canadians, pays $8.2 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $49 billion

For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and @IBC_Atlantic 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: Ellen Woodger, Consultant, Media Relations, 416-483-2358, ellen.woodger@sympatico.ca

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