TORONTO, Jan. 2, 2019 /CNW/ - It is back to work for many people today and while many of us have made resolutions for the New Year, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) encourages everyone to put safety first. An easy resolution to make, and keep, is to focus our attention on the road when driving and to spread the word about the dangers of distracted driving.
"We applaud the latest efforts of the Government of Ontario to make roads safer for drivers, passengers and pedestrians," said Kim Donaldson, Vice-President, Ontario, IBC. "Distracted driving has contributed to a greater than 10% increase in the frequency of vehicle damage claims made in the province over the last five years. For safety's sake, IBC urges you to encourage anyone you know who engages in this risky behaviour to drive more carefully."
According to the Government of Ontario's website, deaths from collisions caused by distracted driving have doubled since 2000. Government data on collisions from 2013 show that one person is injured in a distracted-driving collision every half hour and that a driver using a phone is four times more likely to crash than a driver focusing on the road.
As of January 1st, drivers caught using handheld electronic devices will be fined up to $1,000, get three demerit points and lose their licence for three days. For a second offence within five years, drivers will be fined up to $2,000, penalized six demerit points and lose their licence for six days.
These new, tough measures should make Ontario's roads safer for all of us, and they are welcome news to IBC and its member auto, home and business insurers.
IBC believes there is more to do to educate people on the very real dangers of distracted driving. Insurers have been working on this since 2007, such as through national public awareness campaigns, which include IBC's "Leave the phone alone – Don't text and drive" and #LikeLife campaigns.
Donaldson added, "If there is one resolution you need to keep in 2019, it's keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. And tell that to your friends and family. Make this year Ontario's safest ever."
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 126,000 Canadians, pays $9 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $54.7 billion.
For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow us on Twitter @InsuranceBureau 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
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