Road safety and survival messages highlight The 2008 Drive To Survive Tour

    IBC persuading distracted drivers to change their ways

    TORONTO, June 3 /CNW/ - The shiny trucks and trailers have been tuned up
and polished. Two D.U.M.B. Cars are revving up for another busy summer. Eight
Ontario student ambassadors have graduated from injury prevention boot camp
and are ready to hit the road to deliver important safety messages to
communities across the province.
    Canada's home, car and business insurers today kicked off their
award-winning community outreach program, The Drive to Survive Tour, to help
Ontarians lead safer lives. Now in its third consecutive year, the tour will
feature strategies for preparing for natural disasters, home safety tips and a
crash course on how to avoid driver distractions.
    "The D.U.M.B. Car (Distractions Undermining Motorist Behaviour) is an
important feature of the 2008 tour because distracted driving is still one of
the most serious road safety issues in Canada today," said Don Forgeron, Vice
President, Ontario, Insurance Bureau of Canada.
    To persuade distracted drivers to change their ways, IBC developed the
D.U.M.B. Car, which made its debut in Toronto in January of 2007. IBC was soon
flooded with invitations from communities across the country to have the
simulator at their events.
    "Driver distraction is a serious problem," said Transportation Minister
Jim Bradley. "That is why we are working together with our road safety
partners to raise awareness and to send a clear message - safe driving
requires your undivided attention."
    New to the tour this year is a component to address the growing threat of
natural disasters as a result of climate change. When disaster strikes, it
often takes first responders and emergency workers some time to reach everyone
who needs help.
    "This means that each of us should be prepared to survive for the first
72 hours following a natural disaster," said Forgeron. "This summer, we are
going to raise awareness of the need to be prepared and also show people what
they should have in their own emergency kits to ensure their safety and the
safety of their families."
    "Unfortunately emergency situations have a way of arriving unannounced,"
said Yasir Naqvi, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Community Safety
and Correctional Services. "By being prepared with a 72-hour emergency
survival kit, Ontarians are making a valuable investment in their safety and
the safety of their families."
    A team of Ontario university students was hired for the summer to act as
youth ambassadors with the tour. "It's the perfect summer job," said
University of Waterloo student Zach Budd. "We get to travel across the
province and talk to people about safety. When they participate in the various
demos, you realize that what we're doing could actually save lives and that
feels really good."
    Again this summer, the tour will visit more than 50 festivals and fairs
in communities across the province, exposing thousands of people to important
safety messages. In the coming weeks, the trailers will travel to Burlington,
Windsor, Oakville, Kitchener and Muskoka before heading up to Ottawa for
Canada Day.

    Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association
representing Canada's private home, car and business insurers. Its member
companies represent nearly 95% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance
market in Canada. The P&C industry employs over 104,000 Canadians, pays more
than $6 billion in taxes to the federal and provincial governments, and has a
total premium base of $35 billion.

For further information:

For further information: Ellen Woodger: (416) 483-2358; or James
Geuzebroek: (416) 362-2031 ext. 4364

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