Insurance Bureau of Canada supports BC cellphone ban

Vancouver, BC – October 22, 2009 – Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) today applauded the British Columbia government for taking action on the serious road safety issue of distracted driving. Proposed legislative changes will prevent the use of hand-held cellphones and portable electronic devices while driving.

“There is no question that this legislation will make our province�s roads safer,” said Lindsay Olson, Vice-President, BC, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, IBC.

She added: “For the past year IBC has prohibited all employees from engaging in distracted driving, whether it is legal in their province or not. Our staff members have adapted to this requirement, and so will BC�s drivers.”

IBC has been at the forefront of this issue for the past four years, promoting awareness of the dangers of distracted driving through research and ad campaigns.

“Legislation is most effective when it has public acceptance, as we�ve seen with seatbelt and impaired driving laws,” Olson said. “We have made great strides over the past four years in changing attitudes about driver distraction, but these efforts must, and will, continue. The government has also wisely decided to embark on its own campaign to raise awareness about safe and responsible hands-free cellphone use while driving.”

Research has found that distraction is a factor in as many as 8 out of every 10 collisions. Using a hand-held communication device � whether talking, texting or Internet surfing � is one of the most common driver distractions on our roads today.

These activities are particularly dangerous because they can simultaneously distract a driver visually (eyes off the road), cognitively (mind off the road) and physically (hands off the wheel).

Over the next few weeks, IBC will be reviewing the proposed legislation in greater detail, and will be following its progress closely.

Insurance Bureau of Canada

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 insurance 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 $38 billion.