CAA applauds continued calls to protect Ontario motorists

A new report released today by Aviva Canada revealing the frequency and depth of auto insurance fraud in Ontario, reinforces CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) continued advocacy efforts calling on the provincial government to make regulating the towing industry a priority.

In 2017, Ontario’s Consumer Protection Act established certain measures to safeguard motorists. Tow operators are prevented from charging excessive amounts for service, and drivers have the option to choose where to have their vehicle towed to. Other measures include:

  • Giving motorists the option to pay with a credit card
  • Providing an itemized invoice listing the services provided and costs involved before receiving any payment
  • Disclose if they are receiving a financial incentive for towing a vehicle to a particular storage facility or repair shop

CAA has been actively working with stakeholders and government officials to work towards provincial regulation of the towing industry.

Regulating the industry would enhance consumer protection for motorists. It would provide consistent levels of training for operators, and ensure the vitality of an important industry on our roads.

“The need for provincial regulation of the tow truck industry is underscored by the continuing challenges related to consumer protection and choice on Ontario’s roads,” said Elliott Silverstein, manager, government relations at CAA South Central Ontario.

Although collisions represent a small portion of towing services conducted in Ontario, these incidents are considerably more expensive, are susceptible to fraudulent behaviours and activities, and occur when motorists are most vulnerable.

“Fraud in the auto insurance industry is multi-faceted, and provincial towing regulation is one of many potential solutions,” said Silverstein. “The findings in Aviva’s latest report reinforces CAA’s efforts to encourage the provincial government to help resolve challenges in this sector, and keep motorists safe across Ontario if and when they require assistance.”

In August 2017, CAA engaged Ipsos to survey Ontario motorists about their knowledge of their rights and the rules and regulations for the towing industry.

The research indicated that only 51 per cent of motorists said they felt educated about their rights, and do not feel protected. The survey also showed that 53 per cent of respondents were not aware that costs and requirements for towing differ across Ontario.

About CAA South Central Ontario
For over a hundred years, CAA has been helping Canadians stay mobile, safe and protected. CAA South Central Ontario is one of nine auto clubs across Canada providing roadside assistance, travel, insurance services and Member savings for our over 2 million Members.

SOURCE CAA South Central Ontario

Revolutionary Change to the New Driver Experience in Canada

NEWS PROVIDED BY

InsureMy Inc.

InsureMy Inc., a Calgary-based insurance brokerage, in partnership with Trak Global Group, the UK based market leader in insurance telematics, today announced the official launch of Drive With Carrot – a power play to create a new generation of safer, smarter drivers, and improve road safety for all.

Safe Driving is Rewarding…
As the exclusive Canadian distributor of Carrot’s New Driver program, the InsureMy product will allow new drivers to track and self-regulate their driving behaviour through an app-based tool. Using the technology of telematics, driving data such as speed, cornering, braking, and harsh stops and starts will be collected by and delivered directly to the driver’s smartphone app, providing a score for each trip. The program offers young drivers recommendations to help improve their performance behind the wheel, and for those maintaining consistently good scores, it’s all about the rewards. Cash rewards are issued on a reloadable credit card quarterly, with the earning potential of up to $200 per year. Not to mention the discount to a new driver’s policy just for enrolling in the program. A powerful example of how consumers can put the data they own to work for their personal benefit. The information gathered is accessible only by the New Driver and Coach associated with the program – InsureMy can only access this information with the consent of the customer.

Not Just Better Drivers – Better Coaches Too…
The Program also provides parents of Carrot’s new drivers with an online dashboard of their own to logon and review their new driver’s performance – this brings monumental change to coaching. Not only does this give parents peace of mind when they cannot sit passenger-side, but using fact-based data to steer their drivers towards smarter behaviours on the road takes the emotion out of the equation and reduces the stress in the young driver-coach relationship.

Experience Counts…
“The partnership with Trak Global just made sense, they’ve implemented this program in the UK and countries across the globe with stellar results. They’ve also been recognized internationally for their contribution to improving safety amongst novice drivers,” notes InsureMy President, Hugh McTavish, speaking in particular of Carrot UK’s track record of reducing road traffic collisions amongst its newly qualified policyholders by 42%. “We set out to change the way we approach insurance, to be more than just a policy provider in the eyes of our customers. Bringing this type of ground breaking change to the driver safety and the new driver experience in Canada is just the beginning,” concluded McTavish.

The team at Trak Global has worked tirelessly to adapt the app for its Canadian debut and they couldn’t be more pleased with the results. “Guiding just one more partner on this journey to success is thrilling for us, we are proud to be at the forefront of driver safety on an international scale,” Nick Corrie, CEO of Trak Global Group. “InsureMy has invested an unparalleled amount of effort into bringing New Driver to life in Canada and this just solidifies our choice to work with such a dedicated provider, working toward our common goal.”

Connected Insurance Solutions for a Connected World…
Adding to the already robust line of telematics-based insurance products, the Carrot New Driver app will be available for download on both iOS and Android platforms effective March 8th, 2018.

To put an InsureMy policy to work for you, or for further information on the complete line of InsureMy products, contact Gord Mansfield at 1-844-410-1896.

About InsureMy Inc.:
InsureMy is a full service insurance brokerage, emerging as a market leader in the management and delivery of data based insurance products. Empowering customers to manage costs, regulate driving performance, and minimize their environmental impact by leveraging technological advances in the collection and practical application of data. For information please visit, http://www.insuremy.ca.

About Trak Global Group
Headquartered in the UK, Trak Global Group has been creating results-driven telematics solutions for the insurance, rental, fleet, and automotive industries since 2009. The Group works with some of the world’s biggest brands in these sectors, using technology and big data to help manage driver risk. The Group’s innovation hub, Trak Labs, is dedicated to developing IP and collaborating with other organisations, from start-ups to academic institutions. The wide range of services on offer to corporate partners includes anything from market research, proposition development and product design, to UX/UI design, prototyping and data analytics. For more information, visit http://www.trakglobalgroup.com.

SOURCE InsureMy Inc.

www.insuremy.ca.

Recycling child car seats just got easier

Every year, an estimated quarter of a million child car seats end up in landfills in Ontario alone. The Co-operators is pleased to announce that its advisors are helping provide an alternative for environmentally-minded local residents. Through a partnership with Green Propeller Recycling, the only not-for-profit child car seat recycling facility in Ontario, old child car seats can now be dropped off at local Co-operators advisors’ offices in many Ontario communities to be recycled.

“For decades, the only choice people had to dispose of child car seats that were damaged, expired or which children had outgrown, was to throw it away,” said Graham Lewis, founder and executive director of Green Propeller Recycling. “We are working to change that, and by partnering with local Co-operators offices, it is now easier than ever to be part of the solution and keep your child car seats out of landfills.”

Green Propeller Recycling is a not-for-profit social enterprise that employs people with barriers to employment to manually deconstruct the used child car seats. This allows the materials to be repurposed to make items such as tote bags, backpacks and reusable steel. The additional drop-off locations announced today represent a very significant expansion of its network in Ontario.

“As an organization committed to making a positive social and environmental impact, we’re pleased to support Green Propeller’s dual mission of recycling child car seats while providing job opportunities to people who face barriers to employment,” said Rob Wesseling, president and CEO of The Co-operators. “People want to do the right thing and recycle their child car seats, and our local advisors are now making it more convenient for them to do that.”

In addition to serving as drop-off locations, The Co-operators has made a financial contribution to Green Propeller Recycling. Participating Co-operators advisors’ offices are located in the following southern Ontario communities:

Ancaster

Georgetown

Orangeville

Bolton

Guelph

Paris

Brampton

Hamilton

Scarborough

Brantford

Kitchener 

Shelburne

Burlington

Listowel

Stoney Creek

Cambridge

Markdale 

Stratford

Dundalk

Milton  

Toronto

Dundas

Mitchell   

Waterdown

Elmira

Mount Forest

Waterloo

Fergus

North York 

Wingham

Those with child car seats to be recycled are asked to register online at www.greenpropellerrecycling.com, which will then direct them to nearby drop-off locations. For all Co-operators clients, the fee of $15 plus tax to offset the cost of labour will be waived.

About The Co-operators:

The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian co-operative with more than $48 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt and Corporate Knights’ Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada. For more information, visit www.cooperators.ca.

About Green Propeller Recycling:

Green Propeller Recycling incorporated as a not-for-profit / social enterprise in March 2017, quickly establishing itself as the first not-for-profit in Canada to recycle child car safety seats. The need to create an experienced board of directors, who could guide the not-for-profit into a sustainable organization, with a solid vision, mission and value statement over the next three years was crucial.

Green Propeller Recycling used the guiding vision, mission and value statement to align its hiring practices into an operation that values individuals from all aspects of our community. Hiring persons who identify as having a barrier to employment is a key element of the operational structure. Recycling consumer products not currently being recycled is only part of the circular economy, individuals whom have struggled to find sustainable employment, are often overlooked for employment. Green Propeller Recycling refers to this as the value of human capital.

Protecting the environment whilst creating sustainable long-term employment is written into the core of Green Propeller Recycling. Child car seat recycling is a registered program of “1 Less Seat 1 World 2 Keep”. For more information, visit www.greenpropellerrecycling.com.

SOURCE The Co-operators

The Not-So-Professional Driver

I’m one of those odd drivers who tries their best to drive at or below the posted speed limit. I include the word below here as sometimes there is a need to slow down to less than the posted speed limit for safety reasons. This often has consequences for me when I have to share the road with other drivers who do not subscribe to my philosophy on road safety. A good example of this is looking in my rear view mirror and finding the Volvo logo on the grille of a heavy transport truck following me closely enough that I could count the bugs stuck to it.

This incident occurred on the Trans Canada Highway westbound between the Alberta border and Golden on a relatively long and steep downgrade while I was returning home from a family wedding in Banff. Road conditions were not the greatest as the winter damage had been done and road maintenance had not yet caught up. The shoulders were gravel covered, the lane markings were poor or non-existent and the road surface itself was uneven in places.

My preferred solution to this is to simply pull over and let the offender by. Better to inconvenience myself than to become involved in a collision. In this case, I had to wait to find a good place to do this and sweat out having that Volvo logo looming large behind me. The truck passed me before I was able to do so, but I was able to read the company name off the door of the truck cab.

If you are not content to just shrug your shoulders and mutter something about the driver’s ancestry under your breath, what can be done about incidents like this one?

Google is your friend. Most trucking firms today have a web site with contact information on it that you can use to telephone or send e-mail. A company that cares will listen to your side of the story, speak to their driver about it and take action that is fair and in their best interest. Repeated complaints about the same driver could result in dismissal.

Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement (CVSE) will accept complaints about commercial vehicle driving. Your complaint will be directed to the regional CVSE manager where the incident occurred. The manager has two options open to them, contacting the company and advising CVSE personnel in the region to keep the company in mind. This may have more weight than your personal complaint to the company as a clean National Safety Code record is important to a reputable trucking firm.

The police can take enforcement action based solely on your complaint if it is a credible one and likely to result in a conviction in traffic court. Take a look at the article on how to make an effective driving complaint to the police for more information. Like CVSE, the police are going to need either the licence plate information or company name on the truck itself. The licence plate information from the trailer is helpful, but much less useful for follow up.

The biggest hurdle with enforcement action is that you will be required to travel back to the jurisdiction of the incident to supply witness testimony if the ticket is disputed. The courts will not cover your travel expenses so it will be up to you to foot the bill.

Changes are on the horizon. When traffic court is replaced with adjudication by RoadSafetyBC witness information could be supplied in writing or by teleconference. Phase one of the two stage change process is currently under way and that is the implementation of electronic ticketing and fine payment. When that is completed, the shift to adjudication will occur, but there is no time line information available for that change. Enabling provisions for the system were added to the Motor Vehicle Act in 2012.

Cst. Tim Schewe (Ret.) runs DriveSmartBC, a community web site about traffic safety in British Columbia. For 25 years he was an officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, including five years on general duty, 20 in traffic and 10 as a collision analyst responsible of conducting technical investigations of collisions. He retired from policing in 2006 but continues to be active in traffic safety through the DriveSmartBC web site, teaching seminars and contributing content to newspapers and web sites.

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B.C. to upgrade red light cameras to catch speeders at crash prone intersections

VICTORIA _ Red light cameras are being upgraded around British Columbia to help identify vehicles speeding through intersections.

The provincial government says the new technology will be installed on cameras at intersections where there are a high number of speed-related crashes.

Officials will analyze data from crash-prone intersections to decide which cameras will be upgraded for speed enforcement.

Signs will warn approaching drivers of the enhanced enforcement.

The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General says an average of 84 crashes occur at red light camera sites every year and speed is one of the main factors, with an average of 10,500 vehicles travelling at least 30 kilometres per hour over the posted speed limit through each location.

Four other provinces already use automated speed enforcement cameras, and the ministry says the devices are a common practice internationally.

Mike Farnworth, the minister of public safety and the solicitor general, says the upgraded cameras are aimed at making everyone safer by slowing the fastest drivers at problem intersections.

“There is very little public sympathy for those who flout the law and speed excessively through known, high-crash intersections. The signs will be there to warn you. If you ignore them and put others in danger, you will be ticketed,” Farnworth said Thursday in a news release.

The ministry says the upgrades are more transparent than the provincial photo radar program that ended in 2001, which used unmarked vans in random locations, issued tickets at low speeding thresholds and tied up police resources with two officers staffing each van.

Neil Dubord of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police says the new enforcement will be effective at multi-lane intersections where it is difficult to safely stop speeders.

Ministry data shows 700 million vehicles travelled through 140 intersections around B.C. where red light cameras are located and, of those, 120-million vehicles were speeding, and 1.5 million were travelling 30 km-h or more above the limit.

Drivers Make Two Kinds of Mistakes

I watched a woman run a stop sign the other day while I was out for a walk. I knew that this was a route that she traveled often and she should be familiar with stopping there. I could see that she was checking around her as she approached the T intersection so I’m going to assume that she was in a hurry and made the conscious decision to slow down instead of stop.

She stopped at the community mailboxes just in front of me and got out of her vehicle. I briefly considered mentioning her decision not to stop and asking her to be more careful as this was the time of day when children could be present coming home from school.

I worried about the possibility of a confrontation instead of a friendly discussion of viewpoints and decided that I wasn’t feeling flameproof. I walked by and kept my thoughts to myself.

The SUV driven by the lady was carrying the identification of a major Canadian corporation. Communicating with them would not be difficult and I could suggest that they should take their representative to task for her action.

Given my experiences making driving complaints, I discarded this idea and did not even briefly consider reporting to the police.

I’ve returned to the situation in my mind a number of times since then and conclude that drivers make two kinds of mistakes, honest ones and deliberate decisions to disregard the rules of the road.

I try my best every time that I get behind the wheel to pay attention to what I am doing, follow the rules to the letter and drive defensively. It would be mortifying to cause problems for other road users but despite my best intentions, I make mistakes. No matter how hard I try, I will never be the perfect driver that I want to be.

When I fail in my driving duties, I might feel the sting of a traffic ticket, suffer embarassment, or need the cushion of insurance to help compensate for my error.

Hmm, that’s pretty much exactly what the drivers who deliberately disregard the laws face too.

Our system doesn’t really differentiate between the two until that behaviour becomes chronic or another road user is physically injured or killed. Even then in most cases the cushion of insurance is still there to take hurting ourselves out of the consequences of our bad decision making. The courts and RoadSafetyBC sometimes seem ill prepared to apply what the community sees as an appropriate penalty.

Perhaps I should have stopped and politely pointed out to this lady it is not acceptable to run stop signs in our neighbourhood. If she is a reasonable person maybe that is all that is required to insure that she stops next time.

At the other end of the scale, if you deliberately decide to disobey and kill someone, that should be the end of your driving career. Period. Full Stop. No do overs.

What do you think?

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