ICBC and BC Transplant partnership helps increase organ donation registrations by 15%

Source: ICBC: More than 125,000 customers registered their decision on organ donation in the year since ICBC driver licensing employees across B.C. began asking customers to register their decision on organ donation with BC Transplant.

“We’re really pleased with the overwhelming support for organ donation and that we’re able to make it easy for our customers to register their decision,” said Nicolas Jimenez, ICBC’s interim president and CEO. “These conversations at our driver licensing locations will save lives.”

You only need to register once in a lifetime but a decal on your driver’s licence is no longer enough to ensure you’re registered as an organ donor. You can register your wishes online at transplant.bc.ca or at ICBC driver licensing offices across the province.

“Our partnership with ICBC has led to more conversations about organ donation in our communities, and now more than ever, British Columbians are registering their wishes for organ donation,” said Leanne Appleton, BC Transplant’s provincial executive director. “Thanks to these decisions and the life-saving gifts of organ donors and their families, a record 479 people received a transplant in 2017.”

An earlier pilot in four ICBC locations indicated the value of having these conversations so the program was expanded to all ICBC driver licensing locations across the province. Based on the phenomenal success of the program, ICBC employees will continue asking customers to register their decision.

British Columbians and their families are increasingly making a generous decision for organ donation. In 2017, the life-saving gifts of 97 living donors and a record 121 deceased donors gave a second chance at life to 479 British Columbians suffering from organ failure.

More than 1.2 million people have registered their decision in the BC Organ Donor Registry. All British Columbians are encouraged to register their own decision about organ donation, and share their wishes with their family.

SUVs to steal the New York International Auto Show

By Tom Krisher:

Yes, there will be a few cars, but SUVs will capture most of the headlines at this year’s New York International Auto Show.

Automakers will be shoring up gaps in their SUV lineups and revamping models that already are popular in the hottest-selling part of the U.S. market.

Leading the way is Toyota with an all-new RAV4 compact SUV, which last year was the most popular vehicle in the U.S. that isn’t a truck. There are also new SUVs coming from Subaru, Volkswagen, Acura, Cadillac and Lincoln.

There won’t be many cars. Nissan will show off a redesigned Altima midsize sedan, while Toyota will roll out a new Corolla hatchback. Kia will unveil a new K900 big luxury sedan, among others.

But SUVs, which hit a record 43 per cent of U.S. sales last year at just over 7.3 million, according to Kelley Blue Book, will steal the show. Here are some wheels to watch:

CADILLAC XT4

The compact SUV is now the largest part of the U.S. market, and Cadillac hasn’t had a product to offer _ until now. The General Motors luxury brand rolled out the new XT4 SUV at a pre-show event in New York Tuesday night. It’s built on underpinnings specifically designed for the Cadillac brand and comes with sculpted looks and an interior that Cadillac says is luxurious and spacious. The company says it will have segment-leading back-seat legroom. It’s powered by a 237 horsepower 2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a nine-speed automatic transmission that will get an estimated 30 miles per gallon on the highway. The XT4 is available in the fall and starts at $35,790 including shipping.

VOLKSWAGEN ATLAS CROSS SPORT CONCEPT

Volkswagen broadens its growing SUV lineup with a five-seat version of the three-row Atlas. The company calls the Atlas Cross Sport a concept, but it’s almost ready to be built at the automaker’s U.S. factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The new version is 7.5 inches shorter than the seven-seat Atlas. The concept is powered by a 355-horsepower plug-in hybrid system with a V6 gasoline engine and a battery that can take it 26 miles on electric power. The hybrid concept can go from zero to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds, VW says. There’s also a “mild hybrid” with 310-horsepower from a V6 and a smaller hybrid battery. The SUV is due in showrooms sometime next year. Mileage and price were not announced.

TOYOTA RAV4

Toyota sold almost 408,000 RAV4 compact SUVs last year, making it the new American family car and the top-selling vehicle in the nation aside from Detroit’s popular big pickups. In an effort to stay on top, Toyota is revamping the RAV for the 2019 model year. The fifth-generation comes on all-new underpinnings that the company says will give it better handling and a smoother ride. It’s also slightly wider and a little lower. New looks are more chiseled and athletic, and the distance between the wheels grows by 1.2 inches for more passenger and cargo space. It comes standard with Toyota’s safety system that includes automatic emergency braking. It’s powered by a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed transmission, or a 2.5-litre gas-electric hybrid system with a continuously variable transmission. Horsepower, gas mileage and price weren’t released. The new RAV hits showrooms in the fall.

LINCOLN AVIATOR

Ford’s luxury brand finally gets an Explorer-like midsize SUV with three rows of seats to compete in the hot luxury SUV market. The company was to unveil the Aviator Wednesday. Few details were given, except that it will have a twin-turbo engine of undisclosed size as well as a plug-in hybrid option. Ford says it will have tapered lines and a roomy interior. It also gets standard safety features such as automatic emergency braking and can be opened and started with a smart phone. The Aviator goes on sale sometime next year. The price wasn’t disclosed.

Making Bad Drivers Pay

Last week we looked at how we might define a bad driver. Views were varied, but there were two well thought out responses that did more than just express an opinion. This week, let’s look at how bad drivers pay for the risk that they present to others using our highways.

At the top of the list is the Criminal Code of Canada. Part 8 deals with offences against the person and reputation. Here we find homicidecriminal negligence and motor vehicles, vessels & aircraft. These are reserved for the worst of the worst offenders and convictions may result in significant fines and / or time in jail.

Our Motor Vehicle Act and it’s associated Regulations create the framework of rules that we are supposed to follow when we drive. Disobey one of these and you might receive a violation ticket with a prescribed fine. The fine amount should reflect the seriousness of the offence, the more dangerous the act, the higher the fine.

There are some problems with this system. First among them is that the fine may be a life altering penalty for those with no financial means and the bite of a gnat for those with significant resources.

Yes, the court system exists to reduce the penalties to be more fair in the circumstances, but my experience there is that those of limited means seldom take advantage of it. Also, there is no provision to increase the fine beyond the prescribed fine in traffic court.

Some countries use a Day Fine system where the penalty is based on the offenders daily income level to make the penalty more appropriate.

If the circumstances are out of the ordinary but do not call for criminal sanctions, the offending driver may be served with an appearance notice instead of a violation ticket. A provincial court judge will hear the case and may apply a variety of penalties on conviction. These may range from probation orders to fines, prohibitions from driving and jail sentences.

The second problem that comes to mind is the high threshold for sanction of experienced bad drivers in the Driver Improvement Program.

Additions to the penalty system include the Immediate Roadside Prohibition program (IRP) for alcohol and drug impaired drivers and the Vehicle Impoundment program for the IRP, excessive speeding, driving while unlicensed, prohibited or suspended, stunting and not being seated properly on a motorcycle.

The Driver Penalty Point Premium is based on driving convictions and paid to ICBC each year. The more penalty points you are assigned, the more you pay. This part of the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations is overdue for revision. A red light conviction is 2 points, as is parking next to a yellow curb if you are ticketed for disobeying a traffic control device.

The Driver Risk Premium is meant to penalize drivers who have shown that they present a significant danger others through a driving related Criminal Code conviction, a 10 penalty point violation, excessive speeding or a distracted driving conviction.

If you are an at fault driver in a collision, you will either lose your safe driving insurance discount or the possibility of forgiveness should you experience another at fault collision.

Finally, the courts, RoadSafetyBC in Part 2 or the roadside prohibition requirements of Part 4 of the Motor Vehicle Act serve to remove driving priviliges entirely as a penalty.

This is quite an array of possibilities, isn’t it? With all of this in place, one wonders why there are still so much bad driving behaviour on our roads.

IBC signs on to UN Environment’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance

Today, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) announced that it has signed on to UN Environment’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance.

 

Endorsed by the UN Secretary-General and the chief executives of many of the world’s leading insurance companies, the Principles for Sustainable Insurance serve as a global framework for the insurance industry to address environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities—and a global initiative to strengthen the insurance industry’s contribution as risk managers, insurers and investors to building resilient, inclusive and sustainable communities and economies.

“As Canada’s trade association for home, auto, and business insurers, IBC recognizes that climate change is a current and growing threat that will have an increasingly large cost on society,” said Don Forgeron, President and CEO, IBC. “As a signatory to UN Environment’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance, IBC will continue to follow and act on the outlined principles and promote the initiative’s important learnings through our involvement with member companies, governments, and all Canadians.”

“IBC joining UN Environment’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative (PSI) is a shining example of leadership and commitment by the Canadian insurance industry,” said Butch Bacani, who leads the PSI at the UN. The PSI was launched at the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, and has led to the largest collaborative initiative between the UN and the insurance industry. Nearly 120 organizations worldwide have adopted the four Principles for Sustainable Insurance, including insurers representing more than 25% of world premium volume and USD 14 trillion in assets under management.

“The public and the insurance industry are seeing first-hand the serious and sometimes-deadly effects of climate change,” added Forgeron. “We need look no further than the tragic flooding in southern Alberta in 2013, and the devastating wildfires over the last two summers in Alberta and British Columbia. Severe weather and natural disasters are happening now with more frequency and with greater intensity. By joining the PSI, IBC is reinforcing its commitment to work with governments, stakeholders, and all Canadians to address risk, encourage mitigation and adaptation, and to tackle the serious effects of our changing climate.”

This June, the PSI and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the leading global network of more than 1,500 cities, towns and regions, will launch “Insurance Development Goals for Cities” at the ICLEI World Congress in Montréal. These are risk management, insurance and investment goals to strengthen the global insurance industry’s contribution to achieving UN Sustainable Development Goal 11 to “make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.” In 2015, world leaders adopted the UN Sustainable Development Goals—17 global goals with the aim of ending poverty, protecting the planet, and ensuring prosperity for all.

“We look forward to working together with IBC and other PSI members in turning the principles into practice and in urgently addressing key sustainability challenges and opportunities—from climate change, natural disasters and pollution; to renewable energy, sustainable oceans and resilient cities,” added Bacani.

Additional links:

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 $9 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $52 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC’s Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC 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

Ford recalls almost 1.4M cars; steering wheel can come loose

DETROIT _ Under pressure from U.S. regulators, Ford is recalling nearly 1.4 million midsize cars in North America _ including 62,479 in Canada _ because the steering wheels can detach from the steering column and drivers could lose control.

The recall covers certain Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ cars from the 2014 through 2018 model years.

Ford says steering wheel bolts can loosen over time. The company says it knows of two crashes and one injury caused by the problem.

Dealers will replace the bolts with longer ones that have more aggressive threads and a nylon patch to stop them from coming loose. Owners will be notified by mail the week of April 30, and parts are expected to be available by then.

Just over 1.3 million cars in the U.S. are being recalled, with the rest in Canada and Mexico.

The recall comes about five months after the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into steering wheels falling off of Fusions from the 2014 through 2016 model years.

The safety agency said in documents that it began the probe after receiving three complaints, including one from a driver from Georgia who reported that the steering wheel in a 2015 Fusion fell into their lap when turning into a gas station.

Two other people reported that the bolt attaching the wheel to the steering column came loose while driving and had to be retightened at a repair shop. At the time the agency had no reports of crashes or injuries.

Ford isn’t the only manufacturer to issue a recall for steering wheels coming off. In February, Hyundai recalled 43,900 vehicles which were at risk of the steering wheel breaking away from the steering column. That recall affected the 2018 Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport SUVs.

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