June 1, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - This year's Be Safe. Be Smart, an interactive road safety awareness campaign, was officially launched at Leo Hayes High School in Fredericton.
Justice and Consumer Affairs Minister T.J. Burke joined students, law enforcement officials and others as the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) launched the tour, which also encourages injury prevention, emergency preparedness and steps to reduce property damage caused by water.
"It is vital that we work together to reduce the number of deaths and injuries that occur annually in our province due to unsafe driving," said Burke. "It is for this reason that we want to reach out to young New Brunswickers and encourage them to develop good driving habits from the start."
The Be Smart. Be Safe tour will travel through New Brunswick in June. It will once again feature the D.U.M.B. Car (Distractions Undermining Motorist Behaviour), a driving simulator.
This year's upgraded model will present a broader range of road safety issues, including driving in adverse weather, avoiding road hazards and identifying the point-of-no-return at traffic lights.
"Studies indicate that 80 per cent of collisions are the result of driver distraction," said Bill Adams, vice-president, Atlantic, IBC. "That is why we believe it is important to bring our interactive road safety awareness campaign to all New Brunswickers, including high school students who are, or will be, new drivers."
The tour will also feature a child-focused display on injury prevention at home, an emergency preparedness exhibit, and two new displays that focus on reducing property damage caused by water.
Information will be available at some locations of the First Chance driver discount program, which entitles new drivers to a credit of three to six years' driving experience as long as they avoid any driving infraction.
"I encourage New Brunswickers of all ages to visit the Be Smart. Be Safe tour stop closest to their community," said Burke.
More information, including an up-to-date calendar featuring stops along the tour, is available online.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Elaine Bell, communications, Justice and Consumer Affairs, 506-453-6543; Corinne MacLellan, tour manager, Atlantic Canada, Be Smart. Be Safe, 902-209-3234.