The Co-operators’ campaign to improve safety on the roads by reducing distracted driving

Monday, 04 January 2016

In December 2015 Canadian ICMIF member The Co-operators released the Distracted Driving in Canada: Making Progress, Taking Action report in conjunction with the Canadian Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF).  The report provides a snapshot of activities underway in Canada to reduce distracted driving. Based on an environmental scan TIRF completed in partnership with Drop It and Drive (D.I.A.D.) earlier in 2015, the report identified the need for a national action plan for Canada to combat the problem and recommended the creation of a National Working Group on Distracted Driving that can work with a diverse set of stakeholders to develop such a strategy. In the months ahead, TIRF will take the lead on creating the working group, with the ongoing support of The Co-operators.

The report contains the results of an environmental scan and compiles statistics, recent initiatives and lessons learned about distracted driving strategies throughout the country, to establish a solid foundation upon which future activities may be planned and coordinated.

"Because distracted driving is still an emerging issue, and one that falls under provincial jurisdiction, bringing together stakeholders to help develop a strategic plan at a national level will be very valuable work," said Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators. "The information in this report will serve as a resource for the National Working Group on Distracted Driving as well as decision-makers across the country who share our concern for road safety."

"The rapid pace of activity in response to this issue is unprecedented. Work is being undertaken on multiple fronts, both across jurisdictions and across sectors, to increase knowledge, track outcomes and identify solutions," said Robyn Robertson, president and CEO of TIRF. "Increased coordination and sharing of these activities can help to maximize the results of our collective efforts."  

Also during December, The Co-operators ran a social media campaign across platforms including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter called “#‎12daysofholidaydriving”. Over the course of twelve days the engaging campaign highlighted various forms of activities and distractions which people should avoid whilst driving.

Distracted Driving in Canada: Making Progress, Taking Action is based on information collected from a broad cross-section of stakeholders from all three levels of government, police departments, insurance companies, health care institutions, non-governmental, academic and community organizations.