Canadian Automobile Association (CAA)

Canadian Automobile Association (CAA)

October 04, 2011 06:30 ET

CAA Urges Young Canadians to Practise Safe Txt

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 4, 2011) - The Canadian Automobile Association is launching a campaign today to get young Canadians talking about the dangers of texting while driving.

CAA research shows texting while driving is the number one road safety concern of Canadians, surpassing even impaired driving, and those most likely to text and drive are youth.

"Today's young people are the first to grow up with smart phones and instant, constant communication via texting devices," says Jeff Walker, CAA vice president, public affairs. "They need to realize the danger that exists when you take that culture behind the wheel."

To get youth talking about the issue, CAA today launched its "Practise Safe Txt" video contest that will award prizes for the best short videos that show why it's important not to text and drive. All entries will be available online.

The $3,000 first prize will be awarded at a major distracted driving conference CAA is planning for spring 2012 in Toronto. There will also be prizes for finalists – and even for those who vote for their favourite videos – all in a bid to get the highest possible number of people viewing the videos and discussing the issue.

"We need a cultural shift, like the one that happened a generation or two ago with drinking and driving," says Walker. "It used to be OK to drink and drive, and now it's viewed as totally unacceptable. That's where we need to get to with texting and driving, particularly with the generation that is just coming of driving age now."

Details on the video contest are available at CAA.ca/safetxt.

CAA is a federation of nine clubs providing more than 5.6 million Members with exceptional emergency roadside service, complete automotive and travel services, member savings and comprehensive insurance services. CAA also advocates on issues of concern to its members, including road safety, the environment, mobility, infrastructure and consumer protection.

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