No. H 167/07
For release September 6, 2007
OTTAWA — The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced a regulation that requires all new cars, vans, light trucks and SUVs come equipped with electronic, anti-theft immobilizers. This amendment to the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations came into effect on September 1, 2007.
"The safety and security of the travelling public is a top priority of Canada's New Government," said Minister Cannon. "This measure will benefit all Canadians by further reducing vehicle theft, save lives, and make our cities and communities safer."
According to Statistics Canada, over 160,000 vehicles were stolen in this country in 2006, or more than 435 vehicles each day.
Immobilizers make it difficult for vehicle engines to be started without the proper disabling device. When armed, the immobilizer prevents the activation of a vehicle by blocking out one of the vehicle's control units. To start the vehicle, the appropriate combination code or electronic signal from the vehicle key must be sent to the control unit.
Currently, the majority of stolen vehicles are older models that do not have anti-theft immobilizers onboard. Although about 80 per cent of new vehicles sold in Canada are already equipped with the devices, the remaining vehicles are left unprotected. The new regulation means that eventually all vehicles on the road in Canada will be equipped with anti-theft devices.
"We are proud of helping develop a regulation that will deter criminals and improve safety for Canadians," said deputy director general Steven Chabot of the Sûreté du Québec and president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.
Transport Canada research indicates that installation of immobilizers reduces vehicle theft, especially theft committed by youth. Studies have demonstrated that an average of 244 to 345 serious injuries will be prevented and 11 lives saved every year as a result of immobilization systems.
"For years the Canadian Police Association has advocated for measures that will reduce serious crimes such as auto theft. We expect this regulation will have a real effect on decreasing the number of injuries and fatalities among Canadians as well as police officers," said Canadian Police Association president Tony Cannavino.
The National Committee to Reduce Auto Theft partnered with Transport Canada in the development of the regulation, and completed a study between 1999 and 2001, which identified that theft of vehicles by young offenders led to an average of 27 fatalities and 117 serious injuries each year.
Under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act, Transport Canada establishes safety regulations for newly manufactured and imported vehicles that are to be sold in Canada.
This regulatory amendment was published in Part II of Canada Gazette in March 2005. It requires that by September 1, 2007, all new vehicles having a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 4,536 kg, except emergency vehicles, be equipped with an immobilization system. These systems must be able to meet very stringent design and testing requirements.
Office of the Minister of Transport,
Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa
Transport Canada, Ottawa
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