Ottawa, Ontario – Electronic stability control (ESC) will be mandatory on all new vehicles sold in Canada, effective August 31, 2011. The ruling corresponds with a U.S. requirement that will take effect at the same time.

ESC is designed to automatically apply braking to certain wheels when a vehicle is skidding, and may also cut engine power to help the driver maintain proper control.

“Losing control of your vehicle is not only scary, but it could prove fatal, and this new safety technology is proven to help drivers keep control,” said Transport Minister John Baird. “By making electronic stability control compulsory, Canada is ensuring that vehicles on our roads will be equipped with greater control during our tough winters and also all year round.”

Transport Canada said that data shows that ESC-equipped vehicles are involved in fewer severe collisions caused by loss of control, resulting in significantly fewer deaths and injuries when compared to those not equipped with ESC.

The new standard will apply to passenger cars, multi-purpose vehicles, trucks and buses weighing 4,536 kilograms or less.

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