July 29, 2003

Federal government to make anti-theft devices mandatory

Ottawa, Ontario – Transport Minister David Collenette today announced proposed amendments to the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations that will make anti-theft immobilization devices mandatory for all new cars, vans and light trucks (including SUVs) built after September 1, 2005.

“These proposed regulations aim to enhance the safety and security of the travelling public,” said Mr. Collenette. “These measures should benefit all Canadians by helping to reduce both vehicle theft and the collision-related injuries that sometimes result from these thefts.”

About 80 per cent of all new vehicles on the road in Canada are already equipped with anti-theft immobilization devices. These devices prevent unauthorized individuals from starting the vehicle and driving away.

According to Statistics Canada, the rate of motor vehicle theft has increased by 71 per cent since 1988. The agency’s data also showed that in 2001, more than 170,000 vehicles were stolen in this country.

Theft of vehicles by young offenders is also a serious problem that can often lead to injuries and fatalities. A study done in 2002 by the National Committee to Reduce Auto Theft (Project 6116) – an initiative supported by several departments including Transport Canada, as well as a wide spectrum of public and private sector agencies whose aim is to reduce vehicle theft – showed that between 1999 and 2001 the theft of vehicles by young offenders led to an average of 27 fatalities and 117 injuries each year.

While the provincial and territorial governments have jurisdiction for after-market additions to motor vehicles, Transport Canada develops standards and regulations for new vehicles manufactured or imported for use in Canada.

The proposed regulations were published in the Canada Gazette Part I on July 26, 2003. Interested parties have 75 days to comment.

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