National auto theft summit – High hopes for anti-theft changes and info sharing

National auto theft summit – High hopes for anti-theft changes and info sharing

National auto theft summit – High hopes for anti-theft changes and info sharing | Insurance Business Canada

Motor & Fleet

National auto theft summit – High hopes for anti-theft changes and info sharing

Équité president and CEO shares wish list ahead of National Summit on Combatting Auto Theft

Motor & Fleet

By
David Saric

Changes to anti-theft regulations, information sharing, and heightened collaboration top Équité’s wish list for the forthcoming National Summit on Combatting Auto Theft.

With anti-theft safety regulations for automobiles “outdated by two decades”, Terri O’Brien, president and CEO of Équité, told Insurance Business she hopes to see updates that would bring them into the 2020s.

“Those regulations were enacted when we didn’t even have push button vehicles,” O’Brien said. “We want to see them updated for today’s world.

“There are new technical standards that our team and the manufacturers participated in developing, and those are the ULC 338 standards.”

Information sharing is also high on the National Summit on Combatting Auto Theft summit agenda for Équité.

“What the government can do is open up information sharing with us – as a not for profit, we are members of other intelligence organizations, we work closely with law enforcement, and that will allow for more targeted intelligence and inspections,” Terri O’Brien, president and CEO of Équité, told Insurance Business.

A strengthening of the relationship between Équité and the government is also hoped for, as stakeholders look to combat the issues of shipping of stolen vehicle at hotspot ports in Montreal and Nova Scotia.

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“Our on the ground efforts are fully supported by government and have been increasing at the Central and Eastern ports, such as in Montreal and Halifax, that are being hit hardest. But that’s really our work is in partnership with CBSA,” O’Brien said.

“What the government brings to the table in addition to port work is that strong partnership with us so that we can combat auto theft and stop the international illegal trade of vehicles – I really hope to see that continuing.”

O’Brien shared optimism that the summit will drive solutions.

“I’m encouraged and hopeful that Transport Canada, who is joining the summit alongside the manufacturers will be coming forward with some solutions there as well,” she said.

How auto theft acts as a gateway to other criminal activity

Ahead of the summit, which is scheduled to take place in Ottawa on February 8th, O’Brien stressed some harrowing facts about the impact, both personally and societally, of the auto-theft epidemic.

Those who are on the receiving end of this type of criminal activity may be left dealing with the trauma of a “frightening” carjacking attempt.

“There was just a car stolen in the greater Montreal area a couple of weeks ago there were two children sitting in the backseat,” O’Brien said. “There was also a carjacking recently in the Toronto area where a mom and her daughter were in their car and two guys in ski masks came up wielding a knife – increasingly they’ll have a weapon of some sort — and made them exit the car and hand over the key.”

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Then there are individuals who have had several of their vehicles stolen over a period of time, which lends itself to a feeling of being personally violated or victimized.

“Most people’s ownership and registration information is in their glovebox, so when the car gets stolen, criminals are given access to personal information and that can inform targeted attacks in the future,” O’Brien said. “These criminals are very determined to get any vehicle they can, and now they can do it in under 60 seconds.”

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