10/01/2012 10:16 EDT | Updated 12/01/2012 05:12 EST

SAAQ issues shocking ads against texting and driving

Quebec's automobile insurance society (SAAQ) has unveiled a new ad campaign to discourage people from texting while they drive.

The new campaign will air on television and on radio until the end of October.

The French-language radio ad says "every letter can kill. At the wheel, we don't text."

Meanwhile the television ad uses a slight tinge of humour and drama. People can be seen writing messages on typewriters, telegraphs and by quill in old cars. The narrator says "we never used to write messages while driving. There was probably a good reason." The modern-day car's airbag activates at the end of the ad.

The SAAQ estimates that drivers who text and drive are 20 times more likely to get into an accident.

Though it is forbidden to text at the wheel or have a cellphone in hand while driving, phone-related infractions have nearly tripled since 2008.

During that year, authorities recorded 18,000 phone-related infractions. By 2011, that number had risen to 57,000.

The SAAQ has also launched an application for smartphones that blocks all incoming calls and texts.