02/02/2015 08:27 EST | Updated 04/05/2015 05:59 EDT

SAAQ Pilot Project Will Track Drivers' Behaviour Using GPS

Tony Tremblay via Getty Images
The province's car insurance board says it will soon have another tool to make Quebec's roads safer.

The SAAQ will launch a pilot project where it will ask drivers to voluntarily install a GPS (global positioning system) in their vehicle so that it can gather data on how they drive.

The GPS would track data such as speed, sudden accelerations and sudden braking in the case of a collision, and send that information to the SAAQ.

“If they have good behaviour on the road, it's a way to permit those drivers to pay less in the future and to make a link between good behaviour on the road and the amount you have to pay,” said SAAQ spokesman Mario Vaillancourt.

He added that the goal of the program is to make drivers more responsible and to help the agency fine-tune its awareness campaigns.

He wouldn’t say whether a bad rating would mean an increase in insurance rates.

Province approves program

Private insurer Industrial Alliance has offered a similar program since 2012.

It targets drivers between the ages of 16 and 24, which statistics show is the age group involved in the most collisions.

The insurer says about 80 per cent of the young drivers who volunteered for the program got a rebate for good driving.

The Automobile Protection Association (APA) says the project can be a good incentive for drivers to be more vigilant on the roads.

“It was not brought in only as a punishment system for the person with four speeding tickets who is about to lose their license, but instead as a reward system and as a kind of coach,” said APA president George Iny.

The Quebec Transport Ministry has given the SAAQ’s project the green light.

“I’m not closing the door because drivers volunteer to participate,” said Transport Minister Robert Poëti.

The GPS pilot project is set to begin early next year.

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