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CAA roadside assistance comes to Apple Watch

OTTAWA, ON – The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) is proud to announce the launch of the Apple Watch version of Service Tracker for the CAA app.

CAA added Service Tracker to its Apple and Android smartphone apps in Ontario a year ago, allowing members to easily track the location of their assigned service vehicle in real time. Using GPS, Service Tracker allows members to see exactly when their service vehicle will arrive.

Soon, a quick glance at your Apple Watch will do the same thing, becoming the first roadside assistance app configured for this new product.

“Our Service Tracker function on Apple Watch is the state-of-the-art version of roadside assistance,” said Jeff Walker, CAA chief strategy officer. “With the new Apple Watch functionality, members get the peace of mind they’ve always had with CAA, plus they get the latest technology, making their experience even more seamless.”

 

The Service Tracker function on Apple Watch allows Members to track the status of the call, be notified of any changes to their call status, check the ETA and, where available, see the location of the dispatched truck in relation to their vehicle through a map display.

The Apple Watch is proving to be Apple’s most successful product launch so far, with over seven million sold since it became available on April 24, 2015.

Service Tracker for Apple Watch will roll out in Ontario in July 2015, and in other Canadian markets and the United States beginning later this year. CAA’s industry-leading roadside assistance continues to be available to Members through regular web and 24/7 call centre channels, allowing Members access to CAA services any way they want. In Ontario, Service Tracker functionality is also available from CAA Club and Mobile web sites.

About CAA

CAA is a federation of nine clubs providing over 6 million Members with exceptional emergency roadside service, complete automotive and travel services, member savings and comprehensive insurance services. CAA also advocates on issues of concern to its members, including road safety, the environment, mobility, infrastructure and consumer protection.

For further information, please contact:

Julia Kent
Manager, Public Affairs
CAA National
613-240-9992
jkent@national.caa.ca

 

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Participate in #CAADadSays Twitter Chat and Win a CAA Membership

After the great success of #CAAMomSays, and with Father’s Day around the corner, CAA wanted to hear what advice dads have on how to keep children safe on the roads.  From June 16 to 21, 2015 CAA will be hosting a Twitter chat to get a conversation started about road safety.  We will be tweeting questions all week with the hashtag #CAADadSays.  One participant will win a CAA Membership, which offers roadside assistance, travel services, discounts on CAA partner products, and more! We want to hear what you have to say, engage online, use #CAADadSays, and you might be our lucky winner.

The questions:

Q1: Did you know there is a CAA program that helps kids develop leadership skills? Can you name it?

Q2: How do you talk about pedestrian safety with your kids?

Q3: What tips would you share with young cyclists to stay safe on the road?

Q4: What resources do you use to teach your kids about road safety?

Q5: What factors do you keep in mind when choosing the right child car seat?

Q6: Hey daddy bloggers! How do you teach your kids to ride without distractions?

Q7: What is one thing everyone should keep in mind while driving in school zones?

Q8: What are some fundamental lessons you think kids should know about bike safety?

Q9: How do you teach your kids about distracted driving/biking! http://bit.ly/DriveNowTxtL8tr

Q10: How do you help your teens make smarter and safer road safety decisions? http://bit.ly/CAATeenDriving

Last question for our #CAADadSays Twitter chat! Why do you love CAA?

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Are roundabouts the better way in Canada?

The United Kingdom apparently has 25,000 roundabouts, of all shapes and sizes. Big and small, multi-layered, even some “magic roundabouts” with little traffic circles funneling vehicles around a larger circle. The British love them. “With infinite variety, colour and creative-ness, these bitumen babes lift our sagging spirits on long tiresome trips. The roundabout is truly an oasis on a sea of tarmac,” writes Kevin Beresford, president of the U.K. Roundabout Appreciation Society, in a tribute on the society’s website. They’re not alone, either. Across the English Channel, the much larger French road system has 30,000 roundabouts, with an additional 1,000 being constructed every year. Not in North America, though. Here, we favour traffic lights and stop signs to control vehicles at intersections. But this is slowly changing as the concept of keeping traffic moving catches on. In the United States, transportation engineer Phil Weber remembers there were probably just a couple of hundred when he started promoting their use a dozen years ago, and now there are about 4,000. Here in Canada? Not a lot, and most of them are in Quebec. They just haven’t caught on in the same way as in Europe, but Weber’s optimistic it’s all about to change. He’s a Canadian manager for GHD, a global company that provides engineering services to municipalities, and he also loves roundabouts. “They’re slowly but surely catching on,” he says. “A number of years ago, I could have been pegged as a bit of a roundabout salesman, but I’m not that any more. People call me all the time now with questions. “I’m an engineer. I want to build roundabouts to solve a problem, whether that’s a traffic capacity problem or a safety problem.” Many Canadian transportation departments have now written it into their guidelines that roundabouts must be considered as an option when designing a traffic intersection. This is because it’s generally accepted that roundabouts are a safer method of intersecting traffic — head-on collisions are rare among vehicles all moving in roughly the same direction. They have the added benefit that traffic usually moves much more quickly through a roundabout than at an intersection with lights or stop signs. As well, the steady flow of vehicles use a lot less fuel and produce less emissions than cars in a stop-and-start shuffle, though nobody’s ever really quantified that. The rule is simple: give way to traffic on the roundabout. If you’re already on a two-lane roundabout, always yield to traffic on your left. Confused? Here’s some simple how-to advice from the province of British Columbia and from Ontario. Roundabouts weren’t always simple to use. The first was built in New York City in 1903, at Columbus Circle near Central Park, and they started popping up around the world in subsequent years. For the first couple of decades, there were no rules about which direction traffic had to drive around the circle; even after that was agreed on, until the 1960s, they were still a free-for-all, with no priority given to anyone. This is a big reason why North Americans wrote them off then as a bad idea, but the British recognized their potential and began putting up signs instructing drivers to yield to vehicles from the right (which is their equivalent of the left, since they drive on the opposite side of the road). Everything began to flow considerably more smoothly and most of the rest of the world followed. Now that road use is heavier than ever before and their better safety record is proven, roundabouts have finally begun to catch on in North America. New York State is one of several states that has a “roundabouts-first” road planning policy, in which engineers and designers must prove why a roundabout is not the better way before considering other forms of intersection. They’re still more popular and feasible in rural and suburban areas than the city, however. They can be more dangerous for urban pedestrians and cyclists, and they take up a lot of space. “The main impediments are cost and property impact,” says Weber. “Those are the big ones. That’s why you’re not going to see roundabouts in downtown Toronto – it’s just the property needed to do it is too expensive. But suburban locations and new roads, those are much easier sells because the cost is almost the same (as a conventional intersection) to build.” They do, however, often pay off in the long run. A new four-way intersection with traffic lights can easily cost $150,000 to build; adding lanes to an existing intersection can cost considerably more. As well, the maintenance of such a junction usually runs around $5,000 a year. “Sometimes a roundabout is the best thing, but sometimes it isn’t – a signal’s better,” says Weber. “But I think we’ve built a lot of signals at places where roundabouts really could have worked better. Over time, I’d like to see a rebalancing of that. “In many facets of transportation, we are kind of behind the rest of the world. Typically, we follow the U.S. lead, and the U.S. tends to follow their own direction. But now the U.S. is redressing the balance a bit. It is taking off exponentially, but where it will go from here is anyone’s guess.” Five reasons to love roundabouts
  1. They speed up the flow of traffic. If the roundabout is clear, there’s no reason to slow down – much.
  2. They let drivers jig and jag like a curvy road. If the roundabout is clear, you can deke to the right and then the left. On a motorcycle, you can drag the footpegs.
  3. They’re scenic. Many medium and large roundabouts are planted with flowers and even ornamental gardens.
  4. They’re safe. Head-on crashes and T-bone collisions are almost unheard of, because the traffic is all moving in the same direction.
  5.  They’re good for the environment. A roundabout may have a larger overall footprint than an intersection with lights, but it usually has less asphalt. That means less runoff of rain and vehicle fluids, which is healthier for the land.
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Win a CAA Membership by participating in our second annual #CAAMomSays

May 4 to 10 marks the third UN Global Road Safety Week. This year, the UN’s goal is to highlight safe driving practices that protect the most vulnerable users on our roads – our children. Governments, international agencies, civil society organizations and private companies from around the world will host hundreds of events both on and off-line to raise awareness on road safety.

Through our international partnership with the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), the Canadian Automobile Association is a proud supporter of the UN’s Global Road Safety Week. CAA is taking to Twitter and asking questions to spark a conversation on road safety and on how we can ensure safer communities for our children. Join us by following the hashtag #CAAMomSays to learn more about how we can teach our kids to be safe on the road.

The questions:

Q1: Did you know there is a CAA program that helps kids develop leadership skills? Can you name it?

Q2: How do you talk about pedestrian safety with your kids?

Q3: What tips would you share with young cyclists to stay safe on the road?

Q4: What resources do you use to teach your kids about road safety?

Q5: What factors do you keep in mind when choosing the right child car seat?

Q6: Hey mommy bloggers! How do you teach your kids to ride without distractions?

Q7: What is one thing everyone should keep in mind while driving in school zones?

Q8: What are some fundamental lessons you think kids should know about bike safety?

Q9: How do you teach your kids about distracted driving/biking! http://bit.ly/DriveNowTxtL8tr

Q10: How do you help your teens make smarter and safer road safety decisions? http://bit.ly/CAATeenDriving

Last question for our #CAAMomSays Twitter chat! Why do you love CAA?

The prize:

Engage in the online conversation and tweet your ideas and comments using the hashtag #CAAMomSays. One participant will win a CAA Membership, which offers roadside assistance, travel services, discounts on CAA partner products, and more! Visit your local club to see what their services can offer you!

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CAA and Marble Slab Creamery partner just in time for summer

OTTAWA, ON – It may not feel like it in some parts of the country, but summer is just around the corner with the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) and Marble Slab Creamery’s new partnership, taking effect today.

As early pioneers of the frozen slab ice cream method, Marble Slab Creamery first appeared on the Canadian scene in 2003 in Calgary, Alberta. They quickly grew and now have 80 stores in seven provinces and territories.

“Although the current weather might suggest otherwise, heat waves will be here before we know it,” says Jeff Walker, Chief Strategy Officer, CAA National. “The CAA and Marble Slab Creamery partnership brings something special to summertime family fun.”

Exclusive to CAA Members, receive an instant 15 per cent discount on all regular priced items – including Marble Slab cones, cakes and gourmet treats – offered in Marble Slab Creamery retail locations. Additionally, CAA and Marble Slab Creamery will work together to bring Members seasonal discounts and limited time offers.

“The Marble Slab experience of hand-crafted ice cream, personalized with fresh fruit, nuts, candies and baked goods, has become more popular over the last few years,” says Walker. “It’s also a great summer family activity, and CAA is happy to offer that experience to its Members.”

About CAA

CAA is a federation of nine clubs providing over 6 million Members with exceptional emergency roadside service, complete automotive and travel services, member savings and comprehensive insurance services. CAA also advocates on issues of concern to its members, including road safety, the environment, mobility, infrastructure and consumer protection.

About Marble Slab Creamery

Originally started in Houston, Texas in 1983, Marble Slab Creamery introduced the “frozen slab” ice cream concept to Canada in 2003 in Calgary, Alberta.  A decade later, they now have stores coast to coast, including British Columbia, Yukon, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia. Their mission is to bring happiness to their customers by serving real ice cream, hand-crafted in stores. Marble Slab offers more than 50 flavours of ice cream that customers can personalize with unlimited mixins – fruits, nuts, candies, chocolates and cookies – to add something special to every treat!  The experience doesn’t stop there. The many available ice cream cakes, litres, cupcakes and ice creams sandwiches ensure customers can enjoy Marble Slab Creamery ice cream wherever they go.

Website:  www.marbleslab.ca

Facebook: www.facebook.com/marbleslabcanada

Twitter: @MarbleSlabCan

Instagram: www.instagram.com/marbleslabcan

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/marbleslabcan

 

For further information, please contact:

Julia Kent
Manager, Public Affairs
CAA National
613-240-9992
jkent@national.caa.ca

Kimberly Hughes
Marketing Manager
Marble Slab Creamery
403-214-0532
kimberly@marbleslab.ca

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