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New ad uses basketball to bring texting and driving to a halt

Quebec’s automobile insurance board, the SAAQ, has teamed up with Laval University’s basketball teams to create an advertisement that aims to deter people from texting and driving.

SAAQ teams up with Laval University basketball team in anti-texting-and-driving ad

Players from the Laval University's women's and men's basketball teams, called the Rouge et Or, will be shown playing the sport while texting — or trying to. (Radio-Canada)

Texting and driving is never a good idea, but what about texting and playing basketball?

Quebec's automobile insurance board, the SAAQ, has teamed up with Laval University's basketball teams to create an advertisement that aims to deter people from texting and driving.

Players from the school's women and men's Rouge et Or basketball teams are shown in the ad playing the sport while texting — or at least trying to.

The players become frazzled, bump into each other, and one was unable to land a backspin shot into hoop. 

At the end of the commercial, a player falls to the ground. 

"Senseless?" the screen reads. "Imagine being on the road."

A university initiative

The idea came from Laval University, and it was welcomed by the SAAQ. The crown corporation gave resources for the design and production of the project, which will be broadcast on social media and at the Rouge and Or's home games. 

Working with sports organizations helps target a more specific audience, said SAAQ spokesperson Mario Vaillancourt.

"We bring together young adults, athletes, families," he said, adding that the organization wants to reach as many people as possible.

Distracted driving a problem for Quebecers

According to the SAAQ, using a cellphone while driving reduces a driver's ability to analyze a situation and react on the road.

In 2015, a SAAQ survey showed that the most common source of driver distraction in Quebec is the use of a cell phone — either talking or texting. It also showed that nearly one in 10 motorists drives distractedly.

On top of that, 98 per cent of adult Quebecers consider distracted driving to be a serious problem, while only nine per cent admit to being distracted at the wheel.

With files from Radio-Canada

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