Canadian Road Safety News Digest

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January 31, 2020

Drug-impaired driving increases slightly, overall impact of cannabis ‘lower than expected’: City report

Edmonton Journal (EDMONTON, ONTARIO) Edmonton police have seen a slight increase in drug-impaired driving since cannabis was legalized but its overall impact has been lower than expected, says a report going to the community and public services committee. The report looking at the impact and costs of cannabis legalization and said Edmonton police arrested 134 […]

January 30, 2020

Tougher distracted driving fines take effect Feb. 1

SGI (REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN) February’s Traffic Safety Spotlight is focused on distracted driving – just as fines are set to increase Feb. 1, 2020. “Distracted driving is a serious safety concern in our province, and on roads all over the country,” said the Honourable Joe Hargave, Minister Responsible for SGI. “We hope by introducing tougher penalties […]

November 28, 2019

Rising marijuana use by drivers and growing prevalence among drivers in fatal crashes warrants concern

TIRF (OTTAWA, ONTARIO) The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) announces the release of two new fact sheets on marijuana use by drivers in Canada. National trends in the use of marijuana among Canadian drivers are summarized in TIRF’s Road Safety Monitor 2019: Trends in Marijuana use among Canadian Drivers. The RSM is an annual public opinion […]

November 22, 2019

Drive drunk twice in Quebec, get ignition breathalyzer for life

CBC News (MONTREAL, QUEBEC) Starting Monday, Quebec motorists convicted of drunk driving twice in 10 years will have to blow into a breathalyzer every time they start a car — for the rest of their lives. Their licence will be branded so any intercepting police officer will know to inspect the driver’s ignition for an […]

August 30, 2019

Feds put up $5.4M to combat drug-impaired driving

CTV News (OTTAWA, ONTARIO) The Government of Canada announced funding to combat drug-impaired driving on Friday. Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale announced that $5.4 million over five years will be used to increase capacity among officers in standardized field sobriety testing and drug recognition expert evaluation (DRE). Continue reading this post…

August 22, 2019

How Justice Canada’s ‘inaccurate and misleading’ impaired driving tweet sparked blame, confusion

Global News (OTTAWA, ONTARIO) The Department of Justice put its social media plans to promote a new impaired driving law on hold earlier this summer after it received sharp criticism online over a now-deleted tweet that one senior departmental official described internally as “inaccurate and misleading.” Continue reading this post…

July 29, 2019

Speed cameras now active in 5 B.C. intersections, 30 more to roll out by next year

Global News (VICTORIA, B.C.) The B.C. Government is confident it can win any legal challenge against new speed cameras, five of which were activated Monday. Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said the province’s lawyers are certain the intersection cameras will not face the same issues as the controversial photo radar program did. Continue reading this post…

July 16, 2019

‘You hesitate, you lose lives’: Toronto votes for more aggressive Vision Zero road safety plan

Toronto Star (TORONTO, ONTARIO) City council has voted to reboot its road-safety plan, as its first attempt failed to reduce traffic deaths. Three years after endorsing the city’s first Vision Zero strategy aimed at eliminating road fatalities, councillors voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt Vision Zero 2.0. Under the enhanced plan, the city will reduce speed limits […]

June 13, 2019

Are Canada’s pot-impaired driving penalties too strict? New study suggests yes

Global News (VICTORIA, B.C.) A new study from the University of British Columbia (UBC) is suggesting that Canada’s cannabis-impaired driving penalties may be too strict. That’s after researchers found no link between low levels of THC, the psychoactive chemical in pot, and car crashes. Continue reading this post…

Federal government takes steps to curb bus, truck driver fatigue in Canada

CBC News (OTTAWA, ONTARIO) Canada is making electronic logging devices mandatory for federally regulated commercial truck and bus drivers in an effort to combat driver fatigue and improve road safety. Electronic devices track when and how long drivers have been behind the wheel. They are tamper-resistant and integrated into commercial vehicle engines, and are designed to […]

March 24, 2019

Mounties seeing smaller number of blood samples than expected under drug-impaired driving law

CBC News (OTTAWA, ONTARIO) The Royal Canadian Mounted Police were expecting to see their national forensic labs flooded with requests for blood tests after Canada’s new impaired driving law came into effect, but they’ve seen just a small number so far. The force’s National Forensic Laboratory Services operation receives bodily fluid samples, including blood and […]

March 20, 2019

Mayor John Tory open to lowering speed limits in Toronto

Globe and Mail (TORONTO, ONTARIO) Toronto Mayor John Tory has signalled he is open to broad-based reductions in speed limits on the city’s major roads and more red-light cameras, indicating that he will ask staff for a report looking at ways to reduce the number of pedestrian deaths. The move by Mr. Tory comes nearly […]

February 28, 2019

87 people lost a vehicle for a week because of cellphone tickets last year

SGI (REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN) “Confessions of a Reformed Distracted Driver” is part of the March Traffic Safety Spotlight Losing your vehicle for a week for something as trivial as being unable to leave your phone alone sounds pretty terrible, right? Under The Traffic Safety Act, receiving a second $280 cellphone ticket within a year triggers an […]

February 25, 2019

Transport Canada gearing up for automated and connected vehicle tests in Canada

Transport Canada (OTTAWA, ONTARIO) Automated and connected vehicles have the potential to greatly improve road safety and increase mobility, while also offering new economic opportunities and environmental benefits to Canadians. That’s why the Government of Canada has just published…two new, innovative documents released by Transport Canada (which) will help industry accelerate the safe introduction of […]

January 22, 2019

Ontario Government Supports Innovation and Growth in Automated Vehicle Industry: Expanding Ontario’s Automated Vehicle Pilot

Government of Ontario (WATERLOO, ONTARIO) Today, Transportation Minister Jeff Yurek was at the Sedra Student Design Centre at the University of Waterloo to support innovation and growth within Ontario’s automated vehicle industry. As one of the actions in the recent package to create jobs by eliminating red tape and burdensome regulations, Ontario has updated its […]

January 20, 2019

How far should rights be curtailed to stop drunk driving?

Toronto Sun (TORONTO, ONTARIO) Four years ago, a waitress and manager of the Finn McCool Bar in Woodbridge rushed out to the parking lot to alert police that a patron had just left in his jeep and was very intoxicated. When York Regional Police caught up with him a few minutes later, the driver had trouble […]

December 29, 2018

Stiff new penalties for distracted, impaired driving in Ontario begin on Jan. 1

Global News (TORONTO, ONTARIO) After years of calls from advocates to crack down on distracted and impaired driving, stiff penalties passed by the Ontario government will come into force on Tuesday. “Some people are going to be startled to find that it’s as significant a penalty as a risk to the public,” Brian Patterson, president and CEO of […]

December 11, 2018

Mandatory impaired driving laws to hit the roads before holidays

Global News (TORONTO, ONTARIO) Given the recent focus on drug-impaired driving with the legalization of recreational cannabis, new impaired driving laws, related to alcohol, have possibly fallen off the radar. Starting on Dec. 18, stricter drunk driving laws will come into effect. Continue reading this post…

December 7, 2018

Road accident deaths swell to 1.35 million each year: WHO

CTV News (TORONTO, ONTARIO) Road accidents kill someone every 24 seconds, with a total of 1.35 million traffic deaths around the world each year, the World Health Organization said Friday, demanding global action. The number of fatalities annually has swelled by around 100,000 in just three years, with road accidents now the leading killer of […]

September 26, 2018

Reducing residential speed limit in Calgary to 30 km/h the right decision

The Gauntlet (CALGARY, ALBERTA) Amid recent discussions surrounding Ward 7 Coun. Druh Farrell’s motion to reduce Calgary’s residential speed limit to 30 km/h in order to increase pedestrian safety, I’m shocked that some Calgarians are calling this a ‘war on cars.’ While the onus of road safety doesn’t completely fall on drivers, it’s irresponsible to […]