Quick Scan

Canadian Road Safety News Digest – August 1-31, 2016

September 23, 2016   |   Categories: Quick Scan

Last Updated on October 17, 2016

Distracted driving deaths on track to double impaired driving fatalities: OPP

August 30, 2016, Global News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

As officers prepare for a busy Labour Day weekend on the roads, the Ontario Provincial Police said distracted driving-related deaths are on track to double the number of impaired driving-related fatalities this year.

The OPP said officers have investigated 38 road deaths as of mid-August where the driver was found to not be paying attention versus 19 deaths involving impaired drivers.

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Increasing Safety for Residents

August 30, 2016, Government of Newfoundland (ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND)

The Honourable Al Hawkins, Minister of Transportation and Works, and Jim Organ, Executive Director of the Heavy Civil Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (HCANL), are reminding motorists of the importance of being aware and cautious when driving in construction zones.

"During the summer and fall months our roadways are busy with people travelling throughout the province. Our main priority is safety - the safety of those working in construction zones, as well as drivers and passengers. Motorists are reminded to please slow down in these areas, pay attention to signage and avoid driving distractions such as cell phones, to ensure their own safety and the safety of those working to improve highway conditions."

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Should distracted driving be a criminal offence? Quebec urges Ottawa to consider it

August 25, 2016, Global News (MONTREAL, QUEBEC)

Quebec’s new transport minister wants his federal counterpart Marc Garneau to examine the possibility of making it a criminal offence to use a cellphone while driving.

Laurent Lessard raised the issue during a press briefing on Wednesday morning, according to La Presse Canadienne.

“Let (Garneau) look at what elements of criminalization would be involved,” Lessard said. “It is his responsibility, we will discuss it. This will be the agenda … I will ask him to analyze it.”

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Auto, technology industries clash over talking cars

August 25, 2016, Times Colonist (WASHINGTON, D.C.)

….The government and the auto industry have spent more than a decade and more than $1 billion researching and testing V2V technology. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expected to propose as early as next month that new cars and trucks come equipped with it. General Motors isn't waiting for the proposal, saying it will include V2V in Cadillac CTS sedans before the end of the year.

"We're losing 35,000 people every year (to traffic crashes)," said Harry Lightsey, a General Motors lobbyist. "This technology has the power to dramatically reduce that. To me, the ability of somebody to download movies or search the internet or whatever should be secondary to that."

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Back to School – The Buses Are Back!

August 25, 2016, Canada Safety Council (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

With a new school year quickly approaching, the Canada Safety Council would like to remind drivers to be extra cautious as school buses return to the roads.

Despite it being an annual occurrence, the return of school buses often brings about episodes of impatience, confusion regarding some of the rules of the road and a spike in fatalities and injuries among young pedestrians from September to November.

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Federal infrastructure investment means safer streets in Toronto

August 23, 2016, Toronto Metro (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

The federal government is pitching in to help fix Toronto’s deadly streets.

As part of a $1.49-billion investment in transportation in Ontario, the federal Liberals announced Tuesday they would be helping cover some of the cost of Toronto’s new road safety plan.

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New TIRF Projects: Advanced Safety Features & Automated Vehicles

August 16, 2016, TIRF (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

A new Road Safety Monitor (RSM) public opinion poll on driver knowledge of vehicle safety features is now available from the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF). This continuing series of reports expands data to track annual trends in driver awareness, attitudes, and behaviours about vehicle safety technologies that are currently available and rapidly emerging as standard features on new vehicles.

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MADD Canada concerned about more drive-thru liquor stores in Saskatchewan

August 12, 2016, CBC News (REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN)

The head of Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada is worried new Saskatchewan liquor stores could include drive-thrus, which he says increases the possibility of impaired driving.

"Drive-thrus don't currently exist with government-operated liquor stores. Why are they being allowed for private liquor store operators when their focus is profit not community safety? I don't believe they should be allowed," Andrew Murie, CEO of MADD Canada, said.

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Traffic Safety Office aims to prove to city council that photo radar works

August 12, 2016, News 880am (EDMONTON, ALBERTA)

The Office of Traffic Safety is prepping some stats for city council later this fall that they hope will help convince council that photo radar is a good idea. They’ve had a team of researchers at the U of A break down enforcement into three categories: mobile enforcement where they move from place to place, intersection safety where the cameras mounted up above track speed and running red lights, and the new specialty enforcement watching for who’s going over 30 km/hr in school zones.

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Pot legalization in Canada may lead to spike in drug-impaired driving: document

August 11, 2016, Global News (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

A document obtained by The Canadian Press says the federal justice minister is being warned that legalizing marijuana could lead to a significant increase in the number of cases of drug-impaired driving.

Federal officials say in briefing material prepared for Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould that the number jumped dramatically in Colorado and Washington, which went ahead with legalization in recent years.

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Opinion: Safety is foundation of setting speed limits

August 7, 2016, Vancouver Sun (VANCOUVER, B.C.)

I am writing in response to a recent column in The Vancouver Sun (Speed-limit increases cost lives, July 28) which focuses on speed limits in B.C. and on crash statistics.

Let me be clear: safety is paramount to our ministry, and remains our No. 1 priority in all of our decisions. We’ve invested billions in new and upgraded infrastructure and technologies, strengthened legislation, raised penalties for a range of driving offences, and set new speed limits on certain segments of highway in rural areas as part of our 2014 Rural Highway Safety and Speed Review.

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Not so Swede

August 6, 2016, Winnipeg Free Press (WINNIPEG, MANITOBA)

It took Mattias Strandberg 27 lessons, a written test and two in-car exams to get his driver’s licence.

It’s not that the 25-year-old university student is awkward or inept: he lists hockey, reading, politics and soccer among his hobbies. It’s simply the price of admission to drive on the safest roads on Earth.  Strandberg doesn’t live in Canada or the United States. He lives in Sweden.

A U.S. Centers for Disease Control study — titled Vital Signs: Motor-vehicle Injury Prevention, a comparison of data from 20 developed countries — shows Sweden is the lowest-risk place to hit the road. Canada and the U.S. were in the bottom three.

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Drugged driving is impaired driving: Government of Alberta

August 5, 2016, Calgary Metro (CALGARY, ALBERTA)

Many aren't aware of penalties that can arise from drug-impaired driving, according to the government of Alberta.

The government said people may believe alcohol impaired drivers are more likely to be stopped by police than drug impaired drivers – but they said that just isn't the case.

“It comes as a surprise to many people that drunk driving and drugged driving carry the same criminal charges. This is because both substances impair a driver’s ability and increase the likelihood of being involved in a collision," said Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation

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Leave impaired driving limits alone

August 2, 2016, The Star (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

To reduce the incidence of impaired driving in Canada some organizations and individuals advocate reducing the criminal limit for drinking and driving from 0.08 to 0.05. Some claim this would reduce impaired driving fatalities by 50 per cent each year.  Many organizations, safety and other, including the Canada Safety Council, oppose any proposal to move from 80 milligrams of alcohol to 100 millilitres of blood, down to 50.

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Commercial vehicle safety target of SGI August traffic blitz

August 2, 2016, Global News (REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN)

Commercial vehicle safety is the focus of Augusts’ traffic safety blitz in Saskatchewan.  During the month, police across the province will not only be on the lookout for commercial vehicles that are not in compliance with safety requirements, they will also be looking for commercial drivers showing unsafe driving behaviors.

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Avoid risky behaviour and prevent bad habits when learning how to drive, ICBC urges

August 2, 2016, ICBC (VANCOUVER, B.C.)

Now that summer’s in full swing, teenagers are taking advantage of the school break to learn how to drive. Summer is the busiest time at Driver Licensing Offices. In August alone, an average of 5,500 B.C. teens get their learner’s licence.

Although youth injuries and deaths from car crashes are declining in B.C., on average, 32 youth aged 16 to 21 are killed and 6,900 are injured every year. That’s why it’s important for teens to get a good start to their driving careers by building strong foundational skills that will make them safe and confident drivers for life.

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RCMP, AMA launch traffic campaign

August 1, 2016, Daily Herald Tribune (GRANDE PRAIRIE, ALBERTA)

Alberta RCMP and the Alberta Motor Association have partnered for the #RoomToWork campaign, which aims to educate motorists on the correct procedure when passing first responders as they work along roadways.

"Every year, policemen, emergency services personnel, as well as emergency equipment operators are killed by being struck by passing vehicles that are either not seeing (the personnel) or they don't slow down enough to react to the situations as they come upon it," said Cpl. Gary Weigum, Grande Prairie RCMP traffic services supervisor.

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Ninth edition of the driving a heavy vehicle guide

August 1, 2016, SAAQ (QUEBEC, QUEBEC)

The SAAQ has published a revised edition of the Driving a Heavy Vehicle guide. This new edition includes the amendments made to the Regulation respecting safety standards for road vehicles that will take effect on November 20, 2016.

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Canadian Events & Conferences in 2016

National Teen Driver Safety Week

Various Events Across Canada

October 16-22, 2016

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The Southwest Injury Prevention Network’s 18th Annual Not by Accident Conference

London, Ontario

October 18 2016

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Canada’s Vision Zero Summit

By Parachute

aniels Spectrum, Toronto, Ontario

November 29

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CCMTA 2017 Annual Meeting

Theme: Leading the Pack in Road Safety

Yellowknife, NT

June 4-7, 2017

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CARSP Conference 2017 –

Theme: Technology and Road Safety

Toronto, Ontario

June 18-21, 2017

Learn more…