Quick Scan

Canadian Road Safety News Digest – April 1-30, 2016

May 13, 2016   |   Categories: Quick Scan

Last Updated on May 13, 2016

Option 4 gives young Calgary distracted drivers education instead of fine

April 30, 2016, CBC News (CALGARY, ALBERTA)

Twenty two young people got out of paying a ticket for distracted driving Saturday in Calgary. Instead, they got an up close look at what can happen when you lose focus at the wheel.

On May 4, 2013, Melody Battle was running late for work.

"One moment of distraction changed everything for me … and my family," Battle explains.

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Textalyzer would allow police to see whether phone was in use before crash

April 29, 2016, Globe and Mail (NEW YORK, NEW YORK)

Lawmakers in New York are proposing a unique idea to curb texting and driving. It’s called the Textalyzer, a roadside test that could be used at the scene of an accident, similar to how Breathalyzers are used in drinking-and-driving cases.

Democratic assemblyman Felix W. Ortiz sponsored the bipartisan Textalyzer bill, which would provide police officers with the technology to gain access to a phone’s service history, allowing them to see whether a driver had been texting, e-mailing, or otherwise not abiding by distracted driving laws.

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Sharp increase in major injuries and deaths for Montreal cyclists

April 28, 2016, CBC News Montreal (MONTREAL, QUEBEC)

A sharp increase in major injuries and deaths for Montreal cyclists has led to calls for decisive action from the provincial government, while Montreal police say education is the key to greater road safety.

A new report by Montreal police shows a 50 per cent increase in cyclist deaths and a 43 per cent increase in serious injuries.

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Changes to the NWT Motor Vehicles Act to address distracted driving and speeding come into effect May 1

April 27, 2016, Government of NWT (YELLOWKNIFE, NWT)

As of May 1, 2016, changes to the Motor Vehicle Act will be coming into effect to address the issue of distracted driving and speeding in the Northwest Territories.

…To combat distracted driving, new changes mean that fines may now apply to drivers holding, operating, or even touching a restricted device such as a cell phone. Drivers can now receive driver’s licence suspensions lasting 24 hours, 7 days and 30 days for their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th distracted driving offences in a two year period.

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New TIRF Research Bulletin: Large Trucks and Road Safety: A Question of Size

April 26, 2016, TIRF (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

When it comes to road safety in Canada, size matters. To place the issue of large trucks and road safety in context, this Bulletin provides a summary of some of the latest research about this topic and describes the involvement of large trucks in road crashes, as well as the characteristics of crashes involving large trucks. It also highlights some of the most topical issues of fatigue and distraction and their implications for large truck safety.

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Impaired Driving in Rural Jurisdictions: Problems and Solutions

April 26, 2016, TIRF (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

This report contains a comprehensive overview of the current status of impaired driving in rural jurisdictions - not only to raise awareness about it, but also to provide a foundation for informed discussion about strategies to address it. This report describes the context and features of the impaired driving problem in rural areas, highlights some of the barriers to progress, and includes a summary of some of the diverse strategies that have been implemented by jurisdictions. The report also provides practical guidance in relation to operational practices that can enhance impaired driving programs in rural areas, and underscores some of the most salient research issues that need to be addressed in the next decade.

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Police look for direction dealing with high drivers

April 26, 2016, Global News (EDMONTON, ALBERTA)

Drug-impaired driving has become a growing issue for law enforcement across the country and the Liberal government’s plan to legalize marijuana next spring may compound the problem.

“There is a rise in drug-impaired driving. It might even be surpassing alcohol-impaired driving at this point,” Constable Kyla Currie, the Alberta Provincial Coordinator for the RCMP’s Drug Evaluation and Classification Program, said.

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Nova Scotia Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program Evaluation April 26, 2016, TIRF (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

In September 2008, Nova Scotia implemented an alcohol interlock program designed to improve road safety and reduce the number of road traffic crashes and fatalities due to impaired driving. This report describes the outcome evaluation of Nova Scotia's interlock program, which was part of a large-scale evaluation of this safety measure. The main objective was to examine the impact of Nova Scotia's interlock program on participants and to help identify areas for improvement.

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How will Canada crack down on marijuana-impaired drivers?

April 25, 2016, CBC News (EDMONTON, ALBERTA)

Law enforcement agencies should prepare for an influx of drug-impaired drivers before marijuana is legalized in Canada, says an American state trooper.

When Colorado legalized marijuana in 2014, police weren't prepared to crack down on those who light up before getting behind the wheel, said Lt.-Col. Kevin Eldridge.

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Race to develop pot breathalyzers for drivers

April 21, 2016, Global News (VANCOUVER, B.C.)

Companies developing breathalyzers to detect marijuana’s main psychoactive ingredient in suspected cannabis-impaired drivers appear to be entering a crowded field as Canada prepares to legalize pot.

Health Minister Jane Philpott announced Wednesday at a special United Nations session on drugs that legislation to begin the process of legalizing and regulating pot will be introduced next spring.

A University of British Columbia engineering professor is the latest to create a breathalyzer she says can detect THC levels in the breath of someone who has smoked pot.

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Drug-impaired driving concerns have police testing roadside devices

April 21, 2016, Canadian Business (VANCOUVER, B.C.)

Police across Canada will be testing three saliva-based roadside devices on suspected drug-impaired drivers after a team of scientists studied how they detect the presence of drugs such as marijuana.

Doug Beirness, vice-chairman of the Drugs and Driving Committee within the professional organization of The Canadian Society of Forensic Science, said the Mounties and the Ontario government funded their research, which was completed last year.

“What we were interested in was can you use oral fluid screening at the side of the road to assess recent drug use? The answer to that was yes.”

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Nova Scotia Mounties spoof Hotline Bling to bring attention to road safety

April 21, 2016, Yahoo News (HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA)

Some Nova Scotia Mounties have had it with cars speeding past them when they’re on the side of the road with their lights flashing, so they’ve decided to get the word out in Cop Light Bling, a parody of Drake’s Hotline Bling.

Like the original Hotline Bling video, the RCMP parody features some dorky dancing, but instead of Drake moping about a lover not calling him anymore, Cop Light Bling was put together in hopes of bringing attention to Nova Scotia’s six-year-old “Move Over” law.

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Watch the video…


B.C. takes steps to better detect and protect wildlife

April 20, 2016, Government of B.C. (VICTORIA, B.C.)

Two new made-in-British Columbia high-tech wildlife detection systems to help motorists avoid wildlife are now operational on Highway 3 near Elko and Sparwood.

“About one in 25 crashes are caused by wildlife collisions often leading to fatal injuries of these animals and causing serious injuries to those in the vehicle as well as contributing to increased injury and collision claims,” Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone said. “Our government should always be looking at and implementing cutting-edge technology to keep costs low and make B.C. highways safer for both people and wildlife.”

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ICBC's road improvement projects lead to 24 per cent reduction in severe crashes

April 20, 2016, ICBC (BURNABY, B.C.)

ICBC's partnership in road improvement projects has led to a 24 per cent reduction, on average, in severe crashes – those resulting in serious injuries and fatalities – and a 15 per cent reduction in property damage claims after an improvement is completed according to a recent evaluation report.

The evaluation was conducted by Dr. Tarek Sayed and Dr. Emanuele Sacchi and analyzed crash data at 111 locations, three years before and after the road improvement projects were completed.

While the cost and frequency of injury claims continue to increase in B.C., the road improvement program is showing positive results in reducing injuries and crashes at targeted locations.

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Canadians don't trust autonomous vehicles, yet

April 18, 2016, Canada Newswire (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

Canadians are wary of driverless cars, according to research released by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) on the eve of a major conference looking at the future of autonomous vehicles.

Nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of Canadians say they would not trust a vehicle to drive itself while they are in it, stating concerns such as vehicle hacking, theft of data generated by the vehicle, and accountability in the event of an accident.

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Ontario helping Southwest Ontario expand cycling and improve safety

April 15, 2016, Government of Ontario (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Ontario is providing $1.95 million to Southwest Ontario over the next two years to help build new, or improve existing, cycling infrastructure through the Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program.

The municipalities of London, Windsor, Tecumseh, LaSalle, Kingsville and Chatham-Kent will be receiving $325,000 each to expand their cycling infrastructure.

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Thai drunk drivers may serve stint as morgue helpers

April 11, 2016, CTV News (BANGKOK, THAILAND)

Casual attitudes toward road safety give Thailand the second worst record in the world for traffic fatalities, and health and safety experts fear the situation may be getting worse. The government, which earlier this year said drunk drivers could have their cars impounded for the duration of the holiday, last week approved the morgue shock treatment plan.

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Automatic Emergency Braking to be standard by 2022

April 8, 2016, Toronto Star (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

On March 17, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the U.S.-based Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) announced a groundbreaking agreement with 20 automakers to make AEB standard on new cars by Sept. 1, 2022.

…The agreement applies specifically to the U.S. and does not form part of the actual safety standards that are homogenized between Canada and the U.S. Still, the adoption of such a safety system as standard in that country virtually guarantees it will carry over to the Canadian market.

…According to the IIHS, automated braking systems could prevent more than 9,000 collisions per year in the U.S., along with 4,000 associated injuries.

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Experts, safety advocates caution self-driving cars aren’t ready for roads

April 8, 2016, Global News (WASHINGTON, D.C.)

Self-driving cars are more likely to hurt than help public safety because of unsolved technical issues, engineers and safety advocates told the government Friday, countering a push by innovators to speed government approval.

Even a trade association for automakers cautioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at a public meeting that a slower, more deliberative approach may be needed than the agency’s plan to provide its guidance for deploying the vehicles in just six months.

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Vulnerable road users focus of Saskatchewan’s traffic safety spotlight in April

April 6, 2016, Canadian Underwriter (REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN)\

Vulnerable road users, which includes pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists, is the traffic safety spotlight for the month of April, Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) said on Wednesday.

Police in the province will be paying particular attention to vehicles not yielding to pedestrians, making unsafe lane changes around motorcycles and driving without due care and attention around bicycles and motorcycles…

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Distracted driver with 14 infractions banned from driving

April 6, 2016, CBC News (RICHMOND, B.C.)

A Vancouver-area woman who racked up 14 distracted driving tickets in five years for using her cellphone behind the wheel is now prohibited from driving in B.C….

…In one of the incidents the woman was so distracted by her cellphone she almost hit a Richmond police officer.

When the last infraction was recorded in Vancouver, police vowed to seek a driving prohibition.

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Can Vancouver get to zero traffic fatalities?

April 4, 2016, News 880am (VANCOUVER, B.C.)

Heather Deal is putting a motion to council this week to come up with a plan to get the city to zero traffic fatalities.

The plan is backed by Mayor Gregor Robertson, who said in a statement that he will be supporting the motion.

He says it takes further steps toward the City of Vancouver’s Transportation 2040 goal of having no traffic-related fatalities.

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Calgary ups pedestrian safety game with reflective sleeves

April 3, 2016, Calgary Metro News (CALGARY, ALBERTA)

The city is getting ready to roll up their sleeves, and roll out a product that could help pedestrians feel safer.

The program has been piloting in northwest Calgary with positive feedback from residents, so there's a chance more crosswalks across the city could be getting the reflective sleeves.

At $30 a pop, they're a cost-effective step to help the city improve Crosswalk visibility, and have little upkeep. Rapid Flashing Beacons (RFB) cost about $30,000. The sleeves have a 360 degree view, and are said to be more visible than bigger and more expensive signs.

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Canadian Events & Conferences in 2016

Sarah Beth Therien Memorial Scholarship Competition is Now Open!

Canada Safety Council, Ottawa, Ontario

Period receiving applications: January 31 – June 15, 2016

Learn more…  Or email Lewis Smith at: media@safetycouncil.org


Working for Road Safety, CARSP Conference 2016

Exhibitor Opportunities Still Available!

Westin Nova Scotian, Halifax, Nova Scotia, June 5-8, 2016

Learn more...


CCMTA Annual Meeting

Halifax, Nova Scotia, June 19-22, 2016

Learn more…


Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) Conference and Exhibition

Theme:  Efficient Transportation – Managing the Demand

Toronto, Ontario, September 25-28, 2016

Learn more…