Quick Scan

Canadian Road Safety News Digest – December 1-31, 2020

January 12, 2021   |   Categories: Quick Scan

Last Updated on March 18, 2021

Impaired driving statistic makes for failing grade in Vision Zero road safety plan for Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga

December 31, 2020, Caledon Enterprise (CALEDON, ONTARIO)

Although Peel’s Vision Zero Road Safety Strategic Plan is making inroads in reducing and ultimately eliminating fatal and injury motor vehicle collisions in Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga, one important area is getting a failing grade — impaired driving.

Peel regional council adopted the road safety strategic plan in 2018 that envisions “zero fatal and injury collisions for all road users” with a goal of “10 per cent reduction in fatal and injury collisions by 2022,” according to a report presented to council Dec. 3, 2020 that summarizes the progress made in the second year of the five-year plan.

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Road safety improvements approved for communities across Saskatchewan

December 28, 2020, SGI (REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN)

Road safety projects in 66 communities across Saskatchewan have been approved for grants totaling $750,000 from the Provincial Traffic Safety Fund.

A total of 70 road safety improvement projects were approved, with grants ranging from $547 to $72,300.

Projects include speed display signs and other speed reduction initiatives, as well as funding for intersection and crosswalk improvements. A full list of approved projects and grant amounts is attached.

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Workplace Safety North creates and releases snowmobile safety webinar

December 27, 2020, CTV News (NORTH BAY, ONTARIO)

Workplace Safety North (WSN) is reminding snowmobilers to be mindful while on or near forest roads.

Logging workers are still working during the holidays in northeastern Ontario.

WSN is offering a free one hour safety webinar for snowmobile enthusiasts and it covers all the basics of snowmobile safety and what they should look out for.

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Roads had less traffic this year, but were they safer?

December 27, 2020, The Globe and Mail (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Since so many people stopped driving this year, were the roads safer than usual? I know idiots were speeding on empty roads during the pandemic, but I’m wondering if accidents and crashes are down. It seems like roads got busier this summer and then were mostly back to normal, but did the spring make a big difference? – Olivia, Toronto

There were fewer tickets in Ontario this year, but that doesn’t mean that roads were safer.

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Hindsight 2020: Did Montreal's mobility mayor go too far on sharing the road?

December 24, 2020, Montreal Gazette (MONTREAL, QUEBEC)

Whispers of dissent gave way to full-throated cries of revolt as Montreal’s mayor found herself in the firing line of frustrated motorists this year.

As the coronavirus confinement gripped the city, Valérie Plante introduced the concept of sanitary corridors in April — plastic poles installed along popular pedestrian streets to widen sidewalks and give more space for people to walk safely, separated from car traffic.

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Saskatchewan anticipating the driverless future with new legislation

December 18, 2020, CBC News (REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN)

The Saskatchewan government is gearing up for a future where vehicles will drive themselves.

The Traffic Safety Act has been amended to now include automated driving systems.

This will allow SGI to eventually regulate any level of autonomous vehicles that are on the roads, whether it's a Tesla or a driverless tractor.

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Holiday checkstop program for impaired drivers gets COVID-19 tweak

December 18, 2020, CBC News (WINNIPEG, MANITOBA)

You better watch out, you better not … drink and drive. Despite a ban on Christmas parties, and bars being closed due to COVID-19, the Winnipeg police checkstop will be out this holiday season, although a little differently.

Rather than setting up defined checkpoints and pulling over lines of vehicles, officers will be out in force throughout the city keeping an eye out for impaired drivers.

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MADD Canada CEO fears poor pandemic driving behaviour will peak over holidays

December 18, 2020, CBC News (FREDERICTON, N.B.)

With road traffic reduced because of the pandemic, Andrew Murie thought impaired driving statistics would plummet this year.

The chief executive officer of MADD Canada is surprised at how wrong he was.

"I've been with MADD almost 25 years and … I've never seen anything like what's been happening during this pandemic," said Murie.

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Fewer Canadians self-report drinking and driving over the legal limit, but risk-taking remains a concern even with lower traffic volumes

December 17, 2020, Globe Newswire (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) announces the release of a new fact sheet revealing declines in self-reported drinking and driving, Road Safety Monitor 2020: Drinking & Driving in Canada. The Road Safety Monitor (RSM) is an annual public opinion poll conducted by TIRF and co-sponsored by Beer Canada and Desjardins. The report also includes crash data from TIRF’s National Fatality Database. It shows significant progress has been achieved in Canada to combat drinking and driving based upon recent trends in the number of alcohol-related road deaths as well as the percentage of total road deaths attributed to drinking drivers.

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Ontario government taking action to reduce impaired driving

December 16, 2020, The Review (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

The Ontario government is investing $4.8 million through the Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere (RIDE) grant program to help police services across the province keep impaired drivers off streets and highways. 171 police services will receive funding to carry out important year-round road safety initiatives such as education campaigns and roadside spot checks.

“Driving impaired, whether from drugs or alcohol is not only illegal, it can be fatal. Making alternate plans to get home safely only takes a minute, and it can save your life and the lives of others,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “With the holiday season upon us, education campaigns and roadside spot checks are vital tools in the police arsenal to inform people about the dangers of driving impaired and the ways to keep our roads and highways safe.”

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Message not getting across

December 15, 2020, The Star (EDMONTON, ALBERTA)

Despite Alberta’s new impaired driving laws that came into effect December 1, 2020, drivers are still willing to risk getting behind the wheel and driving while under the influence. Of those impaired, seven drivers held GDL licenses and were issued suspensions and vehicle seizures. Another four drivers received suspensions for drug impairment.

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Economic recovery funding strengthens active transportation network

December 14, 2020, Government of B.C. (VICTORIA, B.C.)

British Columbians will benefit from an investment in active transportation infrastructure that helps create a stronger B.C. with better connected and more liveable communities.

“From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, people have naturally been more interested in using active transportation to safely move around and stay connected to their community,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

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More than 400 impaired driving charges laid in Ontario since end of November

December 14, 2020, CTV News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

More than 400 impaired driving charges have been laid in the last two weeks during the Ontario Provincial Police’s (OPP) annual “Festive RIDE” program.

The program launched on Nov. 27 and since then, the OPP said officers have laid 438 impaired driving charges.

“Some of the numbers are absolutely staggering,” OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said in a video posted to social media.

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Ontario Seeks Public Feedback to Improve the Towing Industry

December 11, 2020, Ontario Ministry of Transportation (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Ontario has released a survey to gather feedback from the public on their experiences with the towing industry. The survey will remain open for five weeks until January 15, 2021. Input from the survey will be used to help inform the development of a provincial oversight model that will increase safety, outline protections for consumers, improve towing industry standards and consider tougher penalties for violators.

"We want to hear from everyone about their experiences and challenges when using towing services across the province," said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation.

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RCMP doing mandatory breathalyzer tests in Yukon

December 11, 2020, CBC News (WHITEHORSE, YUKON)

Yukon RCMP will be administering mandatory breathalyzer tests at roadside check stops this holiday season.

RCMP Const. Louis Allain said Yukoners should be prepared to take a test if they are on the road and go through a check stop. The mandatory tests started in late November and will go through the first week of January.

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Province Releases Comprehensive Transportation Plan for Northern Ontario

December 10, 2020, Ontario Ministry of Transportation (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

The Ontario government released its draft transportation plan for Northern Ontario, delivering on its commitment to build a better transportation network for the Region. The plan outlines more than 60 actions to expand highways and transit services, create Northern economic opportunities, keep people safe and provide reliable travel options for remote and First Nation communities.

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Sask. impaired driving offences up in 2020

December 8, 2020, The Star Pheonix (SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN)

Saskatchewan’s monthly drunk and impaired driving charges in the first 10 months of 2020 have already exceeded last year’s total number.

From January to October 2020, the province recorded 3,813 impaired driving cases, according to statistics from Saskatchewan Government Insurance. That’s already more than the 3,752 cases in all 12 months of 2019. Numbers from November 2020 are not yet available.

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Winter tires a good idea, but won't become law in Ontario: province

December 7, 2020, Driving.ca (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Ontario drivers are encouraged but unlike their counterparts in Quebec, they will not be forced to put snow tires on their vehicles.

Ministry of Transportation spokesperson Lee Alderson said the goal is to promote road safety without imposing unwarranted burdens on consumers and businesses.

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New impaired driving rules kick in across Alberta

December 1, 2020, CBC News (CALGARY, ALBERTA)

New legislation that goes into effect in Alberta Tuesday means some impaired drivers will be slapped with stiff fines, rather than a criminal court trial.

The UCP government has implemented legislation related to Bill 21 that includes changes to how impaired drivers are penalized and how things are handled during roadside stops.

"The big takeaway is if you're a first-time offender, they're not going to be putting you into the criminal justice system," said Const. Dan Kurz with the Calgary Police Service. "You'll be staying within the provincial transportation system."

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