Quick Scan

Canadian Road Safety News Digest – February 1-29, 2016

March 11, 2016   |   Categories: Quick Scan

Last Updated on March 11, 2016


Pedestrian injuries, fatalities in Calgary cost society $120 million each year, says city

February 27, 2016, Calgary Herald (CALGARY, ALBERTA)

The financial impact of life-altering pedestrian collisions and fatalities in Calgary could be $120 million each year, and possibly higher, according to newly released city figures.

Calgary’s transportation department recently adopted societal cost estimates from a 2010 report commissioned by the Capital Region Intersection Safety Partnership…

…When adjusted for inflation, the average societal cost (in 2014 dollars) per fatal collision would be $6,683,900 and $162,300 per injury collision and $13,100 for a property damage only collision, says Tony Churchill, Calgary’s senior traffic engineer and leader of traffic safety.

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Statistical progress strengthens resolve to fight impaired driving

February 25, 2016, Government of P.E.I. (CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I.)

A gradual decline in the rate of impaired driving on Prince Edward Island is encouraging, but the fight against drunk driving is far from over, says Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Minister Paula Biggar.

“During 2015 there were 238 people charged and convicted for impaired driving on Island roads – our lowest number on record, but we will continue to invest in education and enforcement to drive that number even lower,” said the minister.

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Big-rig drivers in Ontario will face mandatory training

February 23, 2016, Hamilton Spectator (HAMILTON, ONTARIO)

Would-be tractor-trailer drivers in Ontario will face mandatory training before they are allowed to get behind the wheel under new rules being proposed by the province.

The prospective changes will require anyone seeking a Class A licence — needed to operate heavy trucks and tractor trailers — to complete a training course at a government-approved school before attempting a road test.

"The introduction of mandatory training, in addition to the testing requirements, is designed to ensure that commercial truck drivers are properly trained before they are licensed," reads a government statement released Monday encouraging public and industry feedback.

A 2014 Toronto Star investigation into Ontario's truck training industry found new tractor-trailer drivers could obtain their licences without taking any formal driving education…

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Photo radar could help slam brakes on police spending: Keenan

February 22, 2016, Toronto Star (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

It’s a surprise because Mayor John Tory, who announced he’d be asking the premier for changes to allow technological changes to police enforcement of traffic rules — including photo radar, “especially in school zones” — has previously shown no inclination to do anything that might anger drivers. He’s spared no expense to speed up construction, tow lane-blockers, keep the Gardiner Expressway intact — at every turn he’s shown his determination to keep his campaign promise to make the city a better place to drive in, devotedly kowtowing to a constituency he developed as a “drive time” radio host.

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Take part in the annual Road Safety at Work Week March 7-11

February 22, 2016, Canada Newswire (RICHMOND, B.C.)

This year, the second annual Road Safety at Work Week is focusing on "Employer Responsibility" to help employers in BC better understand their responsibilities to employees who drive for work.

Motor vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of traumatic workplace deaths in BC. Twenty-four workers a year on average are killed and another 1,300 are injured due to motor vehicle crashes while driving for work. (Source: WorkSafeBC, 2010 to 2014).

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Obese drivers more likely to die in car accidents, says Canadian study

February 21, 2016, CanTechLetter.com (NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C.)

A new study published in the journal Traffic Injury Prevention finds that obese drivers in the United States are at higher risk for car crash fatalities. And with the growing rates of obesity in both Canada and the United States, researchers say that car companies and policy makers need to pay attention to the issues connected to this rising demographic of car drivers.

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Firms already rolling - Some trucking outfits have used electronic logging devices for years

February 18, 2016, Winnipeg Free Press (WINNIPEG, MANITOBA)

OFFICIALS at some of the province’s biggest trucking firms aren’t losing sleep over the announcement new safety regulations will be enacted to combat fatigue among long-distance truckers and bus drivers.

After years of study, the federal government said earlier this week that within the next two years it will implement new regulations requiring truck and bus drivers to electronically record their hours on the road rather than relying on the paper logs that have been in use since the 1930s.

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Vancouver experimenting with rapid flashing beacons to improve pedestrian safety

February 18, 2016, Global News (VANCOUVER, B.C.)

The city of Vancouver is looking into installing flashing beacons at pedestrian crossings in hopes they will help avoid pedestrian injuries and fatalities.

The technology, known as a Rapid Flashing Beacon, will be installed at three pilot locations this week…

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Ontario has no plans to make snow tires mandatory

February 18, 2016, Kingston Whig-Standard (KINGSTON, ONTARIO)

Drivers without winter tires on their vehicles probably wished they had them Tuesday.

But unlike Quebec, the Ontario government has no plans to make snow tires mandatory in this province….

… A spokesperson for the Ontario Ministry of Transportation said the added cost to vehicle owners is the main reason the government has not made winter tires mandatory.

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Automatic braking for cars: Private talks on technology pace

February 17, 2016, Times Colonist (WASHINGTON, D.C.)

Federal regulators and the auto industry are taking a more lenient approach than safety advocates like when it comes to phasing in automatic braking systems for passenger cars, according to records of their private negotiations.

The technology automatically applies brakes to prevent or mitigate collisions, rather than waiting for the driver to act. It's the most important safety technology available today that's not already required in cars.

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Lachine wants to drop speed limit to 30km/h on most streets

February 16, 2016, Montreal Gazette (MONTREAL, QUEBEC)

Driving through Lachine to avoid traffic gridlock on Highway 20 has been done for years, but with work for the Turcot Exchange now underway in earnest, the number of cars roaring along the borough’s side streets has increased.

So an application is being filed with Transports Québec to have the speed limit reduced to 30 kilometres an hour on all residential streets managed by the borough. About half of Lachine’s streets are now managed by Montreal.

…Lachine is the latest in a growing list of boroughs to request a reduction in the speed limit on residential streets. It joins Outremont, Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie, the Sud-Ouest and Plateau-Mont-Royal.

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‘Unacceptable’ number of winter traffic deaths in Canada vs. Sweden: docs

February 15, 2016, Global News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Two Canadian doctors are calling for improved measures when it comes to winter road safety to try to reduce the number of deaths in the country, and suggest we pale in comparison to the safety of other areas with similar weather.

“Each week more than a couple dozen Canadians get into their motor vehicle and do not emerge alive,” Dr. Donald Redelmeier, co-author of an editorial published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), said.

“Canada does not fare well compared with some countries that have snowy winters, with twice as many population-adjusted traffic deaths as Sweden,” reads the editorial. “This is unacceptable.”

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5 ways to improve pedestrian safety in Montreal

February 13, 2016, CBC News (MONTREAL, QUEBEC)

A recent analysis on pedestrian accidents revealed that close to 5,000 pedestrians were injured between 2011 and 2014.

The distressing statistics have prompted calls for more secure streets and raise the question of how to make pedestrians safer.

Radio-Canada, CBC's French-language service, asked that very question to two experts in the field.

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Steady climb seen in pedestrian fatalities

February 10, 2016, 24 Hours (VANCOUVER, B.C.)

Pedestrians are becoming involved in an increasing number of serious injuries and deaths resulting from motor vehicle crashes. In fact, these types of incidents are among the only road safety outcomes identified in a recent B.C. government report to have worsened over the past 10 years.

The Moving to Vision Zero report, released last month, identified how serious injuries involving pedestrians had increased to 19% of all crash-related overnight hospitalizations in 2014 — up from 14.9% in 2005.

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U.S. tells Google computers can qualify as drivers for self-driving cars

February 10, 2016, Globe and Mail (WASHINGTON, D.C.)

U.S. vehicle safety regulators have said the artificial intelligence system piloting a self-driving Google car could be considered the driver under federal law, a major step toward ultimately winning approval for autonomous vehicles on the roads.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc, of its decision in a previously unreported Feb. 4 letter to the company posted on the agency’s website this week.

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More urgency needed on pedestrian safety: Calgary city councillor

February 9, 2016, 660 News (CALGARY, ALBERTA)

There’s renewed debate about the city’s pedestrian strategy, following the death of a senior in the city’s northwest.

The 66-year-old woman was struck and killed in a marked crosswalk at Centre Street and 18 Avenue Monday night.

The Step Forward strategy, which would include lowering speed limits in residential areas, adding more rapid flashing beacons at crosswalks, and an extensive awareness campaign, was tabled last month at City Hall.

But, at least one councillor is wondering if we shouldn’t be acting sooner.

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Drive your car but park your phone

February 8, 2016, Government of Alberta (EDMONTON, ALBERTA)

February’s traffic safety focus is distracted driving. Research indicates that driver distractions contribute to 20 per cent to 30 per cent of all collisions and that distracted drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a collision than attentive drivers.

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Police hope demerits, social media campaign will bring down rising distracted driving numbers

February 7, 2016, Calgary Herald (CALGARY, ALBERTA)

…with recent numbers showing that the number of distracted-driving tickets issued have been rising since legislation came into effect in September 2011, Stacey hopes demerits for distracted driving — as well as a new social media campaign — will help bring those numbers down.

In 2011, police issued 1,039 tickets, Stacey said. In 2012, during the first full year of enforcement, police handed out 6,558 tickets. That number jumped to 7,191 in 2013, 8,200 in 2014, and to its all-time high of 8,478 in 2015.

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RIDE program blitz on Super Bowl Sunday

February 6, 2016, Toronto Sun (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Local police services have a simple message for Super Bowl fans: if you’re drinking this Sunday, don’t drive.

The OPP and R.I.D.E. programs hosted Super Bowl pre-party events at selected Beer stores on Saturday to remind people to plan a safe way home after the big event.

“Plan a party strategy,” said Anne Leonard, executive director of Arrive Alive DRIVE SOBER.

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Cops issue 150 tickets to drivers who endanger pedestrians

February 5, 2016, Northern Life (SUDBURY, ONTARIO)

Drivers who failed to properly negotiate intersections were slapped with more than 150 Highway Traffic Act charges by Greater Sudbury Police last month.

In the month of January, Greater Sudbury Police began a pedestrian/road safety high visibility initiative focused on educating both motorists and pedestrians (general public) about safety and prevention.

Officers made about 200 pedestrian contacts during this initiative, of which six pedestrians were issued tickets for failing to use a crosswalk when available.

A total of 80 pedestrians were issued an educational card/warning and 90 pedestrians awarded a $2 Tim Horton's gift card, these were pedestrians who showed patience and good judgement and properly used the crosswalk.

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Samsung’s ‘see-through’ Safety Truck ready to hit the streets

February 4, 2016, Global News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Samsung’s so-called “see-through” truck is ready to hit the streets in an effort to make it safer for transport trucks and cars to share the road.

The prototype vehicle, first unveiled in June 2015, was designed to make it safer for cars and small trucks to pass transport trucks on two-lane highways.

The semi-truck features a wireless camera mounted on its front hood, which displays the road ahead on a screen attached to the back of the truck. The idea is, vehicles behind the truck would be able to see what was coming up on the road ahead of them and pass safely if they wanted to get in front of the truck.

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P.E.I. transportation minister helps launch national road safety strategy

February 3, 2016, Guardian (CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I.)

Investing in road infrastructure and enhancing enforcement are part of the federal strategy for making Canada’s roads safer.

Federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for transportation and highway safety are met in Ottawa Wednesday to advance key strategies, including unveiling a new plan to further improve road safety.

The ministers launched Canada’s Road Safety Strategy 2025 – Towards Zero: The Safest Roads in the World (www.roadsafetystrategy.ca).

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IN DEPTH: Drug-impaired driving: Complex challenges may accompany legalization of marijuana

February 3, 2016, CBC News (VANCOUVER, B.C.)

On the I-5 interstate, just south of the Canadian border, Washington State Patrol has a problem with pot.  "It smells like marijuana in the car," Trooper Mallorie Baffa says as she shines her flashlight in the face of a 19-year-old man in a Lexus. He caught her attention by taking a wide turn.

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511 Alberta innovations mean safer roads

February 3, 2016, Government of Alberta (EDMONTON, ALBERTA)

Alberta will be the first jurisdiction in Canada to launch a mobile app that allows citizen reporting of road conditions. The Citizen Reporter app will empower Albertans to report road conditions once they have taken an online training course.  The Citizen Reporter app will work on both Android and iPhone and was launched recently.

511 Alberta has also launched an updated website that allows Albertans to track the more than 600 snowplows operated by Alberta Transportation contractors who maintain our highway network throughout the winter.

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Ottawa police target teens with 'Leave the Phone Alone' driving campaign

February 3, 2016, CTV News (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

They're the youngest drivers on the road, and the most likely to think themselves invincible.

But Ottawa police are hoping teenagers in the city can become law enforcement's new secret weapon against the dangers of using a cellphone while driving.

Police are looking to educate teenagers in Ottawa through their Leave the Phone Alone campaign, so the next generation of drivers will know how to avoid distraction when they get behind the wheel.

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#HeadsUp Saskatchewan: police watching for distracted drivers in February

February 1, 2016, SGI (REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN)

Distracted driving is the traffic safety spotlight for the month of February.

Police across the province will be watching for people using cellphones to talk, text, email or surf the internet while driving. They will also be on the lookout for people driving without due care and attention, due to distractions such as eating, putting on makeup, or programming a GPS, which can take a driver’s focus off the road. Not only will drivers receive a ticket, their vehicle will be seized if they are a repeat offender.

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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

Preliminary Program Posted / Registration Now Open!

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…