Quick Scan

Canadian Road Safety News Digest – February 1-29, 2020

March 12, 2020   |   Categories: Quick Scan

Last Updated on March 12, 2020

Special Announcement by the Standards Council of Canada

The Standards Council of Canada (SCC) is seeking feedback on ISO’s proposal for the development of a new standards committee on Consumer incident investigation guidelines. The purpose of this inquiry is to consult with Canadian stakeholders to develop a national position on the proposal, and to determine if there is interest in participating in the work should it be approved.

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Pedestrian deaths in U.S. reach highest level since 1988

February 27, 2020, Yahoo News (WASHINGTON, D.C.)

New estimates from the Governors Highway Safety Association suggest that pedestrian fatalities rose to the highest levels in more than 30 years in 2019, to 6,590. The report cites familiar culprits, including a lack of safe road crossings, distracted or impaired driving, and the ever-increasing prevalence of large SUVs and trucks on U.S. roads, which are more likely to kill pedestrians than cars.

If the numbers hold, it would represent a 5% increase over the 6,283 pedestrians killed on U.S. roads in 2018, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, considered the official source on the numbers. That was even as traffic deaths had fallen for a second consecutive year to 36,560. NHTSA also said 857 cyclists and others using non-motorized transportation were killed on roads in 2018.

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Pedestrian safety a focus of St. John's 2020 spending

February 27, 2020, The Telegram (ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND)

At the Wednesday committee of the whole meeting at St. John's City Hall, councillors discussed more than $10-million worth of capital out of revenue spending for 2020.

Topping the list is the annual grind and patch road improvements at nearly $2 million, but Coun. Maggie Burton said there’s roughly $3 million allocated for improvements related to pedestrian safety and active transportation, such a bicycling.

She said there’s been a lot of talk about such improvements, and the city is matching that talk with spending on things like sidewalk repairs, the next stage of the bike master plan, sidewalk plows and snowblowers, and bike racks.

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Whoa! Slow down and share, architect and urban planner say

February 26, 2020, CBC News (WINNIPEG, MANITOBA)

Wins is a jogger, and Rae is a cyclist.

Wins jogs to and from the office several days a week year-round — six kilometres each way. During the non-winter months, Rae bikes to work at the university — 11 kilometres each way.

We think of it as a way to see the city, check on buildings under construction, say hi to neighbours and friends on the way, enjoy the weather, be healthy. It's our thinking time.

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Learn how Canadian jurisdictions can make their Vision Zero commitment

February 26, 2020, Parachute (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

A 29-per-cent decrease in cyclist injuries. A 17-per-cent reduction in all serious injuries on the roads. This is what has happened so far in Edmonton, AB, Canada’s first city to embrace a Vision Zero road safety approach, and what’s possible for other communities across the country, says a paper that will help communities across the country adopt a successful road safety plan. Making a Vision Zero Commitment in Canada reviews road safety frameworks in Canada, the evolution of Vision Zero internationally and provides resources for practical implementation of Vision Zero in Canada.

“By using an injury-prevention approach based in public health theory, the paper provides information not only on Vision-Zero-specific implementation but also addresses important contextual factors that impact these efforts, such as community readiness,” says Pamela Fuselli, President and CEO of Parachute.

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Experts call on Canada to make road safety a national priority

February 26, 2020, Windsor Star (WINDSOR, ONTARIO)

Canadian road safety experts are calling on the federal government to make reducing road deaths and injuries a national priority.

“The Canadian approach to road safety has not been sufficient to provide Canada with the lowest possible levels of road trauma. Each year in Canada approximately 1,900 people are killed in road crashes and many thousands are seriously injured and hospitalized,” wrote the authors of an open letter to transport minister Marc Garneau.

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ICBC unveils new road safety school resources

February 25, 2020, ICBC (VANCOUVER, B.C.)

As part of ICBC's commitment to promoting a safe driving culture in B.C., ICBC has developed new road safety learning resources to help teachers give children and young adults the foundation they need to stay safe.

Designed for students from preschool to grade 10, teachers can now download road safety resources for free at icbc.com. The material is divided by grade level, and each grade has a teachers' manual and handout booklet for students.

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Speeding could be a thing of the past with developing 'geo-fencing' technology

February 21, 2020, Ottawa Sun (STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN)

What began as an attempt to prevent future terrorist attacks has turned Sweden into a world leader when it comes to using technology to control speed and other driver behaviours.

In fact geo-fencing, as the technology is known, has the potential to end speeding, although its use is still at the pilot stage in Sweden and neighbouring Norway.

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WHERE'S CANADA?: Country under the radar at international traffic safety conference

February 20, 2020, Ottawa Sun (STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN)

Once seen as a leader in the field, Canada’s low profile at global meetings on road safety this week had some asking: “Where is Canada?”

Unlike many of the 140 countries taking part in the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, Canada was represented by bureaucrats rather than a federal minister.

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3,700 people die daily in traffic as countries commit to reducing deaths

February 19, 2020, Ottawa Sun (STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN)

The pile of shoes in Stockholm’s central station tells the story: 3,700 pairs of shoes, one for each person killed in a traffic crash around the world every day.

“These are real people, not statistics,” said Bright Oywaya of the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT), Kenya, who added a pair of sparkly high-tops to the pile. “I am not a statistic, I was involved in a road crash that totally changed my life and I continue to bear the consequences.”

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Government admits flaw in new Ontario licence plates a day after defending design

February 19, 2020, CTV News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

The Ontario government is now saying they are working with the manufacturer of the new licence plates to “resolve” issues regarding poor visibility at night, one day after the Minister of Government Consumer Services said they are "actually very readable."

The new plates, which were designed by manufacturer 3M Canada with assistance from the Progressive Conservative government, hit the roads earlier this month.

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Calls to license, insure cyclists in B.C. get mixed reviews

February 18, 2020, TriCity News (VANCOUVER, B.C.)

The Insurance Corp. of British Columbia’s (ICBC) sweeping changes to how it covers automobile drivers have prompted calls to impose new licensing and insurance requirements on cyclists and e-scooter riders.

While licensing and insuring bicycles is not part of the government’s plan, these calls, which include demands that riders be required to pass an online road-safety course, are not new.

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Cannabis-impaired driving on the rise since legalization, say Nova Scotia RCMP

February 17, 2020, CBC News (HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA)

The RCMP in Nova Scotia have seen a jump in the number of people driving while high since cannabis was legalized back in 2018.

Const. Chad Morrison, a provincial drug recognition expert with RCMP traffic services, said there has been "maybe a 30 to 40 per cent increase in terms of the numbers of arrests and the number of drug evaluations that we've been conducting."

That brings the drug-impaired driving arrests up to 5-10 a month across the province, said Morrison.

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Making roads safer on Vancouver Island

February 14, 2020, Government of BC (VICTORIA, B.C.)

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is rehabilitating highways and bridges on Vancouver Island, and is building new infrastructure where it is needed.

The B.C. government will continue to invest in transportation infrastructure for the safe, reliable and efficient movement of people and goods.

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Government of Canada launches school bus seatbelt pilots in the District of Sudbury, Ontario and British Columbia

February 14, 2020, Transport Canada (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

The safety of Canada’s road users is a priority for federal, provincial, and territorial governments, and that starts with the safe transportation of our school children.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, announced that the Government of Canada is launching a pilot project introducing seatbelts in some school buses with the District of Sudbury, Ontario, and at a second location in British Columbia, which will be announced at a later date.

The pilot projects will involve a limited number of new school buses, equipped with three-point seatbelts that follow the latest federal safety standards.

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Dropping speed limits in central Toronto has made pedestrians safer, new report says

February 9, 2020, The Globe and Mail (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

It got a lot safer to walk after speed limits were dropped on local roads throughout central Toronto, a new study found.

The results, which were published Sunday in the journal BMC Public Health, run counter to a common narrative at Toronto city hall that lowering the limit will not, on its own, save lives.

A chance to test that view came after councillors in the old cities of Toronto and East York reduced the speed limits from 40 kilometres an hour to 30 on hundreds of kilometres of local roads in their wards. This was a change these councillors could make unilaterally and they approved it unanimously in 2015, despite criticism from the mayor and some suburban councillors.

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House panel to a hold hearing on the future of self-driving cars

February 9, 2020, Yahoo (WASHINGTON, D.C.)

A U.S. House panel will hold a hearing Tuesday on autonomous vehicles as lawmakers try to hammer out legislation to advance self-driving cars.

An Energy and Commerce subcommittee overseeing automotive issues will hear from officials of trade groups representing automakers and tech companies, as well as safety advocates and a San Francisco transit official.

Congress has worked for four years on legislation that would remove regulatory barriers but has not reached agreement. Last summer, a bipartisan group of lawmakers released sections of a draft self-driving car bill for discussion.

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U.S. agency approves vehicle designed not to have human driver

February 6, 2020, CTV News (DETROIT, MICHIGAN)

For the first time, the U.S. government's highway safety agency has approved a company's request to deploy a self-driving vehicle that doesn't meet federal safety standards that apply to cars and trucks driven by humans.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration granted temporary approval for Silicon Valley robotics company Nuro to run low-speed autonomous delivery vehicles that were designed so they can't carry humans.

Nuro's vehicles won't be required to have side and rear-view mirrors and other safety provisions. Also, not on the safety feature list; windshield wipers, steering wheels or brake pedals.

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Why near-misses may hold the key to improved road safety

February 6, 2020, Canadian Underwriter (WINNIPEG, MANITOBA)

A startup based in Winnipeg is using near-miss data from intersections in an attempt to proactively, rather than reactively, help reduce traffic fatalities.

“Up until now, traffic engineers have focused on using historical crash data that involve a fatality to program interventions,” Craig Milligan, road safety engineer and CEO of MicroTraffic, told Canadian Underwriter Friday. “But if you take a closer look at the data, 75% of fatalities occur at locations where fatalities did not previously occur, which means the reactive approach is clearly not working.

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Saskatchewan increases distracted driving penalties

February 5, 2020, The Reminder (REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN)

“Despite increased enforcement by police and significant awareness efforts by SGI, 22 people lost their lives on Saskatchewan roads in 2018 due to distracted driving or inattention. That is 22 deaths too many.”

Before Feb. 1, motorists caught driving distracted only had to pay a fine of $280. A first offense in February will cost drivers $580 and four demerits. A second offense within a year of the first will cost $1,400, more demerits and offenders will lose their vehicles for seven days….

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30 km/h in residential areas?

February 4, 2020, Castanet (VANCOUVER, B.C.)

Currently the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act sets a speed limit of 50 km/h on municipal streets when a different speed limit has not been posted by signs.

A recent survey by Research Co. found that 58% of British Columbians would definitely or probably like to see residential speed limits of 30 km/h. This past fall the Union of B.C. Municipalities resolved to ask the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure to amend the Motor Vehicle Act to allow municipalities to set this blanket speed limit.

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More evidence texting pedestrians are accidents waiting to happen

February 4, 2020, National Post (CALGARY, ALBERTA)

Smartphone users who text while they walk are more prone to accidents than pedestrians who just listen to music or talk on their phones, a research review suggests.

Compared to people who didn’t text while walking, those who did appeared to look left and right less often before crossing streets, the analysis found. Texting was also associated with higher odds that pedestrians would bump into other people or things in their paths or experience near-misses.

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Making roads safer in northern B.C.

February 3, 2020, Government of B.C. (VICTORIA, B.C.)

In northern B.C., the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is working to rehabilitate highways and bridges, and to build new infrastructure where it is needed.

Twenty-seven major projects were under construction or completed in 2019.

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Canadian Events & Conferences in 2020

Canada’s Safest Driver Contest – By Parachute

Canada-wide

April 6-May 31, 2020

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Ontario Road Safety Forum – 7th

CARSP Young Professionals’ Meet & Greet

Toronto, Ontario

April 30, 2020

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CCMTA Annual Meeting

Charlottetown, PEI

May 31-June 3, 2020

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CARSP/PRI 2020 Joint Conference

Montreal, Quebec

June 15-18, 2020

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6th International Symposium on Highway Geometric Design

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

June 28-July 1, 2020

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