Quick Scan

Canadian Road Safety News Digest – July 1-31, 2018

September 20, 2018   |   Categories: Quick Scan

Are there fewer deaths caused by distracted driving these days? Not yet, it seems

July 30, 2018, Globe and Mail (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

Despite education campaigns and tougher penalties, distracted driving still counts for nearly one in four fatal crashes on Canadian roads.

“It doesn’t seem to be going down,” said Robyn Robertson, president and CEO of the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF). “Generally, it’s still about 25 per cent of fatals.

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Province announces new impaired driving initiatives

July 30, 2018, CTV News (REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN)

The Government of Saskatchewan will be testing several new approaches to curb impaired driving incidents in the province.

Five different pilot projects have been drafted through collaboration of several government ministries and agencies, including law enforcement and crown corporations.

“Saskatchewan has a problem with impaired driving and it’s important we approach this issue with all the tools at our disposal, because even one death or injury from impaired driving is too many,” Tina Beaudry-Mellor, Minister Responsible for Innovation Saskatchewan, said.

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Federal government set to approve first device for testing drivers' saliva for cannabis

July 30, 2018, National Post (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

The federal government’s crackdown on drug-impaired driving has taken a big step forward, as the Justice Department is set to give its blessing to Canada’s first roadside saliva test.

Once in use, police officers will be able to swab a driver’s mouth to test for the presence of THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

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Motorists seeing red on Edmonton's 124th Street boosts safety, city says

July 25, 2018, CBC News (EDMONTON, ALBERTA)

Trendy, artsy, gentrified —124th has been touted in recent years as one of Edmonton's most stylish neighbourhoods and now the city is taking another step in making the strip more appealing.

Crews are covering crosswalks at main intersections between 102nd Avenue and 110th Avenue with a red, plastic veneer that looks like paint.

"The crosswalk design is to enhance pedestrian safety while adding to the character of the neighbourhood," the city said in a statement to CBC News Wednesday.

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Toronto rolls out advanced pedestrian signals at 80 high traffic intersections

July 20, 2018, CTV News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

In an effort to improve pedestrian safety, the city is expanding the number of intersections where pedestrians will have a head start to cross the street.

Speaking at a news conference in Etobicoke on Friday, Mayor John Tory said the city plans to accelerate the roll out the Leading Pedestrian Interval Program, which gives pedestrians a five-second advanced green signal.

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Millennials could be key to high-driving prevention: BCAA survey

July 17, 2018, Vancouver Courier (VANCOUVER, B.C.)

The BCAA has launched an impaired driving awareness campaign, after a survey revealed 20 per cent of 18-34 year old Canadian drivers think they drive the same or even better when high.  With legalized cannabis coming Oct. 17, BCAA fears such statistics are “troublesome.”

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Crashes hit all-time high in B.C.; ICBC launches online test to refresh drivers' knowledge & improve road safety

July 17, 2018, ICBC (VANCOUVER, B.C.)

Crashes are on the rise once again in B.C. A total of 350,000 crashes occurred in 2017 – about 960 a day, which is a 25 per cent increase since just 2014. That means one out of 10 drivers could cause a crash this year.

A new survey conducted by Insights West for ICBC's Drive Smart road safety campaign reveals that bad driving habits continue to persist as well. The majority (75 per cent) of respondents admitted to displaying bad driving habits on the road.

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Nine-out-of-ten drivers may be too distracted to drive safely, according to Allstate Canada Study

July 16, 2018, Newswire (MONTREAL, QUEBEC)

The driving experience has changed drastically in recent years with advanced and increasingly futuristic in-car technology becoming the norm. While many of today's options are designed to make driving a safer experience, others may be tempting drivers to distraction. According to a new Léger poll conducted on behalf of Allstate Insurance Company of Canada, 91 per cent of drivers surveyed engage in risky behaviour while driving, with precisely half of those (50 per cent) confessing to talking on the phone via a multimedia hands-free function. However, only a fifth (22 per cent) actually admit or recognize that they are distracted drivers.

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Marijuana Mayhem: Drivers In Canada Set Up To Get Busted For Stoned Driving

July 15, 2018, Forbes Magazine (WASHINGTON, D.C.)

While the Canadian stoner class eagerly awaits the official launch of the nation’s recreational marijuana market, law enforcement is devising a semi-evil plot to bust motorists -- potentially innocent ones -- for stoned driving. It is a situation that is bound to spawn an uprising in controversy, lawsuits and heaping piles of unwarranted convictions.

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Montreal 3D crosswalk experiment messing with drivers’ minds to increase pedestrian safety

July 11, 2018, The Star (MONTREAL, QUEBEC)

Add the Montreal neighbourhood of Outremont to a small global club experimenting with optical illusions to increase pedestrian safety.

On Tuesday of this week, at a busy intersection that includes a popular theatre and two bustling restaurants with patios, a crew arrived to repaint the crosswalk. But instead of simply freshening up the old white zebra crossing, they added new lines and shades of colour.

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Improved testing and training of commercial truck drivers in Alberta post-Humboldt Broncos crash

July 10, 2018, CTV News (CALGARY, ALBERTA)

The provincial government, with consultation from representatives of the commercial transport industry and members of the public, is exploring ways to ensure all drivers are properly trained and tested in an attempt to improve road safety in Alberta and outside the province.

Brian Mason, Alberta’s Minister of Transportation, says April’s crash in Saskatchewan involving the Humboldt Broncos’ team bus and a semi tractor-trailer, a collision that claimed 16 lives, placed impetus on revamping the industry’s regulations.

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Edmonton looks to Sweden for traffic safety tips

July 9, 2018, CBC News (EDMONTON, ALBERTA)

As Edmonton drives toward its goal of zero traffic-related deaths and serious injuries, the city is looking for advice from the world's leader of the Vision Zero approach.

Swedish speakers were front and centre when the city kicked off its 10th annual traffic safety conference on Monday.

The event featured a keynote presentation from the head of western Sweden's traffic police and a presentation from a road traffic safety specialist in the country's transport administration.

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Majority believe Toronto streets aren’t safe for cyclists, poll finds

July 9, 2018, The Star (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Nearly two-thirds of Torontonians believe the city’s streets aren’t safe for cyclists, while half of those who are aware of the Vision Zero plan think it isn’t doing enough to protect vulnerable road users, according to a new poll.

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Canadian police under-prepared to deal with drug-impaired drivers: chiefs

July 8, 2018, Global News (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police says it is unlikely it will reach its goal of having 2,000 officers trained to detect drug-impaired drivers when marijuana becomes legal later this year.

Last fall, the agency representing about 90 per cent of police agencies in Canada warned the government before pot becomes legal they need more time to train officers in the new legalization laws as well as to recognized drug-impaired drivers in a roadside stop.

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Drugs and Driving:  New Criminal Code Offences

July 6, 2018, SAAQ (MONTREAL, QUEBEC)

The federal government has added three new drug-related driving offences.

If a police officer suspects that you have consumed drugs, you may be required to submit to physical coordination tests. These tests are enough for the police officer to place you under arrest and require that you provide a blood sample.

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Novel concept of ‘impaired by distraction’ quashed by Supreme Court of Canada

July 4, 2018, Canadian Underwriter (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

Driving while engrossed in a heated conversation may be a form of distraction, but is not a form of impairment, the Supreme Court of Canada suggested in a divided ruling released Friday.

In May 2013, a toddler died after an SUV smashed into a restaurant at an Edmonton strip mall.

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Breath test can’t be refused under new drunk-driving law

July 3, 2018, The Vancouver Sun (VICTORIA, B.C.)

By Christmas, sweeping changes to Canada’s impaired-driving laws will allow police to demand a breath sample from any driver they lawfully stop.

It’s one of the things about Bill C-46 that most concerns Victoria lawyer Michael Mulligan.

Under current law, police must have reasonable suspicion a driver has alcohol in their body before demanding a roadside breath test.

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Canadian government funding more research into impact of cannabis on driving

July 3, 2018, The Northern Pen (ST. ANTHONY, NEWFOUNDLAND)

The Canadian government is investing over $900,000 to learn more about how cannabis effects drivers.

According to a release from Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada, police-reported data on drug-impaired driving first became available in 2009.

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Vision Nothing Much: Halifax’s new road safety plan ignores the experts and embraces more of the same

July 3, 2018, Halifax Examiner (HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA)

There are on average 1,400 personal injuries and 14 fatalities per year due to vehicle collisions in HRM, according to the new Strategic Road Safety Plan (SRSP), recently approved by city council’s transportation committee and now on its way to full council for debate and approval.

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Should speed limits be lowered to save lives? Not necessarily

July 3, 2018, The Star (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Frequent pedestrian and cyclist deaths in Toronto have raised concerns about improving road safety. The city adopted Vision Zero as a policy response, though safety metrics have not improved subsequently.

Many proponents of safer streets call for lowering traffic speeds. Collisions between motorized vehicles and pedestrians or cyclists at lower speeds are known to cause less severe injuries and fewer fatalities than collisions at higher speeds.

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Canadian Events & Conferences in 2018

The 10th International ACM Conference on Automotive User Interfaces and Interactive Vehicular Applications

Toronto, Ontario

September 23-25, 2018

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arrive alive DRIVE SOBER Conference

Legalization: Our New Reality

Mississauga, Ontario

October 28-29, 2018

Learn more…