Quick Scan

Canadian Road Safety News Digest – March 1-31, 2021

April 25, 2021   |   Categories: Quick Scan

Last Updated on April 25, 2021

Mandatory commercial truck driver training to improve road safety

March 31, 2021, Government of B.C. (VICTORIA, B.C.)

B.C.’s highways will be safer for everyone with the introduction of mandatory entry-level training (MELT) for new Class 1 commercial driver’s licence applicants.

B.C.’s program will exceed the minimum requirements set by the National Safety Code Standard for entry-level training of Class 1 drivers.

“Having mandatory entry-level commercial vehicle training will result in better-trained new drivers and improved road safety for everyone in British Columbia,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

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Distracted driving behaviours that your clients deem to be “safe”

March 30, 2021, Canadian Underwriter (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Auto insurers take note: the majority of your clients admit to engaging in distracted driving behaviours, but they consider these behaviours to be safe.

The Third Annual Distracted Driving survey conducted by rate comparison site RATESDOTCA revealed that 74% of drivers who report engaging in certain distracted driving behaviours consider them safe practices behind the wheel. The survey of 1,001 Canadian drivers also found 40% of passengers who noticed the driver engaging in distracted driving did not ask them to stop. Thirteen percent of drivers claim they would object if a passenger asked them to stop the distracted driving behaviour.

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Canada and Alberta invest in highway projects to make transportation safer and more efficient, create good jobs, and support regional economies

March 29, 2021, Newswire.ca (EDMONTON, ALBERTA)

The safety and well-being of Canadians are top priorities of the governments of Canada and Alberta. Investments in critical infrastructure, such as highways and roads, during this extraordinary time create good jobs, support trade and regional economies, and make our communities more connected and resilient.

Today, Larry Bagnell, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for CanNor, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and the Honourable Ric McIver, Alberta's Minister of Transportation and Municipal Affairs, announced funding to improve road safety and travel efficiency on Highway 15 and Highway 19. The funding announcement was made during a groundbreaking event for the Highway 19 project.

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Minister of Transport announces funding for new projects to improve the safety for road users

March 26, 2021, Transport Canada (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

Road safety programs protect Canadians by finding ways to improve the safety for all road users, while also reducing the risk of collisions. That’s why Transport Canada is funding new, national tools that address ongoing road safety challenges.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced a new call for proposals under the Enhanced Road Safety Transfer Payment Program, which is making $12 million available to fund projects which:

  • promote road safety awareness;
  • increase knowledge of road safety issues, practices, and behaviours;
  • improve support for innovative and emerging technologies; and
  • bolster the safe introduction of features for connected and automated vehicles.

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After a one-year hiatus, the annual CAA Worst Roads campaign returns

March 23, 2021, Newswire.ca (THORNHILL, ONTARIO)

With a renewed focus on education and safety, CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) is proud to announce that following a one-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the annual CAA Worst Roads Campaign is back, and voting is now open.

"The campaign is a platform for all road users to highlight which roadway improvements should be prioritized by our different levels of government," says Raymond Chan, government relations manager CAA SCO. "The campaign gives decision-makers a snapshot of what roads the public perceives are not meeting their expectations."

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Shining A Spotlight On Impaired Driving Prevention

March 22, 2021, MADD Canada (OAKVILLE, ONTARIO)

March 21 – 27 is National Impaired Driving Prevention Awareness Week across Canada. MADD Canada joins governments, law enforcement agencies and community organizations in raising awareness about the risks and consequences of impaired driving.

Established in 2018 and designated for the third week of March every year, National Impaired Driving Prevention Awareness Week encourages all Canadians to help prevent impaired driving and keep roads safe.

MADD Canada’s new statistical report provides an insightful snapshot of the number of people driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The number of provincial licence suspensions and federal charges for impaired driving in 2017 were…

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Are police issuing more tickets to cyclists as bike traffic increases?

March 21, 2021, Globe and Mail (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Last year, I got my first-ever ticket while riding a bike. I slowed down but didn’t stop at a crosswalk where somebody was waiting to cross. (I didn’t see him in time.) I’m wondering if police issued more tickets last year, especially with so many more people cycling because of road closures and COVID-19. – Ravi, Toronto

While cycling boomed in Toronto after the COVID-19 lockdowns, the number of cycling tickets fell, Toronto police said.

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SGI Reports Over 300 Impaired Drivers in February

March 20, 2021, Swift Current Online (SWIFT CURRENT, SASKATCHEWAN)

Despite the cold temperatures many areas of Saskatchewan saw in February, it didn’t deter law enforcement from the traffic safety spotlight that was carried out in conjunction with SGI. The month had a focus on impaired drivers, with a secondary focus on those driving with suspended licenses, or driving an unregistered vehicle.

Tyler McMurchy, Manager of Media Relations with SGI, explained that over the course of the month, there were 330 drivers who faced impaired driving charges “which includes 262 criminal code charges and another 67 roadside administrative suspensions.”

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The Road Safety Record Interactive Map:  A New Tool

March 19, 2021, SAAQ (MONTREAL, QUEBEC)

Would you like to visualize statistics related to road accidents and driver’s licence holders in your region, regional county municipality (MRC), or municipality?

You can interact with the new map and display the number of accidents, fatalities, accident victims, pedestrian victims, motorcyclist victims or driver’s licence holders.

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Thunder Bay police practice of naming impaired drivers under review

March 16, 2021, CBC News (THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO)

Thunder Bay police have paused their practice of naming everyone charged with an impaired driving-related offence in the city while they review the policy's effectiveness.

Police began the practice as part of the 2020 Festive RIDE program and would publish the names of those charged with impaired driving weekly.

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Manitoba Public Insurance working to continue safe vehicle repairs for Manitoban

March 15, 2021, MPI (WINNIPEG, MANITOBA)

Despite our efforts to work collaboratively, Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) has been unable to agree to terms with the Automotive Trades Association of Manitoba and Manitoba Motor Dealers Association to sign a new compensation agreement for repairing light vehicles. The current agreement was set to be in place until April 15, 2021.

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Pump the brakes: safety experts say more review needed before Alberta ups highway speed

March 15, 2021, CBC News (EDMONTON, ALBERTA)

Road safety experts are cautioning Alberta to slow down a proposal to raise speed limits on highways outside its cities.

A private member's bill could make Alberta the latest province to tinker with its speed limits. The bill, put forward by Spruce Grove-Stony Plain MLA Searle Turton last week, would increase speed limits on all non-urban divided highways from 110 km/h to 120.

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School zone and traffic advisory committee asks Innisfil council to support school bus cameras

March 15, 2021, Simcoe.com (SIMCOE COUNTY, ONTARIO)

Innisfil council is requesting the County of Simcoe oversee a pilot project for cameras on school buses.

The Innisfil School Zone Traffic Safety advisory committee recommendation was passed at the March 10 council meeting.

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Tesla removed some drivers from its self-driving test for not paying attention

March 14, 2021, CTV News (WASHINGTON, D.C.)

Tesla has expanded its "full self-driving" software to roughly 2,000 Tesla owners, but some drivers were revoked access for not paying close enough attention to the road, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

"FSD Beta has now been expanded ... we've also revoked beta where drivers did not pay sufficient attention to the road, Musk said in a tweet on Friday. "No accidents to date."

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The long road back: survivor details aftermath of drunk driving crash in new book

March 14, 2021, News1130 (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

It was a warm Sunday afternoon in 2013 when a Nelson woman and her 19-year-old daughter, halfway through an eight-hour road trip, were struck head-on by an impaired driver behind the wheel of a stolen SUV outside Cranbrook. The rest of the story, including their long road to recovery, is detailed in a new book.

“It wasn’t just about the crash. It was about everything that came after the crash,” says Pat Henman, author of Beyond The Legal Limit: Surviving a Collision with a Drunk Driver.

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Canadian road users unaware of risks linked to DST

March 12, 2021, Insurance Business Magazine (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Every year, there is an increase in road injuries and fatalities just after Daylight Saving Time (DST) begins. According to The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), when the clocks are moved forward by one hour – which will happen on Sunday, March 14, at 2am - road traffic accidents can increase by as much as 23% in the following week. This is largely due to the impact of the time change on our responsiveness and overall fatigue.

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Rise in drugged driving cases concern Sudbury police

March 11, 2021, Sudbury Star (SUDBURY, ONTARIO)

Greater Sudbury Police officers are concerned about what they say is a dramatic increase in impaired driving in the city, and especially impaired by drug cases.

And they used an accident on the weekend to illustrated their concerns.

“Driving while impaired is a criminal choice with potentially serious or even fatal consequences,” police said on its website. “You are not only putting your own life at risk, you are risking the lives of everyone else on the road.

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Why are we so obsessed with photo radar when there are better anti-speeding technologies?

March 11, 2021, The Globe and Mail (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

I honked as the man in the Buick sped through the red light. In response, the lean 70-year-old slowed in the middle of the intersection and rolled down his window. Was he about to apologize? No, mustering all the vim and vigour he had when he was a young creep in his twenties, Jerk the Elder hurled a swear at me. He was wearing a peaked cap, as if he was auditioning for the role of “Bad Driver #1” in some HBO drama.

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Speed limit lowered in Halifax neighbourhood where cars 'fly down the streets'

March 10, 2021, CBC News (HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA)

Cars driving through Halifax's Uniacke Square neighbourhood will need to slow down after the city reduced the speed limit in the area by 10 kilometres per hour.

It's part of the city's initiative to improve road safety and move toward zero fatalities and injuries for all road users, according to a news release from the Halifax Regional Municipality.

Late last month, HRM council proposed doubling the city's traffic calming budget after several councillors raised concerns about speeding and road safety.

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Toronto is getting 50 new speed enforcement cameras. Here's where they will be

March 5, 2021, CTV News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Toronto will be rolling out automated speed enforcement (ASE) cameras at 50 new locations this spring.

The City of Toronto announced Friday that the devices will be rotated into the new locations and will be operational as of May.

The locations have been chosen according to areas where there have been safety concerns around excessive speed and collisions near schools in Community Safety Zones.

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Ontario Improving Safety and Enforcement for Towing Industry

March 2, 2021, Ontario Ministry of Transportation (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

The Ontario government is making our roads and highways safer by launching a Joint Forces Operation team to address violence in the towing industry and introducing a tow zone pilot on designated sections of provincial highways. Ontario's provincial towing task force has also recommended additional actions to better protect customers and improve towing industry safety, including establishing an oversight model of the towing and storage industry, exploring licencing for tow truck drivers, and introducing clearer equipment standards.

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Statement by the Minister of Transport on electronic logging devices for commercial vehicles

March 2, 2021, Transport Canada (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, issued the following statement:

"Road safety is a priority for the Government of Canada. That is why, in 2019, we took new action to prevent commercial driver fatigue and improve road safety by mandating electronic logging devices.

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City of Saskatoon launching online survey looking at lowering residential speed limits

March 2, 2021, CBC News (SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN)

People in Saskatoon will soon have their say about how fast people should be able to drive through residential neighbourhoods.

On Tuesday, an online survey was launched to ask the public whether the speed limit should be changed in areas that have high concentrations of children and the elderly.

Over the years, the city says it has heard from citizens concerned about vehicle speeds and pedestrian safety.

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August 22-25, 2021

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