Quick Scan

Canadian Road Safety News Digest – October 1-31, 2016

December 9, 2016   |   Categories: Quick Scan

Last Updated on December 9, 2016

Minister Garneau gives Canadians Halloween treat that improves road safety: Proposed regulations improve rear visibility for drivers, save lives and prevent injuries

October 31, 2016, Transport Canada (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

On a day when Canadian drivers and children need to be aware of their surroundings at all times, Minister Garneau provided a Halloween treat that could help drivers and children alike.

Surrounded by students at Le Trillium Public Elementary School in Ottawa, Minister Garneau proposed new regulations that will require rear-visibility systems on all new vehicles sold in Canada to help drivers see behind their vehicle when they back up.

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Saskatchewan getting tougher on impaired driving with new laws

October 31, 2016, Global News (REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN)

With Saskatchewan having the highest percentage of impaired drivers in the country, the province is now increasing the punishment for people caught behind the wheel.

On Monday, the Ministry of Justice and SGI announced changes to Saskatchewan’s impaired driving laws. These include:

  • Add a three-day vehicle seizure for experienced drivers who are charged for the first time with having a blood alcohol content (BAC) between 0.04 to 0.08.

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Toronto pedestrian advocates take issue with Sunnybrook Hospital's new road safety campaign

October 31, 2016, Metro News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

An upcoming road safety campaign by Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital has caught the eye of pedestrian advocates – but not for the right reasons.

Entitled “Be Alert, Be Seen,” the campaign aims to bring attention to road safety as we head into the winter months – which are statistically more dangerous for pedestrians.

“Pedestrians need to avoid distractions while walking and be visible when crossing the street. Drivers must focus on the road at all times,” reads the invitation to the campaign’s launch on Tuesday.

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Calgary councilor's wristbands urge pedestrians to be more aware

October 27, 2016, CBC News (CALGARY, ALBERTA)

A new poll suggests two-thirds of Canadians would support a law on distracted walking, and many Calgarians including one Calgary councillor seem to support the idea in principle.

Sporting a wristband with the slogan "Head up, device down," Ward Sutherland is on a mission to raise awareness and reintroduce education into schools about pedestrian safety at crosswalks.

The electronic devices light up in the dark and are a special initiative by Sutherland.

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Toronto ramps up road safety measures in effort to lower pedestrian deaths

October 27, 2016, Global News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Toronto is ramping up its road safety measures in an effort to drastically reduce the number of traffic-related fatalities in the city.  So far this year, 35 pedestrians have been killed including one cyclist, up from 29 deaths at the same period in 2015.

“This is the time of the year when collisions go up,” Public Works and Infrastructure Committee Chair Jaye Robinson told reporters Thursday morning. “We often report these as statistics. These are not statistics. These are people’s lives.”

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Over 60 per cent of Canadians support ‘distracted walking’ legislation

October 26, 2016, Global News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

How many times have you seen someone on their phone completely oblivious to their surroundings while walking or crossing the road?

A new poll from Insights West suggests 66 per cent of Canadians say they would support “distracted walking” legislation in their municipality that would forbid the use of hand-held cell phones by people who are in a roadway and are, for example, crossing the street.

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Hundreds of pedestrian, cyclist deaths were preventable, road safety group says

October 25, 2016, CTV News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

The high number of road deaths on Toronto streets this year has prompted a group of grieving relatives to start up a campaign that will aim to improve traffic safety.

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One in three Ontarians admit they drive distracted due to mobile use

October 24, 2016, Mobilesyrup (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

According to a new study conducted by Ipsos for the South Central Ontario branch of CAA, about one in three Ontarians (32 percent) admit to driving distracted because of their mobile phone use.

But while the stereotype of a distracted driver might be someone who is messaging or using social media, this study found that the number one reason for distraction was still fairly old school — receiving a call.

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Truckers face tough road for staying healthy

October 22, 2016, Toronto Sun (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

That driver barrelling down the highway in a truck weighing up to 63,500 kilograms could suffer from a weight problem that’s making him sleepy.

While obesity and drowsiness aren’t concerns only for truckers, people who drive for a living face a particularly tough road — bad food options, a lack of rest stops and long, long shifts spent sitting behind the wheel.

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2016 Manitoba road deaths already surpass last year's numbers: MPI

October 20, 2016, CTV News (WINNIPEG, MANITOBA)

Manitoba Public Insurance is issuing an urgent call to drivers to be careful after an already deadly year on provincial roadways.

With two months left in 2016, road deaths already total more than 2015 numbers on Manitoba roads.

MPI said 85 people have died on highways and city streets, up from 78 road fatalities in 2015.

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ICBC warns about spike in pedestrian crashes

October 18, 2016, ICBC (NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C.)

Today, ICBC is launching a pedestrian safety campaign with the B.C. government and police to urge pedestrians and drivers to stay safe as crashes involving pedestrians spike at this time of year.

On average, 59 pedestrians are killed and 2,300 injured in crashes every year in B.C., with almost half of these fatalities (46 per cent) occurring between October and January.*

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Nearly ¾ of young Canadian drivers polled don’t consider using their phones while driving to be “very distracting,” new poll finds

October 17, 2016, Canadian Underwriter (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

An “alarming” 71% of young drivers aged 16 to 24 don’t consider using their phones while driving to be very distracting, according to a new poll by national charity Parachute.

National Teen Driver Safety Week, an annual public awareness campaign aimed at educating young drivers about road safety, is taking place from Oct. 16 to 22. This year, Parachute and State Farm Canada are calling on teens to help reduce distracted and drug-impaired driving and #GetHomeSafe.

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City committee votes to drop speed limit to 30 km/h near junior high schools

October 17, 2016, Edmonton Journal (EDMONTON, ALBERTA)

The number of schools where Edmonton drivers will need to slow down to 30 km/h is set to grow after a city council committee voted Monday to expand school zones to junior highs. And playgrounds and high schools could be next.

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MADD Yukon asks candidates to support tougher drunk driving laws

October 17, 2016, CBC News (WHITEHORSE, YUKON)

The Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) chapter in Whitehorse is lobbying election candidates to strengthen impaired driving laws in the territory, after a new report criticized the Yukon government's response to the problem.

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Distracted and Drugged Driving accelerate concerns over teen driver safety

October 16, 2016, The Province (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW), an annual public awareness campaign aimed at educating young drivers about road safety, is taking place October 16-22. This year, Parachute and State Farm are calling on teens to help reduce distracted and drug impaired driving and #GetHomeSafe.

A new Parachute poll, which for the first time includes Canadian transgender youth (aged 16-24), finds 39% of young drivers admit they text behind the wheel and an alarming 71% don't consider using their phones while driving to be very distracting. Distracted driving is a factor in up to 19% of all fatal crashes involving teen drivers.

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Justice ministers raise concerns about impact of legalized pot on road safety

October 15, 2016, CBC News (HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA)

The federal government's plan to legalize marijuana has some provincial politicians raising concerns about drug-impaired driving.

Three provincial justice ministers made a point of highlighting the issue Friday at the conclusion of a meeting in Halifax between federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and her provincial and territorial counterparts.

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Talking cars, better roads: U of A connects cars with wireless technology to increase road safety

October 15, 2016, TheGatewayOnline.ca (EDMONTON, ALBERTA)

University of Alberta Professor Tony Qiu and his civil engineering research team are bringing talking cars to Edmonton, a feat no other Canadian city can claim.

Qiu’s team is creating technology to create in-vehicle messages to warn drivers of traffic congestion, weather conditions, erratic driving of other vehicles. “Connected vehicle technology” will also tell drivers whether they won’t make the yellow light ahead.

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Ontario’s Pilot Regulation to Test Automated Vehicles on Ontario’s Roads

October 14, 2016, CCMTA (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

Ontario is pleased to announce that we are implementing a 10-year pilot program and regulatory framework that would permit on-road testing of automated vehicles under certain conditions to start on January 1, 2016.

As you may know, automated vehicles is an area of ongoing priority for the ministry, as laid out in the Ontario Minister of Transportation’s mandate letter.

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Big drop in Edmonton school zone injury collisions since 2014 reintroduction

October 13, 2016, Global News (EDMONTON, ALBERTA)

The City of Edmonton says the decision to reintroduce 30 km/h school zones in 2014 is paying off, as statistics show collisions causing injuries to pedestrians and cyclists has dropped significantly.

The city said in the three years before reintroduction there were 50 injury collisions in school zones – 20 of which involved cyclists or pedestrians. But between September 2014 – when the zones were reinstated – and June 2016, the city said there were only 10 collisions, two of which involved cyclists and pedestrians.

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Nova Scotia's new disease: texting while driving

October 13, 2016, LocalXpress.ca (HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA)

Crashes caused by people driving while texting have become so common in Nova Scotia that the province’s medical director for Emergency Health Services says police need a textalyzer to crack down on folks using their smartphones behind the wheel.

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MPI launches new cycling education program

October 12, 2016, MyToba.ca (WINNIPEG, MANITOBA)

Manitoba Public Insurance is launching a cutting edge, grassroots educational cycling program that will encourage students in Grades 4 to 8 to bicycle for transportation and recreation.

“We’re proud to announce that Manitoba is among one of the first provinces in Canada to launch such a safety program for students,” says Crown Services Minister Ron Schuler.

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Lower speed limits near SW London schools are latest phase of city move to protect young walkers

October 8, 2016, London Free Press (LONDON, ONTARIO)

Coun. Virginia Ridley lives just down the street from her children’s school and can see first-hand the dangers facing pedestrian kids.

Too many cars park outside the school, causing minor traffic chaos. And too many drivers speed through school zones while kids are trying to get home.

“I certainly see the issues. I have two little boys. They walk to and from school every day,” she said.

She’s had lots of phone calls, too, as have many fellow councillors, from Londoners concerned about traffic safety around schools.

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A twist on automated eye exam technology could help take impaired drivers off the road

October 6, 2016, Global News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Getting drivers who are impaired by both drugs and alcohol off the road has been an enormous challenge for law enforcement in B.C. and across Canada.

Currently, police rely on rather old-school technology to see if the driver may be impaired: a simple flashlight and eye test is how officers test those suspected of driving impaired.

But a researcher at Simon Fraser University claims he has found a better, human error free and more quantifiable way to tell if the driver is committing a “driving under the influence” (DUI) offence.

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Feds to create task force on cycling, pedestrian safety

October 4, 2016, Ottawa Community News (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

The federal government is getting involved in making cycling on roadways safer.

Federal Transportation Minister Marc Garneau announced Sept. 29 that Transport Canada and the provinces will establish a new task force in an attempt to reduce injuries and fatalities involving pedestrians, cyclists and heavy trucks….

…In a press release, Garneau said the task force would explore cameras, sensor systems, side guards, as well as educational safety and awareness programs.

“I am pleased to work with my provincial, territorial and municipal colleagues to explore options to reduce collisions and improve safety for everyone on Canada’s roadways,” Garneau said. “Whether it’s through technology, equipment, or an educational approach, we need to find out what works best in order to improve safety for Canadians.”

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MADD and Sask. officials meet to talk impaired driving legislation

October 4, 2016, Global News (REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN)

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada met with two Saskatchewan government ministers Tuesday to offer recommendations addressing impaired driving in the province.

According to MADD Canada CEO, Andrew Murie, the meeting with Justice Minister Gordon Wyant and the minister responsible for SGI, Joe Hargrave, was the best he has experienced in Saskatchewan in his 20 years as CEO.

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Cycle Toronto Launches Get Lit! Campaign

October 4, 2016, NewsTalk770 (CALGARY, ALBERTA)

It’s a Cycle Toronto safety campaign aimed at getting more cyclists to attach lights and reflectors to their bikes, so that they can be seen at night.

The group will be handing out free bike lights at various locations around the city during the month of October, from 6:30 until 9pm…

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More to do despite drop in collisions, advocates say

October 4, 2016, Metro (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

Our work’s not finished yet. That was the message from road safety advocates Tuesday after Metro published unreleased police data showing big drops in cycling and pedestrian collisions last year.

The raw Ottawa police numbers revealed that reported cycling and pedestrian collisions in 2015 dropped 21 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively, over 2014.

That follows a general downward trend, particularly for cyclists, as collisions rates have remained relatively flat while the number of bikes on the road has increased.

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OPP Study Says A Majority Of 1500 Road Deaths Could Have Been Avoided

October 4, 2016, NewsTalk770.com (ORILLIA, ONTARIO)

A vast majority of over 1500 road deaths were preventable on highways patrolled by the Ontario Provincial Police.

That’s what a new study released by the OPP says.

The problem driving offences between 2011 and 2015 were inattentive driving accounting for 408 road deaths, speeding with 336, failure to wear a seat belt a factor in 335 deaths, and alcohol and drugs contributed to 321 deaths.

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Senator Claude Carignan to table bill aimed at getting drug-impaired drivers off roads

October 3, 2016, CBC News (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

Senate Opposition leader Claude Carignan says he will table a bill to keep drug-impaired drivers off the road as the government prepares to legalize marijuana.

Carignan will hold a news conference in Ottawa today to outline proposed legislation that would amend the Criminal Code to permit police to use roadside saliva tests for drugs.

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Canadian Events & Conferences in 2017

CCMTA 2017 Annual Meeting

Theme: Leading the Pack in Road Safety

Yellowknife, NT

June 4-7, 2017

Learn more…


CARSP Conference 2017 –

Theme: Technology and Road Safety

Toronto, Ontario

June 18-21, 2017

Learn more…