Research Papers

Mapping the road safety policy context across Canadian provinces

Version 1
Date added June 19, 2019
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Category 2019 CARSP XXIX Calgary
Tags Research and Evaluation, Session 7A
Author/Auteur Winters, Zhou, Cloutier
Stream/Volet Research and Evaluation
Slidedeck Presentation Only:



Background/Context: With 1800 deaths and over 160000 serious injuries on our roads in Canada each year, a shift toward Vision Zero and safe systems approaches is essential. However, the policy context is complex with responsibility crossing transportation, infrastructure, and health sectors at federal, provincial and municipal levels.

Aims/Objectives: This research mapped the road safety policy actor network in four provinces and describes similarities and differences in players and power.

Methods/Targets: We analyzed actors in the road safety policy context in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, using web-searches and online resources to identify government bodies and NGOs with road safety in their mandates, vision statements and policy documents. Connections are shown on actor network maps for each province.

Results/Activities: Our network maps illustrate how road safety is multidisciplinary through the diversity of actors, although Ministries of Transportation, through a technical approach to road safety, are the main actor both at the provincial and federal level. Comparing provinces, the players and power distribution between government bodies, agencies and non-government organizations vary from place to place: some contribute to the policy making, others (e.g. numerous NGOs) are dedicated to advocacy efforts. At the local level, municipalities, school boards, police, or insurance organizations have a broad spectrum of influence, from building roads (following federal and provincial guidelines) to injury prevention and enforcement. Notably, public health is not often at the forefront.

Discussion/Deliverables: Vision Zero requires a systematic approach to re-imagining the way we manage road safety. Right now, coordinated efforts to support policy and actions are challenged by the number and diversity of players too often working in silos. Clearly more coordination is needed, vertically, horizontally, and interprovincially. Further, there may also be different structures in other territories and provinces not included in this study.

Conclusions: Actor networks can help to direction advocacy and research efforts to stimulate action for safer roads nationwide.