Research Papers

Ottawa's Integrated Road Safety Program

Filename cmrsc19_44.pdf
Filesize 343 KB
Version 1
Date added June 7, 2009
Downloaded 4 times/fois
Category 2009–CMRSC-XIX–Saskatoon
Tags Session 3A
Author/Auteur Jerry Thomas


Despite significant past gains in road safety, from 1999 to 2003 reportable collisions and roadway injuries and fatalities increased in Ottawa. This, as well as a 2002 public opinion survey that placed speeding and aggressive driving as two of the top three policing priorities for Ottawa citizens, led the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Police Service to conclude that something different should be done to address road safety in Ottawa.
What was felt was needed was a novel and innovative approach to road safety – a program that would first bring together the City and police’s road safety resources and make the best use of them. Then, using a truly unified 3 E approach to road safety, the new program would aim to raise public awareness of road safety issues and priorities and, in the end, convince road users that they can improve their safety and the safety of others by changing attitudes and ultimately adopting safer behaviours on the roads. This would be accomplished using a variety of different coordinated engineering, education and enforcement strategies, advertising and engaging the media wherever possible.
In June 2003, Ottawa’s Integrated Road Safety Program was struck and mandated with this responsibility. For this to be possible, a program coordinator, 18 additional traffic Police, a traffic analyst and three data entry clerks were hired. Paralleling Transport Canada’s Vision 2010 national goal of a 30 percent reduction in traffic fatalities or serious injuries by 2010, the Integrated Road Safety Program adopted the same goal for Ottawa roads.
Five full years into the Program, several initiatives have been undertaken including: the initiation of a campaign-based Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP); the establishment of an Aerial Enforcement Program; and the delivery of major campaigns to increase the safety of vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians, and young drivers, reduce speed-related, deer-vehicle and rear end collisions, etc.
Sufficient time has elapsed to be able to offer preliminary results such as a public survey, reportable collision, injury and fatality statistics and other relevant comparative data e.g. before and after campaign compliance surveys. Sufficient time has elapsed to also be able to offer lessons learned in establishing, developing and implementing an integrated multidisciplinary program such as Ottawa’s Integrated Road Safety Program.

Jerry Thomas