Quick Scan

Canadian Road Safety News Digest – April 1-30, 2019

July 10, 2019   |   Categories: Quick Scan

Last Updated on July 10, 2019

Alberta’s three initiatives to increase road safety

April 29, 2019, Truck News (KANANASKIS, ALBERTA)

Mandatory entry-level training (MELT) is not the only initiative the Alberta government has implemented to help improve safety on provincial roads. Changes have also been made to Alberta’s driver examiner road test model, as well as its pre-entry program for new National Safety Code carriers.

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Government of Canada invests $17 million to keep Ontario's roads safe from drug-impaired drivers

April 29, 2019, Newswire (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Impaired driving is the number one cause of criminal death in Canada, costing hundreds of lives and thousands of preventable injuries each year. The Government of Canada is providing law enforcement access to new technologies, additional resources and the training they need to detect and prosecute drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol. The greater likelihood of getting caught and facing the serious consequences of this crime will make our roadways safer.

Today, the Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, the Honourable Bill Blair, announced $17 millionover five years for projects in Ontario to support frontline police officers. Projects include training in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST) and Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) evaluation; establishing dedicated trainers to deliver new and refresher training; and the purchase of approved drug screening devices.

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Atlantic provinces failing to address alcohol problems: national study

April 29, 2019, The Guardian (ANTIGONISH, NOVA SCOTIA)

While Atlantic Canada is a leader in impaired-driving regulations, it has lots of room to improve in other areas in order to reduce health and safety linked to alcohol consumption, according to new report cards co-authored by St. Francis Xavier University professor Kara Thompson.

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PIC looks to have an impact on entire industry

April 28, 2019, Truck News (KANANASKIS,ALBERTA)

The Alberta Motor Transport Association’s (AMTA) Partners in Compliance (PIC) program appears to be at a crossroads.

Carriers that have reached PIC status have been achieving the highest of standards when it comes to safety and compliance, and now administrators and members are searching for new ways the program can have a positive impact on road safety.

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B.C. woman, 76, launches Charter challenge of mandatory alcohol screening after police stake out liquor store

April 26, 2019, National Post (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

A 76-year-old woman in B.C. has launched a Charter challenge against a new law that allows Canadian police to demand a roadside breath test without needing any suspicion the driver has been drinking.

Norma McLeod was driving out of a Victoria, B.C., liquor store parking lot just after 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 14 when a police officer pulled her over and demanded she provide a breath test. According to the officer’s own report, he was staking out the liquor store and conducting breath tests on anyone who exited.

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Ontario Announces Measures to Increase School Bus Safety

April 25, 2019, Ontario Ministry of Transportation (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Today, Jeff Yurek, Minister of Transportation was joined by Sam Oosterhoff, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education to announce new measures to give municipalities the tools they need to target drivers who threaten the safety of children crossing roads to their school or home.

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Early data suggests no post-legalization spike in drug-impaired driving charges

April 24, 2019, CTV News (VANCOUVER, B.C.)

Canadian police say they haven't been busting many more stoned drivers six months after legalization, but they are reminding drivers to keep cannabis out of reach.

The Canadian Press canvassed police forces across the country and most reported no significant change in the number of impaired driving charges laid, while some said it's too early to release data, and at least one reported a rise in charges.

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After lengthy delay, Canadian government prepares to approve second device for testing drivers' saliva for cannabis

April 22, 2019, Chronicle Herald (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

The federal government has taken the first step toward approving a new device for testing drivers’ saliva for cannabis use, potentially giving police a long-awaited second option.

Over the weekend, the government posted a notice that it intends to approve the Abbott SoToxa for police forces to use. The device must now go through a 30-day public consultation period before it can receive final approval.

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Use of Pedestrian Lights by Cyclists

April 18, 2019, SAAQ (MONTREAL, QUEBEC)

Effective April 18, 2019, when encountering a red light and an activated pedestrian light, cyclists are allowed to continue on their way. In this case, they must stop, give priority to pedestrians and proceed at a reasonable and prudent speed. Visit the webpage On a Bicycle – What the Law Says to learn about the rules to follow, and the New Highway Safety Code Measures.

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Child Safety Seats: The Law has Changed

April 18, 2019, SAAQ (MONTREAL, QUEBEC)

The new measure extends the mandatory period that booster seats must be used. Children are now required to use booster seats until they are 145 cm tall or 9 years old. Even when one of these criteria is met, the SAAQ recommends that children continue to use booster seats until they are capable of wearing a seat belt correctly, that is, when the seat belt crosses over the middle of the shoulder (collarbone) and over the hips (pelvis).

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Less blood samples than expected with new impaired driving law

April 18, 2019, DATAC.ca (BARRIE, ONTARIO)

The Liberal government’s new tough impaired driving laws passed in December 2018 introducing three new drug-related offences for drivers who had consumed drugs within two hours of driving. The new legislation was met with concerns regarding ‘potential for injustice’ due to the wide range of powers given to the police in order to administer sobriety tests on drivers.

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Six months of legal pot in BC: higher prices, few changes to impaired driving enforcement

April 17, 2019, News 1130 (VANCOUVER, B.C.)

It’s now been half a year since recreational pot became legal in Canada, and despite early fears of what such a change would bring, it seems the sky has not yet fallen.

Kyla Lee, who specializes in driving legislation at Acuman Law in Vancouver, says while other jurisdictions have seen a noticeable spike in cannabis impaired driving arrests, police in BC appear to be taking a “wait and see” approach.

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A new transportation 'philosophy': Windsor moves forward with Vision Zero

April 16, 2019, CBC News (WINDSOR, ONTARIO)

Windsor city council has given administration the green light to put together a Vision Zero Policy, in order to shift how the city approaches road traffic safety.

"This is a philosophy change," said Klaus Dohring, an engineer with Green Sun Rising, who was one of the speakers at Monday's council meeting.

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A live expo about the dangers of texting and driving

April 15, 2019, Newswire (MONTREAL, QUEBEC)

In partnership with the City of Montreal, Impactful Reminder today unveils an exhibition aimed at boosting public awareness about the dangers of mobile phone use while driving. Installed at Place Jacques Cartier from April 15 to 18, the initiative features actual vehicles involved in accidents caused by texting.

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Buckle up: RCMP, MPI say many Manitoba drivers still not using seatbelts

April 14, 2019, Global News (WINNIPEG, MANITOBA)

While cracking down on distracted driving has been a priority for police both in Winnipeg and rural Manitoba over the past few years, there’s another dangerous driving activity that still persists in 2019.

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MADD Canada and health advocates urge caution over Ontario alcohol reforms

April 12, 2019, Toronto Star (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

The province needs to ensure that new regulations around alcohol are rolled out in a way that protects public safety, including additional resources for enforcement and regulation and perhaps a public information campaign, says the legal director of MADD Canada.

“If you’re going to change the rules, you need to inform people that while the rules are changing the consequences remain the same. Just because you can drink at a tailgate party, doesn’t mean the consequences for driving while impaired are any different,” Eric Dumschat said Friday.

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One quarter of Canadians admit to checking messages while driving, national survey reveals

April 11, 2019, Newswire (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

A recent survey from InsuranceHotline.com found that over one in four Canadians (26 per cent) have checked messages while operating a car in motion and 41 per cent of Canadians said they are likely or somewhat likely to check their messages when stopped at a traffic light.

While 84 per cent of Canadians acknowledged having a mobile device with them when operating a vehicle, the survey also discovered that 75 per cent of respondents feel unsafe as a passenger when a driver is talking on the phone or texting.

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Impaired driving convictions at lowest point in 50+ years

April 8, 2019, CBC News (CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI)

Impaired driving convictions in P.E.I. are at their lowest point in more than 50 years.

Highway safety officials say a growth of public awareness and tougher penalties play a big part in that progress.

Back in 1967 there were 427 impaired convictions on P.E.I. Those numbers rose steadily every year after that, peaking in 1980 at 1,570, then gradually dropping. In 2018 there were 234.

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Drunk driving charge tossed because cop asked nurse for urine test result before getting warrant

April 4, 2019, Calgary Herald (CALGARY, ALBERTA)

A woman involved in a deadly head-on crash is off the hook on drunk-driving charges because a police officer asked a hospital nurse for the results of her urine test and then obtained a search warrant to seize her samples, Ontario’s top court ruled on Wednesday.

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N.S. woman plans constitutional challenge of roadside cannabis test

April 4, 2019, CTV News (HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA)

A lawyer for a Nova Scotia motorist whose licence was suspended after her saliva tested positive for cannabis says his firm will use the case to launch a constitutional challenge of Canada's revamped impaired driving laws.

Jack Lloyd says Michelle Gray's case shows the law is too broad and too vague, mainly because she was penalized even though police testing later determined she was not impaired.

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City speeding up efforts to slow traffic

April 3, 2019, CBC News (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

The City of Ottawa is streamlining the way it decides which streets are prime candidates for speed bumps, medians and other permanent traffic-calming measures.

On Wednesday, the city's transportation committee voted to revamp the existing program to focus instead on simple changes to key streets that will have a bigger impact on speeding.

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Canadian Events & Conferences in 2019 & 2020

22nd ICADTS Conference

Edmonton, Alberta

August 18-21, 2019

Learn more…


Delft Road Safety Course

Delft University of Technology

The Netherlands

September 8-20, 2019

Learn more…


Road Safety & Simulation Conference

Iowa City, Iowa

October 14-17, 2019

Learn more…


CCMTA Annual Meeting

Charlottetown, PEI

May 31-June 3, 2020

Learn more…


6th International Symposium on Highway Geometric Design

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

June 28-July 1, 2020

Learn more…