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Canadian Road Safety News Digest – December 1-31, 2016
January 30, 2017 | Categories: Quick Scan
Last Updated on January 30, 2017
New impaired driving laws take effect Jan. 1
December 28, 2016, SGI (REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN)
SGI is reminding Saskatchewan residents that impaired driving laws are changing in the new year. Tougher legislation was passed earlier this fall, with strengthened laws taking effect Jan. 1, 2017.
"These changes reinforce that driving when you've been drinking is the wrong decision," Minister responsible for SGI Joe Hargrave said. "Tougher consequences around vehicle seizures, licence suspensions and mandatory ignition interlock drive home the point that you risk not only your life but the lives of everyone else on the road when you choose to drive impaired. Don't risk it. Make a New Year's resolution to plan a sober ride — every time — so you and others get home safely."
'Safety is job number one,' says Toronto's new transportation chief
December 20, 2016, Toronto Metro (TORONTO, ONTARIO)
Toronto’s new transportation chief has a message for drivers: sharing is caring.
In her first public appearance since arriving in the city nine days ago, Barbara Gray spoke Tuesday about the need for Toronto’s roadways to work for everyone – whether they’re behind a wheel or not.
“If you own a car, and a car is more convenient for you to get around the city, you want to know that your trip will be safe and reliable,” she said. “And I want you to know that you’re sharing the road with other people who make a different choice.”
Projet Montréal presses for greater pedestrian safety
December 19, 2016, Montreal Gazette (MONTREAL, QUEBEC)
In the wake of a fatal truck accident that took the life a 50-year-old man in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Monday morning, Valérie Plante used her first question in council as the newly elected leader of opposition party Projet Montréal to ask Mayor Denis Coderre what the city is doing to improve pedestrian safety.
“We have had 15 pedestrian deaths on the streets of Montreal this year, four more than last year,” Plante said. “The lack of security on our roads are real, the dangers are very present.”
New stats highlight drug-impaired driving problem in Canada
December 18, 2016, Edmonton Metro (EDMONTON, ALBERTA)
Drug-impaired drivers are often being let off the hook, according to Statistics Canada.
A report released last week was the first to contain national drug-impaired driving numbers and court data.
And it revealed some startling stats when it comes to drug-impaired driving.
How one local city is attempting to reach a target of zero traffic fatalities
December 15, 2016, News 1130 (VANCOUVER, B.C.)
It’s something every city wishes it had — zero traffic fatalities. The City of Vancouver has unveiled its plan to reach that goal by the year 2040 after releasing its Transportation Plan for the coming decades at a council meeting earlier this week.
In the update, Vancouver saw a decrease in pedestrian, cycling and car crash deaths and it’s crediting so-called engineering improvements made that include new countdown timers at intersections,
CAA says Canadians ‘very concerned’ about road safety and marijuana legalization
December 14, 2016, Global News (HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA)
Nearly two thirds of Canadians are worried roads will become more dangerous once marijuana is legal, according to newly released information from the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA).
“We’ve done extensive research and 67 per cent of Canadians are very concerned, already, even before the legislation has been introduced about the safety of people driving while being impaired by marijuana,” said Gary Howard, president of communications for CAA Atlantic.
Pilot project for new drug-impaired driving test to start soon
December 14, 2016, Global News (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)
Drivers in some jurisdictions may soon find themselves asked by police to volunteer for a saliva test, part of a pilot project aimed at detecting drug-impaired drivers.
The federal government, the RCMP and a number of police departments across the country will conduct the experiment to see how well certain roadside testing devices work to detect drugs.
Pot-impaired driving alarms raised in wake of marijuana task force report
December 14, 2016, CBC News (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)
The federal task force on legalizing marijuana says the Liberal government must launch a public awareness blitz and boost spending on police training and tools to keep pot-impaired drivers off the roads.
Tougher penalties for impaired driving proposed
December 14, 2016, Government of P.E.I. (CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I.)
Proposed legislation will further increase the penalties for impaired driving in Prince Edward Island.
Amendments to the Highway Traffic Act would extend vehicle impoundments, increase some ignition interlock terms, add licence suspensions to a driving record, and toughen rules for younger drivers…
Province won't rule out right turns on red lights in Montreal before public consultations
December 14, 2016, Montreal Gazette (MONTREAL, QUEBEC)
…Starting Jan. 9, the province’s auto insurance board, the SAAQ, will hold public consultations “to open up a discussion about road safety issues and possible solutions for improving the road safety record over the coming years,” according to its website. The consultations will be organized around four major questions:
- What are the main road safety issues in your community or in Quebec in general?
- Who else should have a role to play in road safety, aside from the government?
- What should be done in order to get everyone to take concrete steps toward preventing accidents?
- What innovative measures should be implemented to improve the road safety record?
St. John's tops Canadian metro regions for alcohol- and drug-impaired driving
December 14, 2016, CBC News (ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND)
St. John's has the dubious distinction of having the highest rate of impaired driving, whether through drinking or drugs. Statistics Canada released a report Wednesday on impaired driving in Canada, which found that in 2015 the St. John's census metropolitan area … topped all other cities in the country.
Progress in curbing drinking and driving but continued vigilance needed: poll
December, 13, 2016, TIRF (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)
The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) is pleased to announce a new fact sheet summarizing findings on self-reported drinking and driving in Canada. This fact sheet is based on the Road Safety Monitor (RSM) 2016 poll conducted by TIRF, in partnership with Beer Canada, the Toyota Canada Foundation, and, State Farm®. The results indicate that while progress has been made to curb drinking and driving, continued attention and monitoring is needed to avoid losing ground.
“We are able to use the RSM poll results as an ‘early warning’ system with respondents helping us identify that progress may be lost if we do not remain vigilant,” explains Steve Brown, TIRF Research Associate.
Toronto's Deadly Streets in review: How the city embraced design as a safety solution
December 13, 2016, Toronto Metro (TORONTO, ONTARIO)
Since Metro published its Toronto's Deadly Streets series in June, the city has redesigned 14 intersections to make them safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
Metro launched its Toronto’s Deadly Streets campaign in June with the goal of making road safety a priority at City Hall. This week, Metro looks back on how far Toronto has come on the issue — and the role our coverage played in making streets safer.
Toronto is no longer “sitting on its hands” when it comes to redesigning roads to make them safer for pedestrians and cyclists, says the city’s traffic safety manager….
Decision to remove 24-hour plow services angers Opposition
December 12, 2016, The Telegram (ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND)
This year in Newfoundland, snow may very well mean no.
No plows that is.
Snow clearing took a $1.9 million hit in the April budget delivered by Dwight Ball’s Liberal government.
One of the cost saving measures includes the decision to removing 24-hour snow clearing from the provinces mandate.
They may be annoying, but red-light cameras save lives: IIHS
December 11, 2016, News 1130 (VANCOUVER, B.C.)
Red-light cameras are a common frustration for drivers in hundreds of US cities. But as some of these cities have folded to complaints about the technology’s use, a new study has found that disabling red-light cameras leads to an increase in automotive crash and fatality rates.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety looked at 14 cities that ended their red-light camera programs between 2010 and 2014. Researchers compared the annual crash rates in those cities with those of 29 others in the same regions that continued using red-light cameras.
Most pedestrian deaths occurring outside Toronto’s road safety plan: Analysis
December 11, 2016, TheStar.com (TORONTO, ONTARIO)
…Albert Koehl, an environmental lawyer and road safety advocate, said the city’s unsystematic approach means that a community is only made safer if its residents are organized and their councillor is responsive.
“The new $80-million road safety plan that council approved in July takes what city officials describe as a “targeted” approach to speed reductions…
…A Star analysis shows that of the 42 pedestrian deaths between Jan. 1 and Dec. 1 this year, just six took place on streets where the speed limits will be reduced as part of the plan. An additional six deaths occurred in areas slated for “safety audits,” which could result in reduced speeds.
Device targets disqualified drivers
December 10, 2016, YorktonThisWeek.com (YORKTON, SASKATCHEWAN)
Fifteen automated licence plate readers (ALPRs) are being installed in patrol vehicles starting this week to help police catch disqualified drivers.
SGI announced its investment of $800,000 to fund 32 ALPRs in October. Installation of the first 15 ALPRs began this week and will be complete by the end of next week. The remaining 17 ALPRs are expected to be installed by the end of January 2017.
BC Community Road Safety Toolkit now available
December 8, 2016, Government of B.C. (VICTORIA, B.C.)
The BC Community Road Safety Toolkit, detailing some of the most effective and innovative road design ideas from jurisdictions worldwide, is now available on RoadSafetyBC’s website.
The toolkit will support municipalities as they consider making infrastructure or other road safety-related changes, with a resource that shows proven concepts from other jurisdictions.
Toronto mayor pledges to protect pedestrians after 24 hit by cars in one day
December 7, 2016, Globe and Mail (TORONTO, ONTARIO)
Amid an alarming number of pedestrians being run down in Toronto, Mayor John Tory acknowledged that the city isn’t doing enough to protect its most vulnerable residents.
A day after 24 people were hit while walking – and with the city looking at its deadliest year for pedestrians since at least early last decade – the mayor said Wednesday he had held an emergency meeting with police and city staff to address the issue.
Marijuana use, driving high on the rise: CAMH survey
December 7, 2016, CTV News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)
With Ottawa poised to legalize recreational marijuana next year, researchers are keeping a close eye on use of the drug, which has been steadily trending upward over the last couple of decades.
In Ontario, for instance, a survey released Wednesday by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) found that past-year cannabis use virtually doubled between 1996 and 2015, rising from about eight per cent to almost 15 per cent of respondents.
Two decisions Parliament will have to make about pot-impaired driving
December 7, 2016, Global News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)
At some point in the next year or two, recreational pot will be legal in Canada.
With easier access to marijuana — including edibles — in general, more people will consume pot in some form. A federal study in November put the number of new marijuana users under legalization at around 600,000.
Unavoidably, as well, more Canadians will smoke, or ingest, and drive.
Toronto police say too many elderly pedestrians are being killed
December 5, 2016, CityNews (TORONTO, ONTARIO)
Toronto police say too many elderly pedestrians are being killed on our roads and have created a new public safety video called “Be Alert, Be Seen.”
According to police, 14 per cent of the population in Toronto are seniors and this group accounts for 60 per cent of pedestrian fatalities.
Toronto Police Traffic Services Superintendent Gord Jones said road safety is a shared responsibility for all road users.
Vision zero forum to be hosted in Winnipeg
December 5, 2016, Winnipeg Metro (WINNIPEG, MANITOBA)
Sometimes vehicles hit people, and sometimes those people are either badly injured or killed—but it doesn’t have to be that way, according to one local expert who will speak on a road safety panel in Winnipeg on January 30.
Rebecca Peterniak, a Winnipeg-based road-safety specialist with an interest in accommodating vulnerable road users, said evidence drawn from best-practice shows “injuries and fatalities are preventable.”
Over a third of New Brunswick crashes involve impaired drivers: RCMP
December 5, 2016, InsuranceBusiness.ca (FREDERICTON, N.B.)
More than a third of the fatal vehicular crashes this year on roads patrolled by the New Brunswick RCMP involved impaired drivers, data suggests.
According to authorities, 20 of the 55 fatal crashes recorded thus far involved drivers under the influence of either alcohol or drugs. In all 55 crash cases, a total of 60 lives were lost.
Backlog of Toronto drunk-driving cases threatens goal of zero tolerance
December 2, 2016, Globe and Mail (TORONTO, ONTARIO)
A 23-year-old landscaper was pulled over by Peel Regional Police in a routine traffic stop on March 23, 2015. After failing a breathalyzer test, he was charged with impaired driving. In legal terms, it was a basic “over 80” case and should have taken no more than a few months to go to trial.
Instead, it would be 18 months of constant delays: Six weeks and two court appearances before evidence was disclosed to the defence, trouble finding a judge and then scheduling conflicts between the Crown and defence lawyers.
National Safe Driving Week
December 1, 2016, Canada Safety Council (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)
December 1-7 is National Safe Driving Week and the Canada Safety Council would like to remind you of the importance of preparing yourself for winter driving. During the non-winter season, bad driving habits can creep into a driver’s repertoire, including aggressive braking and a lack of space around your car.
Provincial ad blitz warns Albertans to steer clear of driving stoned
December 1, 2016, Calgary Herald (CALGARY, ALBERTA)
The Alberta government has rolled out a $167,000 online ad campaign warning drivers that getting behind the wheel high on marijuana “face the same consequences” as drunk drivers.
The series of ads, which began popping up on websites and social media Nov. 29, are aimed at younger, less experienced drivers who, may engage in riskier behaviour and believe marijuana doesn’t impair their abilities, said Wendy Doyle, Alberta Transportation’s executive director for the office of traffic safety.
Alberta proposes new ATV helmet legislation
December 1, 2016, MeridianBooster.com (LLOYDMINSTER, ALBERTA)
A new piece of provincial legislation introduced early this week in Edmonton is looking to require all off-road vehicle riders to wear a helmet while on public land.
The bill is looking to curb the number of tragic brain injuries and deaths which stem from all-terrain vehicle incidents.
The proposed amendments to the Traffic Safety Act would apply to those riding in or on, driving, operating or being towed by, on an ATV, snowmobile or dirt bike while on public land starting May 2017.
105 have died in crashes on Manitoba roads in 2016
December 1, 2016, CBC News (WINNIPEG, MANITOBA)
The number of people who have died in crashes on Manitoba roads this year has reached 105, according to RCMP.
Without a drastic reduction in in reckless driving, police estimate that the number will climb to 115 before the year is out.
"We are seeing disturbing driving behaviours …” "…of tremendous concern is people drinking and then driving — but we are also seeing texting and driving, speeding and lack of seatbelt use."
Canadian Events & Conferences in 2017
Vision Zero – Free Webinar to CARSP Members
Facilitator: Tony Churchill
February 15, 2017, 11am-12pm MST
Vision Zero Advocate Conference
Holiday Inn (Sherwood Park Conference Centre)
Sherwood Park, Ontario
March 1-3, 2017
Ontario Road Safety Forum
University of Toronto
March 6, 2017
CCMTA 2017 Annual Meeting
Theme: Leading the Pack in Road Safety
June 4-7, 2017
CARSP Conference 2017 –
Theme: Technology and Road Safety
June 18-21, 2017