Quick Scan

Canadian Road Safety News Digest – February 1-28, 2017

March 16, 2017   |   Categories: Quick Scan

Last Updated on March 16, 2017

Turning right on red discussed at Montreal public consultations on road safety

February 28, 2017, Global News (MONTREAL, QUEBEC)

Montrealers are having their voices heard this week on whether it’s time to allow right turns on red lights in the city.

The auto insurance board and Transports Quebec are holding public hearings on road security issues.

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Canadian Motorcycle Students Get Lifesaving Helmet Accessory

February 28, 2017, Canada Safety Council (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

The Canada Safety Council announced today that all participants at their Canada-wide motorcycle rider training programs will get a custom “Made in Ottawa” lifesaving Medical Data Carrier for their helmets.

The Medical Data Carrier is a unique, bilingual, medical Information system that provides critical lifesaving data about the wearer as well as crucial family contact information in the event of an emergency.

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No texting while crossing the street: Montreal proposes new law

February 28, 2017, Global News (MONTREAL, QUEBEC)

The City of Montreal argued, at a public consultation on road safety Monday, that texting while crossing the street is dangerous.

It is asking the province to make it illegal.

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Tailgating top reason for traffic crashes in Edmonton

February 27, 2017, CBC News (EDMONTON, ALBERTA)

Nearly 40 per cent of all traffic collisions in Edmonton last year were caused by drivers getting too close to vehicles in front of them, the city said Monday as it released a list of the top 10 locations for following-too-closely collisions in 2016.

Of the total 23,149 collisions in the city last year, more than 8,900 were caused by tailgating.

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Police opinion deemed expert evidence in drug-impairment trials, SCC rules

February 23, 2017, CTV News (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

Police officers can administer field sobriety tests for suspected drug impairment, but unlike alcohol, there’s currently no roadside test such as a breathalyzer.

There is also no legal blood-concentration driving limit for marijuana or other drugs. Therefore, in drug-impairment cases, the courts must rely on the specially trained police officers known as drug recognition experts, or DREs, sometimes referred to as evaluators. Police officers train to become DREs through a 12-step program that includes tests on an individual’s eyes, attention, blood pressure and pulse.

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Road fatalities decrease, impaired driving convictions increase

February 23, 2017, Government of P.E.I. (CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I.)

There were fewer fatalities on Prince Edward Island roads in 2016, but more impaired driving convictions show there are still risks from the behavior of irresponsible motorists.

Last year there were 13 reported road fatalities in the province -- including the deaths of three motorcyclists -- compared to 18 in 2015. There were a total of 1,341 collisions in the province, and 364 of those caused injuries.

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Students moved by MADD film

February 23, 2017, The Herald (WINNIPEG, MANITOBA)

Hundreds of River East Collegiate students viewed the debut of MADD Canada’s “In the Blink of an Eye” assembly video this morning. They also heard Patricia Haynes-Coates, MADD Canada National President, tell the moving story of losing her son Nicholas to a drunk driver.

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Toronto police officers drive a hearse to pull over distracted drivers

February 22, 2017, The Toronto Star (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

A hearse pulled over three drivers in Toronto on Tuesday for allegedly using a hand-held cell phone behind the wheel.

The hearse rolled through the streets around 6 a.m. on Tuesday morning as a grim, one-day visual aid for “That Text Or Call Could End It All,” a week-long campaign launched by Toronto Police on Monday to curtail drivers who illegally talk, text, or type on hand-held devices.

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Distractions are everywhere!

February 21, 2017, Sunny South News (EDMONTON, ALBERTA)

Distractions are everywhere — at work, at play, at home, and when we drive. When driving, eliminate the distraction of distracted driving, it’s easy and can save your life or someone else’s. February is Distracted Driving Month in Alberta.

“Alberta Transportation follows a traffic safety calendar. The purpose of the calendar is to focus the traffic safety topic each month and then we co-ordinate with enforcement, so their select traffic enforcement is also following the calendar. February being Distracted Driving Month, we put out education and awareness about the hazards of distracted driving. Enforcement also step up their actions on their end to target any behaviours specific to distracted driving,” explained Wendy Doyle, executive director of the Office of Traffic Safety, Alberta Transportation.

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Statement from the Minister of Transportation on Improving Road Construction and Oversight

February 17, 2017, Ontario Ministry of Transportation (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

"Ontario is committed to maintaining the safest roads in North America. Since the Auditor General released her report last November, Ministry of Transportation staff have been hard at work identifying ways to address the Auditor's seven recommendations. The result of that work is a comprehensive plan that will enhance oversight, ensure value for money and improve asphalt pavement quality for Ontario's roads.

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Cobourg police ride the bus to nab distracted drivers

February 17, 2017, Northumberlandnews.com (COBOURG, ONTARIO)

Do you think about distracted driving every time you see a public transit bus in Cobourg?  Maybe you should, since making a hand-held call or checking a text message at a stop light — near any type of bus or van — could net you a hefty fine.

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Town protects ‘smartphone zombies’ with light strips

February 16, 2017, Waterloo Record (BODEGRAVEN-REEUWIJK, NETHERLANDS)

It's not a difficult scenario to imagine: a group of pedestrians stand on a street corner, waiting for the crosswalk light to turn green. At least a few, if not all, are staring down at their smartphones. For whatever reason — whether scrolling through Instagram or engrossed in a game of Cooking Fever — they're not fully attuned to the traffic light ahead. A particularly oblivious walker might even step into oncoming traffic.

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U.S. senators try to speed up deployment of self-driving cars

February 13, 2017, Waterloo Record (WASHINGTON, D.C.)

In the first major congressional attempt to address the advent of self-driving cars, two senators said Monday they're launching a bipartisan effort to help to speed up the deployment of the vehicles on the nation's roads.

Republican John Thune of South Dakota, the chair of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, and Democrat Gary Peters of Michigan, said they're exploring legislation that "clears hurdles and advances innovation in self-driving vehicle technology."

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More Torontonians think roads are safe for pedestrians despite deadly 2016

February 9, 2017, CP24 News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

The number of people killed on city streets in 2016 was higher than it had been in 14 years but residents still generally believe Toronto roads are safe for pedestrians, a new poll has found.

The Forum Research poll of 1,090 residents found that 44 per cent believe that the city’s roads are safe for pedestrians compared to 37 per cent who say that the roads are unsafe for pedestrians. A further 20 per cent of respondents were unsure.

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MADD Canada and Uber Partner Nationally to Fight Impaired Driving

February 8, 2017, Canada Newswire (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Today, Uber and MADD Canada are announcing a long term, national partnership to jointly promote safe and sober driving. Both organizations will work together in asking Canadians to pledge to not drive impaired and to make further use of transportation options like ridesharing that can serve to prevent impaired driving. With this announcement, Uber is now the "Official Designated Driving App of MADD Canada".

Crashes involving alcohol and/or drugs are the leading criminal cause of death in Canada. Every day, on average, four Canadians are killed in crashes involving alcohol and/or drugs. By working together, MADD Canada and Uber will drive awareness and raise funds to help prevent impaired driving. Both organizations will also combine their efforts to support regulatory reform that promotes greater access to ridesharing as a service that can meaningfully contribute to road safety.

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Having to hit the brakes may soon be a thing of the past

February 6, 2017, Globe and Mail (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Automatic emergency braking has been an optional feature in luxury models from several auto manufacturers for a few years now, but with every major manufacturer now committed to developing autonomous vehicles, human-initiated slowing and stopping could soon become a thing of the past.

“It’s increasingly becoming standard equipment,” says Jeremy Carlson, a senior analyst with IHS Automotive. “We’re not at the point where it’s required by regulators in any part of the world yet, but we’re getting there.”

Europe is leading the charge. The Euro New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP), a voluntary safety association backed by the European Commission, requires vehicles to have automatic emergency braking in order to achieve its full five-star safety rating.

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Rules of the road: N.B. government to move ahead with new cycling safety law


The New Brunswick government is moving ahead with a new cycling safety law, promising to introduce legislation this month.

Rick Doucet is government house leader and an avid cyclist who has some experience in the dangers faced along the road.

“I was hit, I was hit a number of years ago in Fredericton and it happened very quickly and I was well on a shoulder of the road,” says Doucet.

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17 more automated license plate readers installed in police vehicles - 48 devices in total targeting disqualified drivers, improving road safety

February 3, 2017, SGI (REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN)

All police vehicles in the Combined Traffic Services Saskatchewan (CTSS) pilot are now equipped with automated licence plate readers (ALPRs).

SGI provided $800,000 to purchase 32 additional ALPRs for CTSS vehicles, in support of new impaired driving laws that took effect Jan. 1, 2017. ALPRs use infra-red technology to scan licence plates and alert police when the plate is linked to a stolen or unregistered vehicle, a suspended driver or a person wanted by police.

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Profile of Facts and Statistics Regarding Drug- and Alcohol-Impaired Driving

February 3, 2017, SAAQ (QUEBEC, QUEBEC)

Who is most at-risk for impaired driving? Where and when do accidents caused by alcohol and drugs happen?

To find out about the various aspects of impaired driving, the SAAQ has created a document that provides an overview of the issue.

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School Bus Transportation Awareness Campaign “Did you see me?”

February 2, 2017, SAAQ (QUEBEC, QUEBEC)

The SAAQ has joined forces with the Bus Carriers Federation to carry out the 29th edition of the school bus transportation safety campaign from January 30 to February 10, 2017, with the theme “Did you see me?”

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Help us choose a winner!  Video contest promotes traffic safety in First Nations communities

February 1, 2017, SGI (REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN)

Video entries for SGI's Safe a Life Challenge are now in and SGI needs your help to select a winner.

To raise awareness of road safety issues impacting First Nations communities in Saskatchewan, SGI launched the "Save a Life Challenge." Interested participants were challenged to film and share a brief video highlighting the road safety issues on First Nations roads such as dangers of impaired driving, distracted driving, speeding and not wearing a seatbelt.

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Canadian Events & Conferences in 2017


Fourth UN Global Road Safety Week

#SlowDown Campaign

Across Canada and internationally

May 8-May 12, 2017

Learn more…


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…