Quick Scan

Canadian Road Safety News Digest – January 1-31, 2016

February 10, 2016   |   Categories: Quick Scan

Last Updated on February 11, 2016


Drunk-driving location can affect your sentence

January 31, 2016, Toronto Sun (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

A recent Supreme Court of Canada decision noted a judge, when imposing sentence, can consider the prevalence of drunk driving in the area where a motorist is convicted of being impaired.

Drunk driving is a widespread problem with devastating consequences across Canada, the judgment noted. It’s the nation’s single leading criminal cause of death and serious bodily harm.

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Strengthening the Province’s transportation system

January 29, 2016, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador (ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND)

The Honourable Al Hawkins, Minister of Transportation and Works, met with federal, provincial and territorial counterparts yesterday in Ottawa during meetings of Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety…

…During the meeting, the Council of Ministers also launched Canada’s Road Safety Strategy 2025 – Towards Zero: The Safest Roads in the World.

“The safety of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians is a foremost priority for our government, and we are pleased to begin integrating this valuable new strategy into our approach to promoting safer roads. The Provincial Government will start by reviewing existing legislation and regulations associated with road safety to determine where improvements can be made to achieve the objectives outlined in Canada’s Road Safety Strategy 2025 – Towards Zero: The Safest Roads in the World.” The Honourable Eddie Joyce, Minister of Service NL.

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AMTA partnership with BIS enhances online health and safety training

January 28, 2016, Truck News (CALGARY, ALBERTA)

The Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) and BIS Training Solutions have turned safety into an collaborative effort, joining forces to deliver both classroom and online workplace health, safety and high-risk activities training courses.

The partnership launches in February and positions the AMTA to offer over 250 training courses, as well as the majority of certifications and programs required in the trucking industry.

“AMTA continues to advance road safety in Alberta”, said AMTA executive director Lorraine Card.

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Pedestrian deaths raise calls for more reflective clothing

January 27, 2016, CBC News (VANCOUVER, B.C.)

A B.C. seniors group is calling on government to make reflective clothing better and more available, following the recent death of two pedestrians in Metro Vancouver…

…Vic Leach of the Sapperton Old Age Pensioners Association in New Westminster says he thinks one way to minimize those collisions is better reflective clothing.

"When you have a reflective product, you can be seen from low beam headlights at 125 metres, so that gives you enough time for a driver to see someone in the distance."

He notes European cities have managed to cut pedestrian fatalities in recent years by focusing on pedestrian safety, including developing standards for better reflective clothing for everyday wear.

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A new, and dangerous, kind of distracted driver

January 27, 2016, News 1130 (VANCOUVER, B.C.)

You see them on the road every day — people fiddling with phones, food, makeup and a lot of other stuff while behind the wheel.

But what’s the worst kind of behaviour bad drivers are engaging in?

Maybe it’s not so much the habits themselves as the attitude that goes along with them.

“We talk a lot about driver distraction, but what I’m talking about is entitled driving,” says Anne Kingston, senior writer for Maclean’s.

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Will legalized pot risk road safety?

January 23, 2016, North Bay Nuggett (NORTH BAY, ONTARIO)

With Canadian lawmakers and politicians shifting into high gear on the drive to legalize marijuana, there is a real risk that important questions about the impact on road safety in Ontario and across Canada will be left in the dust. This is one key area of concern for Ontario Safety League (OSL) as we move into 2016, and one of several challenging issues all road users will be confronting this year.

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Get your ‘texi’ on and make 2016 the safest year on Canadian roads

January 22, 2016, Canada Newswire (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Kickstart 2016 with a positive new habit that could earn you great prizes just for keeping your eyes on the road and hands off your smartphone. Launching today, texi is a free, interactive and incentivized mobile app that promotes safe driving by keeping users out of harm's way and focused on the road. With 22 percent of Canadian drivers admitting to texting while driving and 90 percent saying texting while driving is socially unacceptable1, the Dilawri Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to supporting communities across Canada, created this app as an innovative solution to curb texting and driving.

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Need for new measures to detect drug-impaired drivers is greater than ever

January 21, 2016, MADD Canada (OAKVILLE, ONTARIO)

With rates of drug-impaired driving on the rise, and with the federal government’s promise to legalize marijuana, the need for an effective and cost-efficient method to detect drug-impaired drivers is greater than ever.

A new paper, commissioned by MADD Canada, examines the availability and accuracy of roadside oral fluid testing for drugs, the approaches used in other countries, and considerations for moving forward with such technology in Canada. The paper, titled A Feasibility Study of Roadside Oral Fluid Testing, is authored by Associate Professor Mark Asbridge and Research Associate Rachel Ogilvie of the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology at Dalhousie.

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#LikeLife campaign targets younger drivers

January 20, 2016, News1130 (VANCOUVER, B.C.)

A new safe-driving campaign is targeting younger people.  The #LikeLife campaign is put together by the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

With so much hands-free technology available, there is no excuse for looking down at your phone while driving, but Steve Kee with IBC says that doesn’t stop 34 per cent of people who have admitted to texting and driving.

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Councillor Green to introduce Vision Zero motion

January 19, 2016, Raise the Hammer (HAMILTON, ONTARIO)

Ward 3 Councillor Matthew Green has introduced a notice of motion to establish a Vision Zero-style commitment to road safety in Hamilton, particularly for people walking and cycling, who are among the city's most vulnerable road users.

The motion, if approved by Council, would call on the City to implement a "comprehensive plan to improve road safety" including a review of current city policies, a study of best practices and Vision Zero principles, enhanced analysis of traffic collision data, and a reporting system to track progress.

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Calgary pedestrian strategy calls for safety measures including reduced speed limit in residential areas

January 15, 2016, Calgary Herald (CALGARY, ALBERTA)

A pedestrian strategy set to go before a city committee this month recommends reducing the speed limit to 40 km/h in residential areas, installing more flashing light pedestrian crosswalks, and building mid-block crossings in busy areas.

Other measures called for as part of 50 action items detailed in the plan, dubbed Step Forward, include conducting safety audits in areas where multiple pedestrian collisions have occurred, improving snow and ice control on sidewalks, building missing links in the sidewalk network, twinning pathways in high-use areas, and improving safety measures at train crossings.

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U.S. regulators could waive some safety rules for self-driving cars

January 15, 2016, Globe and Mail (WASHINGTON, D.C.)

The U.S. Transportation Department said on Thursday it may waive some vehicle safety rules to allow more driverless cars to operate on U.S. roads as part of a broader effort to speed up development of self-driving vehicles.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx unveiled the new policy guidance for self-driving vehicle testing in Detroit.

Major auto makers, and technology companies led by Alphabet Inc’s Google, are racing to develop and sell vehicles that can drive themselves, but they have complained that state and federal safety rules are impeding testing and ultimate deployment of such vehicles.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which Foxx oversees, told auto makers it is willing to exempt up to 2,500 vehicles industry-wide from some auto safety standards for up to two years in a move that could allow Google to get its self-driving cars on U.S. roads.

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Nova Scotia RCMP arrest 1,048 impaired drivers in 2015

January 14, 2016, CBC News (HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA)

RCMP arrested 1,048 impaired drivers across Nova Scotia in 2015, as the rate of drunk driving charges in the province in recent years has remained stubbornly above the national average.

"I feel it's alarming," said Sgt. Leanne Macdonald, acting head of traffic services for Nova Scotia RCMP, which patrols much of rural Nova Scotia and parts of the Halifax region…

…According to the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Nova Scotians were charged with impaired driving at a rate of 217 charges per 100,000 people in 2014.  That's 30 per cent higher than the national rate of 167 charges per 100,000 people.

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Pilot project to help Winnipeg drivers navigate city's most dangerous intersections

January 14, 2016, CTV News (WINNIPEG, MANITOBA)

Drivers will soon see warning signs at some high-collision intersections in Winnipeg.

Manitoba Public Insurance data from 2005-2014 shows nearly 10,000 collisions have taken place at Winnipeg’s top five crash intersections.

The worst offender is the intersection at Leila Avenue and McPhillips Street with 2,326 collisions over ten years.

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Exclusive: U.S., major automakers to announce safety accord Friday – sources

January 11, 2016, Reuters Canada (DETROIT, MICHIGAN)

The U.S. government and a group of leading global automakers are set to announce a ground-breaking voluntary agreement at the Detroit auto show on Friday aimed at dramatically improving the industry's safety, according to company officials.

The unprecedented accord could set the framework for further discussions on safety reforms and mark a new era of cooperation between automakers and regulators after a record-setting year of safety fines, recalls and investigations into malfunctioning vehicles made by General Motors Co GM.N, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV FCAU.N, Honda Motor Co 7267.T and others.

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UNB student lobbies province to update impaired driving laws

January 7, 2016, Brunswickan (FREDERICTON, NB)

At age twelve, Kali O’Dell was involved in a collision with her family that killed both her parents and seriously injured her younger brother. It was caused by a drunk driver.

Now 21 and in her fourth year at UNB, O’Dell is the director of awareness and education for Fredericton Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). She’s been lobbying the government to introduce new rules and technology that she believes are long overdue.

The provincial government will decide next month whether it will make a number of changes to the Motor Vehicle Act in order to address impaired driving…

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New rules at pedestrian crossovers and school crossings in Ontario

January 4, 2016, Global News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

As of Jan. 1, a new law in Ontario indicates drivers and cyclists must now stop and yield the whole pedestrian crossover until the person is completely off the roadway.

This rule also applies at school crossings where there is a crossing guard holding a stop sign. However, the new law does not apply at crosswalks, unless a school crossing guard is present.

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81,612 Canadians have reached home safe home with Operation Red Nose

January 3, 2016, NorthumberlandView.ca (QUEBEC, QUEBEC)

The 32nd annual safe ride home campaign concludes with a positive wrap-up

Quebec City, January 02nd, 2016. – At the end of its 32nd annual road safety campaign, which will have been filled with emotions and important milestones, Operation Red Nose will have driven 81,612 motorists safely home in 104 communities across Canada where the service was available, including 5,147 in the 7 Ontario host communities.

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Distracted driving legislation

January 1, 2016, Alberta Transportation (EDMONTON, ALBERTA)

Effective January 1, 2016 the penalty for distracted driving in Alberta will be a $287 fine and three demerit points. Any charges or convictions laid before January 1, 2016 will result in a $287 fine but no demerit points (regardless of whether the ticket is paid before or after January 1).

The law applies to all motor vehicles as defined by the Traffic Safety Act. It restricts drivers from:

  • using hand-held cell phones
  • texting or e-mailing (even when stopped at red lights)
  • using electronic devices like laptop computers, video games, cameras, video entertainment displays and programming portable audio players (e.g., MP3 players)
  • entering information on GPS units
  • reading printed materials in the vehicle
  • writing, printing or sketching
  • personal grooming (brushing and flossing teeth, putting on makeup, curling hair, clipping nails or shaving)

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Canadian Events & Conferences in 2016

Sarah Beth Therien Memorial Scholarship Competition is Now Open!

Canada Safety Council, Ottawa, Ontario

Period receiving applications: January 31 – June 15, 2016

Learn more…  Or email Lewis Smith at: media@safetycouncil.org


Working for Road Safety, CARSP Conference 2016

Preliminary Program Posted / Registration Now Open!

Westin Nova Scotian, Halifax, Nova Scotia, June 5-8, 2016

Learn more...


CCMTA Annual Meeting

Halifax, Nova Scotia, June 19-22, 2016

Learn more…


Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) Conference and Exhibition

Theme:  Efficient Transportation – Managing the Demand

Toronto, Ontario, September 25-28, 2016

Learn more…