Quick Scan

Canadian Road Safety News Digest – January 1-31, 2019

March 6, 2019   |   Categories: Quick Scan

Last Updated on March 6, 2019

These U of T experts in AI want to teach you how to program a self-driving car

January 30, 2019, University of Toronto (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Two experts in autonomous vehicles from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering have partnered with Coursera to offer a four-course specialization in self-driving cars.

“The interest in autonomous driving is exploding,” says Steven Waslander, an associate professor at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS).

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New ad campaign from Waterloo region, police aims to educate residents on why fatal traffic incidents occur

January 30, 2019, Global News (WATERLOO, ONTARIO)

Waterloo police and the region have teamed up on a new public education campaign to raise awareness on road safety.

The campaign, which is labelled Safe Roads Waterloo, is aimed at all the people who travel on the streets of Waterloo region including drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

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First seven-day suspension handed out for using a smartphone while driving

January 24, 2019, MPI (WINNIPEG, MANITOBA)

A 60-something driver holds the dubious distinction of becoming the first person to receive a seven-day driver licence suspension for using a smartphone while driving. Manitoba’s new distracted driving laws took effect November 1.

The driver’s first offence occurred in late November, resulting in an automatic three-day driver licence suspension. His second offence took place in early January in Portage la Prairie.

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Driverless cars now allowed on Ontario roads

January 23, 2019, City News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Driverless cars are now allowed on Ontario roads.

Transportation Minister Jeff Yurek has announced that, as of Jan. 1, participants in Ontario’s automated vehicle pilot program can test driverless cars on public roadways, under strict conditions. Those conditions include having either a passenger in the vehicle or a remote operator monitoring the vehicle.

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Ontario Government Supports Innovation and Growth in Automated Vehicle Industry:  Expanding Ontario’s Automated Vehicle Pilot

January 22, 2019, Government of Ontario (WATERLOO, ONTARIO)

Today, Transportation Minister Jeff Yurek was at the Sedra Student Design Centre at the University of Waterloo to support innovation and growth within Ontario's automated vehicle industry.

As one of the actions in the recent package to create jobs by eliminating red tape and burdensome regulations, Ontario has updated its Automated Vehicle Pilot program to allow for more testing of emerging technologies and to support future sales of the next generation of autos.

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Changes to Ontario's Automated Vehicle Pilot

January 22, 2019, Government of Ontario (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Automated vehicles are designed to operate without a driver having to continually control steering, acceleration or braking. Advanced control systems and technology track the vehicle's position and monitor the driving environment. They have the potential to improve road safety, traffic flow, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create economic opportunities for Ontarians.

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Commercial vehicle safety enforcement

January 22, 2019, Government of B.C. (VICTORIA, B.C.)

The Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement (CVSE) branch promotes compliance of safety regulations within the commercial transport sector, with the goal of increasing road safety for everyone.

CVSE uses a multi-level approach to ensure safety.

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How far should rights be curtailed to stop drunk driving?

January 20, 2019, Toronto Sun (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Four years ago, a waitress and manager of the Finn McCool Bar in Woodbridge rushed out to the parking lot to alert police that a patron had just left in his jeep and was very intoxicated.

When York Regional Police caught up with him a few minutes later, the driver had trouble retrieving his ownership, his eyes were glassy, his speech was slurred and his breath smelled strongly of alcohol. “I just had two beers,” he kept insisting.

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Impaired driving continues to be a leading contributor in road deaths Manitoba Public Insurance

January 17, 2019, MPI (WINNIPEG, MANITOBA)

Impaired driving accounted for close to half of the deaths on Manitoba roadways last year, according to Manitoba Public Insurance.

In total, 71 people were killed in auto-related crashes in 2018, with 42 per cent of those deaths attributed to impaired (alcohol or drugs) driving. Speed was a contributing factor in 17 per cent of 2018 deaths, while 28 per cent of deaths were due to occupants in the vehicle not wearing a seatbelt.

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OPP explain changes to impaired driving law

January 15, 2019, My Timmins Now (TIMMINS, ONTARIO)

Following a backlash against changes to Canada’s impaired driving law, the OPP are hoping to clear up some confusion.

The changes that went into effect last month could possibly see Canadians having to defend themselves in court even if they began drinking after driving.

OPP James Bay Detachments Media Officer Stephanie Belec says the changes are not as drastic as some people have been saying but include a few noteworthy things.

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Felix J.E. Comeau wins 2018 CARSP Life Time Achievement Award

January 9, 2019, Truck News (ST. CATHARINES, ONTARIO)

Felix J.E. Comeau, chairman and CEO of Alcohol Countermeasure Systems (ACS), was awarded with the 2018 Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals (CARSP) Lifetime Achievement Award.

This award is presented annually to individuals who have been in the road safety field for more than 15 years and have made significant contributions and a positive impact to road safety in Canada.

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Nunavut bans texting and driving; no penalty introduced

January 8, 2019, CBC News (IQALUIT, NUNAVUT)

Using your phone while driving is now against the law in Nunavut. The law came into effect last week.

The territory was the last jurisdiction in Canada to allow texting and driving.

The law prohibits people from driving while using a hand-held electronic device, but people can use the device if it's hands-free, they're pulled over, or their vehicle isn't impeding traffic.

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Answers to Sobering Questions about Canada's New Impaired Driving Laws

January 8, 2019, Huff Post (VANCOUVER, B.C.)

On Dec. 18, 2018, impaired driving laws in this country underwent a massive overhaul. Police officers are now able to conduct warrantless roadside searches to compel drivers to provide a breath sample, and they don't need to form any grounds in order to do so.

Understandably, this has left a lot of people unclear about what it all means.

As a criminal defence lawyer, here are the answers to the most common questions I've received about Canada's new impaired driving laws.

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B.C. aims to increase road safety with left lane ban, stricter chain up enforcement

January 3, 2019, Truck News (VICTORIA, B.C.)

Increasing safety on B.C.’s highways has become a focus for the provincial government of late, and several new regulations will impact commercial trucks traveling across the province.

For starters, commercial vehicle drivers will no longer be permitted to use the far left lane when going up Snowshed Hill on the Coquihalla Highway.

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Hundreds charged with impaired driving across GTA during holidays

January 2, 2019, CTV News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Hundreds of people were charged with impaired-related driving offences across the Greater Toronto Area during the holidays, according to 2018 RIDE program statistics.

In a news release issued Wednesday, Toronto police said that officers made 170 impaired-related arrests between Nov. 14 and Dec. 31, during their 2018 Holiday RIDE program.

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Nova Scotia pedestrian fatalities almost doubled in 2018

January 2, 2019, Halifax Today (HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA)

Fatalities on Nova Scotia's roads increased by 50 per cent in 2018, with the number of pedestrian deaths almost doubling.

76 people were killed in traffic accidents as of Dec. 26 2018, up from 48 deaths in 2017.

Of those 76 deaths, 12 involved pedestrians, twice as many as the previous two years combined, and the most since 13 pedestrians died in 2006.

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New penalties for distracted driving go into effect across Ontario today

January 1, 2019, CP24 (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Ontario drivers are facing harsher penalties for distracted driving starting today.

The provincial government introduced the new rules in a bid to improve road safety.

Those convicted of driving while distracted, including texting while behind the wheel, will have their licence suspended for three days.

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Canadian Events & Conferences in 2019 & 2020

5th Ontario Road Safety Forum

University of Toronto

Toronto, Ontario

March 27, 2019

Learn more…


Motorcycles OK Forum – Motorcycles

as a Solution

Vancouver, BC

May 1, 2019

Learn more…


CCMTA Annual Meeting

Ottawa, Ontario

June 2-5, 2019

Learn more…


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…