Quick Scan

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

April 14, 2016   |   Categories: Quick Scan

Last Updated on April 14, 2016

Transportation and Infrastructure Minister’s statement on provincial health officer’s report

March 31, 2016, BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (VICTORIA, B.C.)

Minister Todd Stone has issued the following statement….

“We share the same goal – to make our roads as safe as possible. We are reviewing the report in detail, and will give its recommendations serious consideration, as we work together toward this important goal.

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Provincial health officer releases motor vehicle crash report

March 31, 2016, B.C. Ministry of Health (VICTORIA, B.C.)

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall today released a report that examines road safety in British Columbia.

“Road safety is still a critical public-health issue,” said Kendall. “Any preventable death or serious injury is unacceptable, including those that occur as the result of a motor vehicle crash. Though B.C. has seen a notable two-thirds decrease in motor vehicle crash fatalities since 1996, we could still achieve lower rates of fatalities and serious injuries-especially in vulnerable road users. My report makes a number of evidence-based recommendations to reduce the burden of motor vehicle crashes on our health and improve road safety in British Columbia.”

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Five tough impaired driving sentences handed down across Canada

March 29, 2016, City News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

An Ontario judge sentenced a 29-year-old man to 10 years in prison on Tuesday in a horrific drunk driving crash north of Toronto that killed three children and their grandfather. Marco Muzzo had faced the possibility of life in prison after pleading guilty to four counts of impaired driving causing death and two of impaired driving causing bodily harm.

Here are five other tough sentences that have been handed down…

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Bring on the ELDs - Western trucking associations mostly in favour of electronic logging device (ELD) mandate

March 29, 2016, Truck News (TORONTO, ONTARO)

With reports indicating that the federal government may follow the US’s lead and mandate truck drivers’ use of electronic logging devices (ELDs), trucking associations in Western Canada appear to all be in favour of the move for a variety of reasons.

Safety was the primary reason for support of ELDs. Terry Shaw, executive director of the Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA) said that although there were many positive implications for bringing in ELDs, safety was the largest.

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The way media and police report Edmonton's pedestrian collisions a problem, says advocate

March 28, 2016, Edmonton Metro (EDMONTON, ALBERTA)

The way in which pedestrian collisions are reported in the media negatively affects public perception, says a pedestrian safety advocate.

“The fact is, according to our data, every two days at least three people — that includes people walking or on bikes — are getting hit by vehicles,” said Conrad Nobert, co-founder of Paths for People, which creates maps showing pedestrian incidents in Edmonton based on data it requests from the city.

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OPP says males more likely than females to restrain from buckling up and die in traffic collision as result

March 26, 2016, Brampton Guardian (BRAMPTON, ONTARIO)

Males are more likely than females to die in traffic collisions because they are not buckling up on provincial roads, according to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).

Statistics collected by the OPP over the past five years (2011-2015) indicated a total of 332 people have died in collisions on OPP-patrolled roads as a result of not wearing a seat belt.

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Beyond cellphones: how far should distracted driving laws go?

March 19, 2016, CBC News (VANCOUVER, B.C.)

…The comparison (of distracted driving) to impaired driving gets made all the time. And statistics suggest distracted driving has now — in fact — surpassed drunken driving in B.C. as a leading cause of car crash fatalities.

But can you imagine a situation in which someone with more than a dozen impaired driving charges is still allowed on the road?

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Carmakers agree to make automatic braking standard by 2022

March 17, 2016, CTV News (WASHINGTON, D.C.)

Automatic braking will be standard in most cars and light trucks within six years and on heavier SUVs and pickup trucks within eight years under an agreement that transportation officials and automakers announced on Thursday.

The voluntary agreement with 20 car manufacturers means that the important safety technology will be available more quickly than if the government had gone through the lengthy process of issuing mandatory rules, said Mark Rosekind, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Despite crackdowns, distracted driving remains a problem across Canada

March 17, 2016, CBC News (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

When a distracted driver in B.C. was pulled over recently after nearly colliding with an RCMP cruiser, the officer was shocked by what he saw.

The driver had 12 prior convictions for using an electronic device while behind the wheel.

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Crosswalk flags a success despite bureaucratic obstruction

March 17, 2016, The Coast (HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA)

A crosswalk-safety measure that was in the slow lane at City Hall for years has grown in popularity across many parts of the municipality.

Right now there are 74 crosswalks in HRM with pedestrian-safety flags. Six months ago, the flags were only available at 36 crosswalks.

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Students target campus safety with project

March 17, 2016, Western News (LONDON, ONTARIO)

Days after Emily McLachlan, Adrianna Guiffre and the rest of their Cognitive Ergonomics class submitted an assignment on campus safety, first-year Health Sciences student Andrea Christidis was killed by a vehicle while walking on campus.

“That really struck a chord with our class,” McLachlan said. “So we then decided to dedicate our entire class to pedestrian safety. We changed our class. We voted on it. We didn’t want her death to be for nothing.”

The initial study looked at the behavior of more than 16,000 pedestrians and 5,000 vehicles at a pair of campus locations. The class later expanded the study, adding in more than 500 photos and a pedestrian safety culture survey to gauge attitudes of both pedestrians and drivers.

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Distracted driving: texting will become largest cause of teen deaths, predicts instructor

March 13, 2016, CBC News (VICTORIA, B.C.)

…Using data from police-reported crashes in 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 10 per cent of all drivers, 15 to 19 years old in fatal accidents were distracted at the time. The group made up the largest proportion of distracted drivers.

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Almost 300 people killed in vehicle collisions last year

March 12, 2016, City News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Parachute Canada, a safety-advocacy group, is on a mission to completely eliminate car crashes by using a road safety model from Sweden.

Vision Zero addresses factors that contribute to collisions on the roadways, and ultimately aims to achieve zero car crashes.

“We have to have the roadways safer and we have to have pedestrians being able to cross the street safely,” said Pamela Fuselli, with Parachute Canada.

Vision Zero’s principal is based on creating intelligent traffic solutions, so where a person can fail, the road safety system shouldn’t.

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Ontario Helping Waterloo Region Expand Cycling and Improve Safety

March 11, 2016, Ontario Government (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Ontario is providing $975,000 to the Region of Waterloo over the next two years to help build new, or improve existing, cycling infrastructure through the Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program

…The Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program is helping implement #CycleON: Ontario's Cycling Strategy, the government's 20-year vision to encourage the growth of cycling and improve safety for cyclists across the province.

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Ontario road deaths: Did drivers do better or worse in 2015?

March 10, 2016, Canada Newswire (ORILLIA, ONTARIO)

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are seeing both positive and negative indicators of driver behaviour when it compares its 2015 collision data to 2014. The data also reveals how driver behaviour contributed to the 260 fatal motor vehicle collisions that occurred on OPP-patrolled roads and highways last year.

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Government reviewing fines for drivers passing stopped school buses

March 9, 2016, BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (VICTORIA, B.C.)

Children’s safety is of the utmost importance to all of us, which is why drivers are required to stop when school bus lights are flashing.

Despite the efforts to raise awareness, some drivers still fail to stop when children are getting on and off the bus.

“Failing to stop puts children at risk, and this is a concern to all British Columbians,” said Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

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Early data suggests pedestrian deaths surged in 2015

March 8, 2016, The Province (WASHINGTON, D.C.)

Pedestrian deaths surged by an estimated 10 per cent last year as the economy improved, the price of gas plunged and motorists put more miles behind the wheel than ever before, according to an analysis of preliminary state traffic fatality data.

The growing use of cellphones distracting drivers and walkers may also be partially to blame, states a report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association, which represents governors' highway safety offices. Warmer weather and shorter winters along with a greater awareness of health benefits may also be encouraging people to walk more.

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Congress will hear from head of Google self-driving car project

March 8, 2016, Reuters Canada (WASHINGTON, D.C.)

The director of the Google self-driving car project and auto industry executives will testify before Congress next week on efforts to develop safe and effective autonomous cars.

Senator John Thune, a South Dakota Republican who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee, said on Tuesday that Chris Urmson, director of self-driving cars at Alphabet Inc unit Google, will testify at on March 15.

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MADD Canada applauds federal private members’ bill to introduce mandatory screening for drivers

March 7, 2016, MADD Canada (OAKVILLE, ONTARIO)

Proposed legislation giving police the authority to screen drivers for impairment would significantly reduce impaired driving rates and prevent thousands of road crashes each year, says MADD Canada.

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New report shows traffic crashes cost employers $47.4 billion in 2013

March 3, 2016, Digital Journal (WASHINGTON, D.C.)

Protecting employees from motor vehicles crashes could be a profitable investment for U.S. businesses, according to a new report released today by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS).

In 2013, U.S. traffic crashes cost employers $47.4 billion in direct crash-related expenses, which includes medical care, liability, lost productivity and property damage. The study showed that employers could control costs by promoting safe driving habits, including seat belt usage and the elimination of speeding, drunk driving and distracted driving, whether or not employees are on the clock.

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Change to the Graduated Driver's Licence Program takes effect April 1

March 1, 2016, Government of Nova Scotia (HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA)

Changes to Nova Scotia's Graduated Driver's Licence program will help reduce crashes and injury risk for new drivers.

Starting April 1, the learner or beginner phase of the program will increase to 12 months.

"Currently, we have the shortest learner phase in Canada," said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Geoff MacLellan. "Extending the beginner phase will allow the learner to gain experience and exposure to a greater variety of driving situations and conditions.

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One in four deaths on B.C. roads involve distracted driving

March 1, 2016, ICBC (BURNABY, B.C.)

Distracted driving is responsible for approximately one quarter of all fatal crashes in B.C. Most drivers understand that using their phone increases their risk of crashing yet many still do it. That's why ICBC, police and the B.C. government are teaming up to launch a month-long distracted driving campaign in March.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety*, the odds of crashing increase by five times when using your phone, whether dialing, texting, reading or using social media.

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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

Exhibitor Opportunities Still Available!

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…