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Canadian Road Safety News Digest – March 1-31, 2017
April 24, 2017 | Categories: Quick Scan
Last Updated on April 24, 2017
Saskatchewan Government Insurance to focus on vulnerable road users in April
March 31, 2017, Canadian Underwriter (REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN)
Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) and law enforcement will be focusing on vulnerable road users throughout the month of April.
SGI, the province’s self-sustaining, compulsory auto insurance program, said in a press release on Friday that the focus will include dangerous traffic behaviours by pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, as well as dangerous actions towards them by drivers.
Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan Support Better Transportation and Improved Safety with Highway Rehabilitation Projects
March 31, 2017, Government of Saskatchewan (REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN)
Modern and efficient roadways are crucial to encouraging and supporting economic activity, facilitating trade, and creating good paying, middle class jobs. The governments of Canada and Saskatchewan are investing in well-planned infrastructure that will make it easier to move people and products across the country, while supporting sustained economic growth and productivity for years to come.
Today, Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Highways and Infrastructure Minister David Marit announced funding for five highway rehabilitation projects in Saskatchewan.
ICBC funding new bursary to help youth in care learn to drive
March 30, 2017, ICBC (NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C.)
ICBC is announcing $50,000 in funding to assist youth in foster care and those who have aged out learn how to drive.
ICBC is working with the provincial government to partner with the Federation of B.C. Youth in Care Networks (FBCYICN) to create a bursary program, Take the Wheel, which will fund driver training and support for at least 50 qualifying youth and young adults from across B.C. over the coming year.
Netherlands town installs traffic lights for pedestrians walking and texting
March 29, 2017, CBC News (BODEGRAVEN, NETHERLANDS)
It's dubbed "wexting" — walking while texting…
…CBC tech columnist Dan Misener explains. What is this small Dutch town doing to address distracted walking? A team in the town of Bodegraven has installed traffic signals in the sidewalk at various intersections. The idea is that, if you're walking while looking down at your phone, you'll still be able to see the traffic signals.
SLOW RIDER: How a community effort got the speed limit lowered in Hintonburg
March 26, 2017, OttawaStart.com (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)
If you had 1,700 hours of free time, would you spend it knocking on nearly 2,000 doors to get signatures for a petition to lower your neighbourhood’s speed limit by 10 km/h?
That’s what Dickson Davidson and about 20 other volunteers did for the Hintonburg Community Association — and it paid off — with 69.32 per cent of 1,855 surveyed homes in residential Hintonburg agreeing the speed limit should be lowered to 40 km/h from the current 50 km/h.
Opinion: In a traffic accident, it's too often an unequal match-up
March 23, 2017, Montreal Gazette (MONTREAL, QUEBEC)
Statistics released in January by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveal a shocking reversal of fortune after years of steady decline in traffic fatalities.
Motor vehicle traffic fatalities rose by 8 per cent overall for the first nine months of 2016 in comparison with the same period the previous year. And that was after 2015 had witnessed a historic 9.3 per cent overall increase for the same time period in 2014, after a long period of decline.
Manitoba introduces Cannabis Harm Prevention Act
March 20, 2017, Government of Manitoba (WINNIPEG, MANITOBA)
The Manitoba government is introducing new legislation that would be focused on harm reduction and public safety as part of its ongoing preparation for federal legalization of marijuana, Justice Minister Heather Stefanson announced today.
“This legislation would be an early step by our government to target drug-impaired driving and prioritize the health and safety of Manitoba youth,” said Stefanson. “As the federal government moves to legalize cannabis, our government is focused on the safety and health of all Manitobans.”
Toronto bar serves up strong message on St. Patrick’s Day
March 17, 2017, CTV News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)
One Toronto bar is using unique coasters to share a strong message on this St. Patrick’s Day. On Friday, whisky bar Emmet Ray in the area of College Street West and Dovercourt Road put out coasters made out of destroyed vehicles to remind those celebrating the holiday to not drink and drive.
The coasters say, “this coaster used to be a car that car never made it home.”
Steering for safety: Kingston ready to develop first-ever road safety plan
March 16, 2017, KingstonRegion.com (KINGSTON, ONTARIO)
City councillors say it’s one of the most frequent complaints they hear from residents — too many aggressive drivers who ignore the rules of the road.
Now, Kingston is ready to tackle the issue in a way that’s never been done before.
Councillors will be asked to spend $200,000 to develop a road safety plan over the next two years that may replace the need for red light cameras at accident-prone intersections.
Drug and Alcohol Roadside Survey confirms drug use by drivers: Manitoba Public Insurance
March 15, 2017, MPI (WINNIPEG, MANITOBA)
One in 10 Manitoba drivers who participated in voluntary roadside surveys conducted last fall tested positive for drugs, according to findings released from the Manitoba Drug and Alcohol Roadside Survey, Crown Services Minister Ron Schuler and Manitoba Public Insurance announced today.
The purpose of the study was to establish a baseline for current drug and alcohol usage on Manitoba roadways. Of the 1,230 drivers who participated, 124 tested positive for some form of drug.
In total, 53 per cent of drivers with drugs in their systems tested positive for cannabis, 31 per cent for cocaine, 12 per cent for opioids, and two per cent each for benzodiazepines and amphetamines/methamphetamines. Twenty two per cent of these drivers tested positive for more than one drug.
Concerted effort underway across B.C. to reduce dangers of distracted driving
March 14, 2017, Osoyoos Times (OSOYOOS, BC)
In a significant and concerted enforcement effort on distracted driving, ICBC, the B.C. government and police across the province are joining forces throughout the month of March to raise awareness of the dangers and consequences of distracted driving.
Despite tougher penalties and increased education, distracted driving still contributes to more than one quarter of all car crash fatalities in B.C., with an average of 78 people killed every year.
Toronto police launch ‘March Break, March Safe’ pedestrian safety campaign
March 13, 2017, Global News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)
Toronto police are reminding parents and caregivers to keep their eyes on the children under their care during March Break.
Despite children being out of school, police say pedestrian accidents can happen at any time and especially in high density areas.
Mississauga Considering Lowering Speed Limits
March 13, 2017, insauga.com (MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO)
While it wouldn't be accurate to call Mississauga's roads unsafe, it's normal be wary after hearing multiple reports of fatal collisions.
Because road safety affects literally everyone, the city recently approved the reinstatement of the Road Safety Advisory Committee—a committee that could propose such initiatives as lowering speed limits.
"Road safety is a priority. We need to ensure our citizens travel safely whether as a driver, cyclist or pedestrian," said Pat Saito, Councillor Ward 9.
Photo radar program extended indefinitely
March 13, 2017, CBC News (REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN)
Saskatchewan Government Insurance is extending its photo radar speed enforcement pilot project indefinitely.
Cameras were set up to catch traffic violators on five major road sections in the province in late 2014 and early 2015, as well as school zones in Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and Regina.
Safe texting zones passes 2nd reading
March 10, 2017, Nugget.ca (NORTH BAY, ONTARIO)
Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli's private member's bill to combat distracted driving received support from all parties Thursday at Queen's Park.
Bill 19, The Safe Texting Zones Act, passed second reading with unanimous support. The bill will now move to committee.
The legislation would authorize the government to designate any of the 185 already-existing rest stops, commuter parking lots, transit stations, service and other areas as texting zones.
12-year-old puts brakes on distracted driving
March 9, 2017, Ottawa Community News (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)
Ryan Rodrigs — son of Jeri Rodrigs, who invented the Rumidifier — co-founded Ugran Drive Safe Inc. at age 11. The company develops applications to prevent distracted driving caused by cellphone use.
“Forty per cent of all the car accidents on the road are caused because of distracted driving and texting and driving. When I saw this fact I was a little bit blown away,” said Ryan, who is chief operating officer of Ugran, and codes and tests all the software used.
Department of Transportation Announces the Release of the 2015 Northwest Territories Traffic Collision Facts and the 2016-2016 Annual Report of Registrar of Motor Vehicles
March 8, 2017, Government of NWT (YELLOWKNIFE, NWT)
The Department of Transportation (DOT) would like to announce the release of the 2015 Northwest Territories Traffic Collision Facts, as well as the 2015/2016 Annual Report of Registrar of Motor Vehicles.
2015 Northwest Territories Traffic Collision Facts contains information on various issues, such as impaired driving, speeding, young and old drivers, and the use of seat belts. The 2015/2016 Annual Report of Registrar of Motor Vehicles, meanwhile, presents a statistical summary of the vehicle and driver population in the Northwest Territories and a summary of revenue, driver testing activity, convictions and suspensions.
Local mayors support right turns on red
March 7, 2017, Montreal Gazette (MONTREAL, QUEBEC)
Is Montreal finally ready to allow rights turns on red lights?
A group of Montreal suburban mayors think so. Last week, those mayors, 15 in all, asked the Quebec government to implement right turns on red (aka RTOR) on the island. They submitted the request at a public hearing on road safety held by the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec.
Beaconsfield Mayor Georges Bourelle said Montreal drivers should no longer be considered the “crazy Quebec drivers” of decades ago.
Spring time change means 'sleepy' Canadians need to be extra alert on roadways
March 7, 2017, Canada Newswire (TORONTO, ONTARIO)
As Canadians spring ahead to Daylight Saving Time on March 12, we gain an extra hour of sunlight but lose an hour of sleep - enough to affect the body's internal clock and driving skills. With that in mind, Parachute and FedEx Express Canada are reminding drivers and pedestrians to be extra careful on our roadways.
Share the Road calls for $50 million investment in Ontario cycling infrastructure
March 6, 2017, Canadian Cycling (TORONTO, ONTARIO)
The Province of Ontario laid out a 20-year CycleON plan in 2014 to develop the province into one of the countries leading bicycle friendly jurisdictions.
The Share the Road Cycling Coalition has called on the province to continue this commitment to its cycling strategy by investing $50 million in cycling infrastructure. An important part of the province’s ambitious plan is supporting and promoting cycling trips under 5-km according to Share the Road. To do this they believe municipalities need more funding.
Road Safety at Work Week kicks off
March 6, 2017, Canadian Occupational Safety (RICHMOND, BC)
The Road Safety at Work Week campaign has kicked off today and will run until March 10, bringing awareness to safety while driving on the job.
Employers are responsible for the safety of employees when they drive for work regardless of who owns the vehicle they drive. Whether it’s a fleet van or personal sedan, if the vehicle is used for work, it’s part of a workplace and that means employers have obligations for employee safety.
City of Vancouver engineers traffic-safety solutions
March 3, 2017, Business Vancouver (VANCOUVER, BC)
Population growth, densification and an increase in cycling has made many Metro Vancouver intersections more dangerous, prompting city planners to turn to civil engineering for solutions.
Successful strategies are often replicated, as is the case at two of the city’s most dangerous intersections.
A similar solution will be employed in the next year at the north end of the Burrard Bridge and at Marine Drive and Knight Street, City of Vancouver director of transportation Lon LaClaire told Business in Vancouver.
2017-2018 Road Knight Team selected by OTA
March 3, 2017, Today’s Trucking (TORONTO, ONTARIO)
Seven outstanding truck drivers have been knighted by the Ontario Trucking Association, and will travel across Ontario over the next two years sharing their knowledge of the industry to media in addition to sharing their stories and know-how about the trucking industry and highway safety with students and community groups.
Representing drivers of all types including city and highway drivers, owner-operators, truckload, Less Than Truckload (LTL), heavy specialized and reefer carriers, this year’s selection of Road Knights have a combined 100+ years of experience on the road.
Government beefing up impaired driving rule
March 2, 2017, The Telegram (ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND)
Service NL Minister Perry Trimper announced new measures Thursday which will impose tougher rules for impaired drivers — a zero-tolerance policy for drivers under 22-years-old, roadside impoundment of vehicles and a mandatory interlock program for impaired drivers.
National Action Plan outlines the road ahead in fight against distracted driving
March 2, 2017, TIRF (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)
Distracted driving deaths have surpassed impaired driving deaths according to the latest fatality data from several Canadian jurisdictions...This troubling trend has made distracted driving a top road safety priority for governments and organizations across the country.
While a wide range of initiatives have been pursued by concerned stakeholders to tackle this pressing problem, there is an urgent need for a coordinated and comprehensive blueprint to effectively address it. To help fill this gap, the Canadian Coalition on Distracted Driving (CCDD) was formed to develop a National Action Plan, which was published today.
Public consultation on road safety - CAA-Quebec says bad behaviour needs to be tackled!
March 2, 2017, Canada Newswire (QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC)
While good behaviour should be rewarded, the opposite applies to bad motoring habits such as using a cellphone while driving, failing to wear seatbelts or disregarding pedestrian lights. In addition, more needs to be done regarding alcohol or drug impairment at the wheel. CAA-Quebec says some types of behaviour are socially unacceptable and is calling for revised penalties, especially with respect to demerit points.
Helmets, dedicated bike routes improve cycling safety, city report says
March 2, 2017, CBC News (WINNIPEG, MANITOBA)
A report into cycling safety in Winnipeg comes to the common-sense conclusion that cyclists who wear helmets and travel on routes where bikes don't mingle with motor-vehicle traffic are at the lowest risk of injury. But the report, which was commissioned with the intent of possibly making helmet use mandatory, makes no recommendations to the city about enacting new city regulations or enforcing existing provincial road-safety rules.
Edmonton mayor turns sights back on pedestrian safety initiatives
March 2, 2017, Edmonton Journal (EDMONTON, ALBERTA)
Sherwood Park — Mayor Don Iveson called for a relaunch of the city’s contentious Vision Zero traffic safety initiative Wednesday, a project that’s drawn the ire of pedestrian advocates.
“The more we draw people out into our streets and public spaces, the more we need to ensure they have a safe and inviting experience,” he said.
Mississauga council reinstates defunct road safety committee
March 2, 2017, Mississauga.com (MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO)
With pedestrian and cyclist fatalities on the rise in Mississauga, city councillors voted to revive the road safety committee that was disbanded in 2014.
“We need to show citizens that we’re serious about this,” said Coun. Pat Saito, who moved the motion for reinstatement during Wednesday’s general committee meeting.
The road safety committee will be separate from the city’s existing committees that deal with traffic-related matters, including the Traffic Safety Council (TSC) and the Mississauga Cycling Advisory Committee (MCAC).
Ottawa wants tougher national standard for distracted drivers using cellphones
March 1, 2017, TheStar.com (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)
Transport Minister Marc Garneau is calling for the creation of a tough national standard to penalize distracted drivers using their cellphones on the road.
Garneau said Wednesday that having consistent national rules with stiffer fines and demerit points could address the growing number of incidents.
California Office of Traffic Safety’s DDVIP Mobile App Chosen as “Bright Idea” by Harvard University
March 1, 2017, Digital Journal (SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA)
Harvard University’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government has recognized the California Office of Traffic Safety’s Designated Driver VIP (DDVIP) mobile app as part of its 2017 Bright Ideas program.
Distracted driving target of SGI March traffic safety spotlight
March 1, 2017, Global News (REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN)
Distracted driving is the second-leading factor of fatal crashes in Saskatchewan.
As part of Saskatchewan Government Insurance’s (SGI) traffic safety spotlight, police will be targeting distracted drivers during March.
This not only includes drivers using or holding cellphones, but those eating, putting on makeup, or programming a GPS.
Canadian Events & Conferences in 2017
Fourth UN Global Road Safety Week
Across Canada and internationally
May 8-May 12, 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