Quick Scan

Canadian Road Safety News Digest – September 1-30, 2016

October 17, 2016   |   Categories: Quick Scan

Last Updated on October 17, 2016

Transport Canada's actions to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians on Canada's roadways

September 30, 2016, Transport Canada (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

Transport Canada is always looking at ways to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety.

The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, recently announced that Transport Canada and the provinces and territories will establish a new task force to discuss safety measures to reduce injuries and fatalities involving cyclists, pedestrians and heavy trucks.

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Ministers discuss ELDs, systems to protect road users

September 29, 2016, Today’s Trucking (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Canada’s transportation ministers met in Toronto today, discussing a broad array of initiatives such as the mandating of Electronic Logging Devices and the need to study truck-mounted systems like side guards that could better protect “vulnerable” road users.

The ministers have also agreed to create a task force to harmonize truck-related regulations “wherever possible”, said Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau. Unspecified changes to the Memorandum of Understanding that governs weights and dimensions were also agreed to in principle.

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Many Canadians see self-driving cars as a licence to behave badly: survey

September 29, 2016, The Globe and Mail (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

The image of drivers texting, dozing or sipping a martini while they sit at the wheel and let their autonomous vehicles do all the work prevails among a significant number of Canadians.

That’s a troubling finding from a survey of Canadians about self-driving vehicles by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation, a non-profit road safety organization…

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Feds launch task force on cycling and pedestrian safety

September 29, 2016, Ottawa Sun (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

The federal government announced Thursday it will work with provinces and territories to create a task force on safety measures for cyclists and pedestrians with a focus on heavy trucks.

Gareth Davies, president of the Ottawa advocacy group Citizens for Safe Cycling, said he’s “pleasantly surprised” by the momentum in the past week to make safety initiatives a priority.

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Transport ministers won’t commit to criminalizing distracted driving

September 28, 2016, Global News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Transport ministers from across Canada seemed to have mixed feelings about the criminalization of distracted driving on Wednesday as they met in Toronto.

Quebec’s transport minister, Laurent Lessard, asked Ottawa to consider criminalizing distracted driving last month. Global News used this week’s meeting to ask all Lessard’s provincial counterparts if they would be on board with that. Some were, but others weren’t so sure — or avoided answering the question entirely.

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Drug-impaired drivers in Ontario to face tougher penalties

September 28, 2016, The Star (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Police in Ontario will soon be able to suspend the licences of drug-impaired drivers, with the same penalties that drunk drivers face.

Starting on Sunday, drivers impaired by drug use will face a $180 fine, and a licence suspension of three days for the first occurrence, then seven days for the second time and 30 days for subsequent ones after failing roadside tests.

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Distracted driving in Canada: Here’s how you would fix it

September 28, 2016, Global News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Canada’s federal and provincial transport ministers meet in Toronto Wednesday to discuss how to deal with the growing problem of distracted driving in the country.

In some parts of Canada, distracted drivers are killing more people than drunk drivers, yet the penalties for impaired driving are much harsher.

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Bigger investments in community road safety for B.C.

September 27, 2016, Government of B.C. (VICTORIA, B.C.)

British Columbians will soon benefit from more improvements for safer highways in their home communities, thanks to a 50% increase to the province’s Community Safety Enhancement Program, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone announced today at UBCM.

“The Province invests about $5 million each year in the Community Safety Enhancement Program – a program that uses the ideas and input from municipalities and local residents to build projects, like better lighting, new crosswalks and improved signage,” said Stone.

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Boost for cycling infrastructure funding, earlier application intake for BikeBC, B.C. Air Access Program

September 27, 2016, Government of BC (VICTORIA, BC)

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is increasing BikeBC funding for cycling infrastructure projects to $8 million for the 2017-18 fiscal year and will be opening the application intake this fall, announced Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone at the UBCM conference today.

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Road safety advocates unhappy with John Tory's plan to fight congestion

September 26, 2016, Metro News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Standing at the corner of Victoria Park and Finch avenues Monday, John Tory pledged that improvements to busy intersections in Toronto would get traffic moving, but also keep pedestrians and cyclists safe.

However, road safety advocates say the changes could actually make the intersections more dangerous.

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Making roads safe for pedestrians, cyclists means lowering speed, expert says

September 26, 2016, CBC News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

If Toronto wants to get serious about reducing the number of pedestrian and cyclist deaths on its streets, then it will have to think about road safety in a completely new way, says a Swedish transportation expert.

Matts-Åke Belin, project manager with Vision Zero Academy in Sweden, said that means looking at the road system as a whole and redesigning with pedestrians and cyclists in mind.

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Impaired Driving "CONSEQUENCES" Released for Air

September 26, 2016, Canada Newswire (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

arrive alive DRIVE SOBER® has partnered with York Regional Police on a new Public Service Announcement titled "Consequences". In the past year, we have witnessed some particularly tragic impaired driving fatalities on our roads. The families affected include the Neville-Lakes in Vaughan who lost their three children and the children's grandfather; the Van De Vorsts in Saskatoon where both parents and their two children were struck and killed by an impaired driver; and the Christidis family whose daughter was struck and killed by an impaired driver at Western University – Mr. Christidis suffered a heart attack and died only eight months later.  And sadly, there are more.

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Alberta government ponies up $500,000 for traffic safety ideas

September 24, 2016, Calgary Sun (CALGARY, ALBERTA)

Have an idea that may help Alberta roads become safer? The government wants to speak to you.

As part of the 2015 Alberta Traffic Safety Plan, a tidy sum of $500,000 has been put aside to fund Albertans to develop and implement preventative and collaborative traffic safety projects.

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More than 1,000 cyclists and pedestrians hit on Toronto streets since June 1

September 23, 2016, The Star (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

It’s been a bad summer for pedestrians and cyclists in Toronto.

According to statistics from the Toronto police, 542 pedestrians and 541 bikers have been hit by cars since June 1. The 1,083 collisions works out to 9.5 crashes every day, or one every 2.5 hours, and represents an increase over last year, when there were 999 cyclist and pedestrian collisions over the same period.

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Alcohol, drugs different, drug-impaired driving a growing concern: panel

September 22, 2016, Canadian Underwriter (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Alcohol and drugs are different and approaches to addressing related impairment issues will likely need to be different as well, Doug Beirness, senior research associate with the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA), suggested Wednesday during a State Farm-sponsored event in Toronto.

“Everything that we go to do that tries to parallel alcohol will be different in many different ways. We need to take account of that and we need to work harder and find new solutions. Doing the research is one way to do that,” Beirness argued during the Drugs & Driving Expert Panel Discussion, which explored the issue of drug-impaired driving and its potential impact on road safety.

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IBC reminds students to "Leave the phone alone"

September 22, 2016, Canada Newswire (CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI)

Today, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is reminding students to "leave the phone alone" and help end distracted driving. This reminder comes as hundreds of students prepare to take their drivers' tests and hit the roads for the first time.

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Tesla's Autopilot gets an update as safety debate swirls

September 22, 2016, Yahoo Canada (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

…Here's what Tesla's improved with its Autopilot 8.0 software:

  • Tesla now incorporates the onboard radar to give the vehicles a better view of the road, traffic ahead and potential obstacles;
  • Autopilot now can see two cars ahead, so Tesla vehicles will react faster when there is sudden braking on the highway;
  • Autosteer now navigates highway interchanges;
  • Enhanced warnings keep drivers engaged. If drivers ignore repeated warnings, the new software will disable Autosteer until drivers stop and re-engage the system.

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Social media pressure grounds Edmonton pedestrian PSA before it gets off the ground

September 21, 2016, Global News (EDMONTON, ALBERTA)

The City of Edmonton recently floated a test ad for a potential campaign encouraging pedestrian safety in the city but the idea it suggested overwhelmingly flunked in terms of the response it got on social media.

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Obama sets new benchmarks for self-driving cars

September 20, 2016, Driving (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

The Obama administration’s proposed guidelines for self-driving cars include 15 benchmarks automakers will need to meet before their autonomous vehicles can hit the road.

The automakers will have to show how their virtual drivers will function, what happens if they fail and how they’ve been tested, according to a preview by the U.S. Transportation Department. Companies developing the cars — such as Tesla Motors Inc., General Motors Co. and Google parent Alphabet Inc. — must make vehicle performance assessments public so regulators and other companies can evaluate them.

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Insurance industry advocates for tougher distracted driving laws

September 19, 2016, Global News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

The federal government said it has no plans to step into the distracted driving debate, even with Canada’s insurance industry calling for tougher laws to be enacted.

Justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould said toughening the laws isn’t on their radar, now or in the future, despite the government saying earlier this month that it’s an issue they needed to look at...

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Road safety, social and solidarity economy - Mayor of Montréal on a mission to New York

September 19, 2016, Canada Newswire (MONTREAL, QUEBEC)

The Mayor of Montréal, the Honorable Denis Coderre, is leaving for New York Tuesday, September 20th, to attend the High Level Panel for Road Safety and the high-level meeting of the International Leading Group of the Social and Solidarity Economy, organized under the presidency of François Hollande, President of France….

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Quebec sees drop in motorists guilty of using cellphones behind wheel

September 19, 2016, CBC News (MONTREAL, QUEBEC)

Quebec roads may be on the way to becoming a little bit safer.

The number of motorists found guilty of using cell phones while behind the wheel has decreased for the first time since provincial government introduced fines for talking and texting while driving in 2008, Radio-Canada has learned.

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City considers traffic safety campaign encouraging pedestrians to wear reflective clothing

September 19, 2016, Edmonton Journal (EDMONTON, ALBERTA)

An ad campaign under consideration by the City of Edmonton that advises pedestrians to wear reflective clothing as part of a traffic safety initiative should fade to black, critics say, suggesting the ad blames victims and is unrealistic.

City spokesman Gary Dyck said the proposed billboard ad is part of the city’s annual Heads Up campaign, which warns pedestrians about traffic safety. The ad is being assessed by the city’s Insight Community, made up of a panel of provide citizens who give feedback on city policies.

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Manitoba among the worst rates of impaired driving in Canada

September 19, 2016, Global News (WINNIPEG, MANITOBA)

In the wake of a deadly weekend on Manitoba’s roads, police and anti-impaired driving advocates are calling for change.

On Saturday, within a 10-hour period, three separate incidents left three people dead and 11 injured. RCMP said in at least two of the incidents, alcohol is a contributing factor. The deaths are a stark reminder to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Winnipeg’s Chapter president Melody Bodnarchuk.

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Editorial: Making Montreal roads safer for all, by design

September 16, 2016, Montreal Gazette (MONTREAL, QUEBEC)

Angst over road safety has been building in Montreal after a spate of accidents in which cyclists were killed or injured.

This week, Mayor Denis Coderre announced Montreal will jump aboard the Swedish road safety movement called Vision Zero. He outlined a slew of measures like putting priority lights for cyclists at some intersections, installing bike lanes under risky overpasses, studying whether to limit the size of trucks or the hours they can make deliveries and adding more four-way stops at busy corners.

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Speed limiters will cause crashes, traffic jams U.S. truckers warn

September 16, 2016, CBC News (WINDSOR, ONTARIO)

…More than 150 people, most identifying themselves as independent truckers, have filed comments recently with the government about the proposed rule, unveiled last month by two federal agencies. There were only a few comments in favour.

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Montreal to adopt Vision Zero model to improve road safety

September 14, 2016, CTV News (MONTREAL, QUEBEC)

The City of Montreal is planning to adopt a Swedish model road policy that aims to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries due to traffic collisions.

Called Vision Zero, the internationally-recognized strategy involves a number of short-term changes and concrete steps to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians and is based on three E’s: engineering, education and enforcement.

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City launches smartphone app to improve road safety

September 12, 2016, Edmonton Journal (EDMONTON, ALBERTA)

The city has launched a new hands-free driving app that aims to warn drivers about school zones, speed limits and intersections with high collision rates.

Coun. Bev Esslinger said Monday the Edmonton Smart Travel App gives drivers verbal warnings to alert them to changes on the road.

“If you have this loaded and running in the background, as you approach the school zone you’d be very well aware of it,” she said. “I think it’s going to help all drivers be safer.”

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MPI funding school zone enforcement projects

September 10, 2016, MySteinbach (STEINBACH, MANITOBA)

With thousands of students returning to their classrooms, Crown Services Minister Ron Schuler announced that Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) will provide funding to five police agencies to conduct targeted, dedicated enforcement in school zones during September.

“Changing driver behaviour involves a three-pronged approach: education, awareness and law enforcement,” said Schuler. “These dedicated enforcement projects are highly visible and very effective. Unfortunately, too many drivers continue to drive dangerously through school zones.”

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Reduced speed limits in school zones back into effect: Manitoba Public Insurance funding school zone enforcement projects

September 9, 2016, MPI (WINNIPEG, MANITOBA)

With thousands of students returning to their classrooms, Crown Services Minister Ron Schuler announced today that Manitoba Public Insurance will provide funding to five police agencies to conduct targeted, dedicated enforcement in school zones during September.

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Transport and Justice Ministers Open to Discussing Making Distracted Driving a Federal Crime

September 9, 2016, News 880am (EDMONTON, ALBERTA)

A second federal cabinet minister is now open to discussing whether to criminalize distracted driving.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau says he plans to discuss what he called a “big problem” during an upcoming meeting with provincial transport ministers.

“It’s a big problem, it’s one that concerns all of us at the federal, provincial, municipal level, all passengers, everyone who drives a car,” Garneau said Friday in Montreal.

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Quebec’s Couillard calls on Ottawa to criminalize distracted driving

September 7, 2016, Global News (GATINEAU, QUEBEC)

Quebec’s premier is calling on the federal government to make distracted driving an offence under the criminal code, much like impaired driving.

“We have to consider this activity, texting while driving, as equivalent to impaired driving because, obviously, you’re not paying attention to what’s going on ahead of you while you’re doing this,” Philippe Couillard told reporters at his Liberal Party caucus retreat in Gatineau, Que.

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Projet Montréal adopts plan to improve cyclist safety, asks city to follow suit

September 6, 2016, Montreal Gazette (MONTREAL, QUEBEC)

After several high-profile collisions between cars and cyclists, Projet Montréal said it will reduce the speed limit on major arteries in Plateau-Mont-Royal and Rosemont — La Petite-Patrie.

The opposition party, which controls the councils in both those boroughs, also invited Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre to follow suit in the Ville-Marie borough, over which he presides.

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What is the best way to end cellphone use while driving?

September 4, 2016, CBC Radio (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Quebec wants it criminalized. B.C. and Ontario are cracking down Labour Day weekend— all to stop what's fast becoming more deadly than drunk driving. What is the best way to end cellphone use while driving?

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Texting and driving: How laws are enforced in 5 states

September 2, 2016, Canadian Business (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Forty-six states have laws against texting while driving that typically also ban sending or reading email, using apps or engaging in other internet activity. Fourteen states bar drivers from using hand-held cellphones for any activity, including talking on the phone.

A look at cellphone driving laws and how they are enforced in five states:

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Eye Candy: A motorless Volvo’s spin on safety

September 2, 2016, Toronto Star (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Most people who like old cars have heard of the “rotisserie” restoration. Where the body of a vehicle is mounted on machinery that can pivot it 180 degrees, giving restorers easy access to every nook and cranny.

So what’s that late-model Volvo wagon doing on a rotisserie in the most important public gathering place in Athens, Greece? What’s the spin, here in Syntagma Square, across the street from the 1843 Royal Palace?

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Police and ICBC launch new province-wide campaign to combat distracted driving

September 1, 2016, CBC News (VANCOUVER, B.C.)

Following the recent introduction of tougher penalties for distracted driving, ICBC, the province and police across B.C. are launching a new month-long campaign.

Distracted driving is now responsible for about a quarter of all fatal crashes in B.C.

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Saskatchewan traffic safety blitz focuses on school zone safety

September 1, 2016, Global News (REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN)

Students are back at school and police around Saskatchewan will be cracking down on driver violations in school zones.

Among the violations police will be looking for during the Saskatchewan Government Insurance’s (SGI) September traffic blitz are speeders.

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Canadian Events & Conferences in 2016 and 2017

National Teen Driver Safety Week

Various Events Across Canada

October 16-22, 2016

Learn more…


The Southwest Injury Prevention Network’s 18th Annual Not by Accident Conference

London, Ontario

October 18 2016

Learn more…


Canada’s Vision Zero Summit

By Parachute

aniels Spectrum, Toronto, Ontario

November 29

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…