Quick Scan

Canadian Road Safety News Digest – September 1-30, 2017

November 3, 2017   |   Categories: Quick Scan

Last Updated on November 3, 2017

Province aims for zero fatalities

September 30, 2017, Winnipeg Sun (WINNIPEG, MANITOBA)

The province announced a new three-year initiative from the Provincial Road Safety Committee that it hopes will make Manitoba’s roads the safest in Canada.

“The Road to Zero: Manitoba Road Safety Plan” looks ahead to 2020 with a first-of-its-kind blueprint that takes human error and road systems into consideration.

The so-called Safe System approach focuses on designing infrastructure forgiving of mistakes, safe speed limits, further education of drivers, and safe design of vehicles.

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Canada running to keep up with fast-moving developments in self-driving car technology

September 28, 2017, CBC News (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

Calling it a disruptive technology with huge potential, Canada's transport minister says when it comes to self-driving cars, Canada is doing its best to try to keep up with the pace of innovation.

"From a regulatory point of view, we are running hard to keep up with this developing technology. It is absolutely critical that we do it," Marc Garneau told CBC News.

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B.C. government invites public to share views on marijuana rules

September 25, 2017, CTV News (VANCOUVER, B.C.)

A Vancouver councillor says it may take years, but he can see the day a craft cannabis industry emerges in British Columbia, with smoking lounges in the city allowing people to responsibly sample strains of specially cultivated marijuana.

"It wasn't long ago there was a government monopoly on beer and craft beer was illegal," Kerry Jang said. "Now what do we see? We see a huge market for craft beer. We see responsible usage. We see breweries, brew pubs that didn't exist before. Why not with marijuana?"

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Design better roads and cars. That’s how we stop distracted driving

September 22, 2017, Globe and Mail (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Neil Arason is the author of No Accident: Eliminating Injury and Death on Canadian Roads, Wilfrid Laurier University Press

 There continues to be endless discussion about drivers who use cellphones. Ontario's recently announced new laws aimed at hitting distracted drivers with larger penalties may give us a feeling that something is being done about the problem, but is that feeling justified?

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Beware of Flood-damaged Vehicles from the US

September 21, 2017, SAAQ (QUEBEC, QUEBEC)

Are you looking to buy a road vehicle from the United States? Make sure that is has not been damaged by flooding.

Following the recent hurricanes that hit the United States, many new and used vehicles have been damaged by water. After such an event, these vehicles are usually declared “unrebuildable” and dismantled for certain parts to be recycled. However, some vehicles may slip through the cracks and be brought across the border to be sold in Québec.

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New impaired driving legislation in effect for N.L.

September 21, 2017, MADD Canada (ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND)

Changes to Newfoundland and Labrador’s legislation regarding impaired driving went into effect on Thursday.

Bill 68, amending the Highway Traffic Act, received unanimous approval when it was debated in the House of Assembly in this past March.

“Today, we take one more step in our efforts to change the conversation around impaired driving in our province,” Service NL Minister Sherry Gambin-Walsh said in a news release.

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Ontario boosting penalties for careless and distracted drivers

September 20, 2017, CTV News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Careless drivers in Ontario causing death could soon be fined up to $50,000 as the government plans to introduce tougher penalties that will also crack down on distracted driving.

Ontario's driving legislation currently has no offence for careless driving causing death, with careless driving carrying maximum penalties of six months of jail time, $2,000 in fines, plus demerit points and a licence suspension. But safety and cycling advocates have called for much stronger penalties.

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New Web-Based Resource Launched to Help Prevent Drug-Impaired Driving

September 19, 2017, TIRF (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF), in partnership with State Farm® Canada, has launched a Drug-Impaired Driving Learning Centre (DIDLC). The Centre is a web-based resource that was designed to share the latest research about the problem, increase awareness, and inform the development of effective strategies to tackle it.

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Experts spar over government plan to legalize random breath tests for drivers

September 18, 2017, National Post (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

Does it violate a driver’s rights for police to demand a breath sample without needing any reason to suspect they’ve been drinking? Legal experts disagreed on Monday, as they gave testimony on the government’s proposed new law to crack down even further on drunk driving.

Speaking to MPs, the Canadian Bar Association and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association denounced the proposal for mandatory screening, which would allow police to demand a breathalyzer sample without needing a reasonable suspicion the driver has been drinking.

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Ontario introducing tougher laws, stiffer penalties for drug-impaired drivers

September 18, 2017, Global News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

…Premier Kathleen Wynne said Monday there will be zero tolerance for youths aged 21 and under, novice drivers and all commercial drivers in Ontario who have a detectable presence of drugs or alcohol in their system. The province will also increase all monetary penalties and suspensions for impaired driving offences.

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Ian Mulgrew: Justice and safety ministers foggy on pot legalization

September 15, 2017, Vancouver Sun (VANCOUVER, B.C.)

After two days of meetings in Vancouver, the nation’s justice and public safety ministers were vague and hazy Friday about what the looming legalization of cannabis will actually look like.

The ministers said they had a “robust” discussion about the weed but seemed to agree only that many challenges remained — not the least of which was meeting what was called an “ambitious” July 1 deadline for ending the near-century-old pot prohibition.

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Colorado police chief provides advice to Canadian authorities ahead of pot legalization

September 15, 2017, Global News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

The state of Colorado has had nearly five years to adjust to the legalization of marijuana and one local police chief is providing advice to Canadian authorities.

Greenwood Village Police Chief John Jackson is being actively sought by Canadian law enforcement for advice as they prepare to go down the same path next summer.

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Canadian millennials aren’t drinking and driving due to social media shame: study

September 14, 2017, Grand Forks Gazette (GRAND FORKS, B.C.)

Say what you want about Facebook and Instagram, but a new study suggests they’re deterring millennials from drinking and driving.

Eighty-two percent of Canadians aged 18 to 34 have been the designated driver at some point in the last three years, according to an Ipsos study commissioned by Beer Canada’s Partners for Safer Communities initiative and released Wednesday.

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Drugs and driving a dangerous mix: Manitoba Public Insurance launching public awareness/educational campaign

September 14, 2017, MPI (WINNIPEG, MANITOBA)

Manitoba Public Insurance is launching a broad public awareness and education campaign to raise awareness about the dangers and consequences of drug-impaired driving, in readiness for the expected federal legalization of recreational use of marijuana in 2018, Premier Pallister and Crown Services Minister Cliff Cullen announced today.

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Cars of the future will stop you from driving distracted -

System is more than 92 per cent accurate in detecting a texting driver

September 14, 2017, CBC News (KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ONTARIO)

The next generation of autonomous cars may be able to take control away from distracted drivers, if they detect the person in the driver's seat isn't safely operating the vehicle.

Engineering researchers at the University of Waterloo are developing algorithms that can work with on board cameras to detect when a driver is distracted — by looking at the position of their head, hands and duration of the movements.

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Trucking industry challenges feds on marijuana-impaired driving standards

September 13, 2017, Vancouver Sun (VANCOUVER, B.C.)

Canada’s trucking industry is challenging the federal government over standards for marijuana impairment, arguing that companies should be able to set zero-tolerance policies because of the safety consequences involved for professional drivers.

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Bringing the Sober-Driving Message to Youth – MADD Canada’s New School Program Begins Nation-Wide Tour

September 13, 2017, MADD Canada (CALGARY, ALBERTA)

The dangers and consequences of driving impaired are on the lesson plan this week as MADD Canada officially launches its 2017-2018 School Assembly Program, titled The Pact.

Road crashes are the number one cause of death among teens and young adults, and alcohol and/or drugs are involved in more than half of those crashes. Every year, MADD Canada produces a new School Assembly Program to educate students in Grades 7 – 12 about the risks of impaired driving.

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More than 1,300 tickets issued by Durham police during school zone traffic safety blitz

September 13, 2017, DurhamRegion.com (DURHAM, ONTARIO)

A four-day traffic blitz targeting bad driving in school zones resulted in more than 1,300 tickets being issued, Durham police said.

Officers were deployed in school and community safety areas throughout the region Sept. 5 to 8 for the In The Zone traffic initiative. In total, 1,386 tickets were issued, the majority — 809 — for speeding, police said.

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Commercial truck blitz underway in Vancouver as more than half fail safety check

September 13, 2017, Metro Toronto (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Vancouver Police say more than half of the commercial vehicles checked during a recent road-safety blitz were so badly maintained they were immediately ordered off the road.

The department says in a news release that 75 trucks were checked Tuesday and 40 had to be taken out of service while drivers of the remaining 35 rigs were ticketed for at least one infraction.

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Photo radar revenue down by $3 million as Edmonton drivers get the message

September 12, 2017, CBC News (EDMONTON, ALBERTA)

The City of Edmonton is facing a $3-million deficit in revenue from photo radar tickets this year thanks to drivers slowing down on the road.

Nearly $12 million from photo radar tickets was expected by the end of 2017, but only $9 million will be coming in, city council heard Tuesday.

Todd Burge, the city's chief financial officer, said people are "speeding slower" so the infraction amounts aren't as high as anticipated.

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Opinion: Science backs the safety of 30-km/h limits

September 12, 2017, Edmonton Journal (EDMONTON, ALBERTA)

City council will vote this week on whether to calm roadway speeds in playground zones. Some will portray this as a decision that could increase commute times, gridlock or as yet more evidence of council’s so-called war on the car. This vote is none of these things. It is instead a vote to determine how much our council values life.

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Allison Hanes: Cycling and pedestrian safety is no joke

September 11, 2017, Montreal Gazette (MONTREAL, QUEBEC)

When I first saw the photo of the new “bike path” — a term I use loosely — on Atwater Ave., I thought it was a gag, or fake news, or some kind of hoax.

But the picture, taken by Projet Montréal councillor Craig Sauvé, was posted by a reputable source — the Facebook page of pedestrian safety group Piétons Québec.

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Government of Canada announces funding for law enforcement in support of cannabis legalization and regulation

September 8, 2017, Newswire (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

The current approach to cannabis does not work. It has allowed criminals and organized crime to profit, while failing to keep cannabis out of the hands of Canadian youth. In many cases, it is easier for our kids to buy cannabis than cigarettes. That is why this spring the Government of Canada introduced legislation to legalize and strictly regulate cannabis.

Today the Government of Canada announced up to $274 million to support law enforcement and border efforts to detect and deter drug-impaired driving and enforce the proposed cannabis legalization and regulation. Subject to Parliamentary approval and Royal Assent, these investments will support the Government's commitment to provide regulated and restricted access to cannabis no later than July 2018.

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Ontario to create cannabis control board, open up storefronts

September 8, 2017, CBC News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

The Ontario government announced Friday that it will create a cannabis control board and open up to 60 storefronts in the first year to manage the sale and distribution of marijuana in the province.

Ontario ministers announced the measures at morning press conference.

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New Brunswick municipalities band together to ask province for changes to Motor Vehicle Act

September 7, 2017, Global News (FREDERICTON, N.B.)

Fredericton City Councillors say they want the province to amend the Motor Vehicle Act in order to install red light cameras, and say other cities are starting to pass resolutions asking the province to take action.

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Distracted driving results in more deaths in B.C. than impaired driving

September 6, 2017, ICBC (VANCOUVER, B.C.)

Distracted driving continues to claim more lives on B.C. roads than impaired driving.

Despite tougher penalties, more police enforcement and continued public education, on average, 78 people still don't make it home to their families every year because of distracted and inattentive drivers*. In contrast, an average of 66 people are killed each year due to impaired driving. In fact, distraction and driver inattention is one of the top contributing factors in motor vehicle fatalities in BC and contributes to more than one quarter of all car crash deaths.

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Hamilton School Hosts Ontario Launch of MADD Canada's Latest Anti-Impaired Driving Program

September 5, 2017, MADD Canada (OAKVILLE, ONTARIO)

With a new education program called The Pact, MADD Canada and Provincial Sponsor LCBO head back to school this week to deliver a crucial sober driving message to Ontario students.

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New school safety zones announced as kids head back to class

September 5, 2017, CBC News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

As kids walk, bike and drive to school on the first day back, the city is implementing a plan to help make their trip to class a safer one.

In an announcement today, Mayor John Tory introduced the implementation of new school safety zones at eight Toronto schools, with another 15 being added by the end of the year.

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Sudbury police unveil online reporting tool

September 4, 2017, The Sudbury Start (SUDBURY, ONTARIO)

A new tool will make it easier for people in Sudbury to report online drivers who fail to stop for the red flashing signal lights of a school bus.

The online reporting tool will allow bus drivers to provide information to Greater Sudbury Police about drivers who ignore the signal lights.

Community members can also submit a road watch complaint online at www.gsps.ca (Online Reporting) to report such drivers. A licence plate is required to file an online report.

“Drivers who pass a stopped school bus when the overhead red flashing lights are activated can be charged, and receive a $490 ticket and six demerit points,” police said in a release.

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School zone speed limits around Edmonton elementary and junior highs start Tuesday

September 4, 2017, Global News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

As thousands of children head back to school on Tuesday, Edmonton police are reminding drivers to slow down around elementary and junior high schools.

School zone speed limits of 30 km/h will be in effect beginning Tuesday morning.

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Canadian Events & Conferences in 2017 & 2018

Ontario Road Safety Forum - Second Meeting

Toronto, Ontario

November 15, 2017

Learn more…


CCMTA 2018 Annual Meeting

Quebec City, QC

June 3-6, 2018

Learn more…


CARSP Conference 2018

Victoria, BC

June 10-13, 2018

Learn more…