Quick Scan

Canadian Road Safety News Digest – September 1-30, 2018

October 5, 2018   |   Categories: Quick Scan

Last Updated on December 4, 2018

Cannabis IQ: Police chiefs doubt roadside testing device, new rules in Ontario and more

September 29, 2018, Global News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

The federal government approved a cannabis testing device for drivers, the Drager DrugTest 5000, in August.

But the country’s police forces are unconvinced. Earlier this month, Ottawa’s police chief said his force wouldn’t be buying the gadgets, saying the devices gave to false positives, false negatives and are unreliable in the cold.

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Zero-tolerance THC restrictions for new drivers open to Charter challenge: lawyer

September 28, 2018, Global News (HAMILTON, ONTARIO)

Across Canada, provincial laws require new or young drivers to have no trace of cannabis in their bodies while driving.

The new laws are modelled after similar rules for alcohol. But unlike alcohol, THC can stay in the body for days or weeks after use, and that presence doesn’t necessarily mean the driver is under its influence, experts say.

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New report released today explores impact of impaired driving deaths on families

September 28, 2018, Global News (SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN)

“Understanding the Effects of Impaired Driving in Saskatchewan: Perspectives of Family Members of Victims Killed by an Impaired Driver”, a new report by Community Safety Knowledge Alliance (CSKA) and MADD Canada, is being released today.

Historically, Saskatchewan has had some of the highest rates of impaired driving and impaired driving causing death in Canada.  While a number of measures, including legislative changes, have been implemented in an effort to reduce the incidence of impaired driving, CSKA sought to better understand the impact on families that a sudden, traumatic death of a loved one has on their health, relationships, employment and finances, as well as their experiences with the criminal justice system.  Little Canadian research has been conducted into these experiences and impacts.

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Toronto's 700-plus construction zones pose safety risks to pedestrians and cyclists

September 26, 2018, CBC News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Walking through a construction site just north of Moss Park, Toronto resident Edith Sinclair points out all the potential safety issues for people passing through: A blocked-off sidewalk, a cluster of machines and workers spilling onto the already-narrow roadway and a sign pointing to a pedestrian walkway that doesn't exist.

"It just feels like pedestrians are really an afterthought here," says Sinclair, who works nearby and travels through the site, near Dundas Street East and Pembroke Street, every weekday.

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Reducing residential speed limit in Calgary to 30 km/h the right decision

September 26, 2018, The Gauntlet (CALGARY, ALBERTA)

Amid recent discussions surrounding Ward 7 Coun. Druh Farrell’s motion to reduce Calgary’s residential speed limit to 30 km/h in order to increase pedestrian safety, I’m shocked that some Calgarians are calling this a ‘war on cars.’ While the onus of road safety doesn’t completely fall on drivers, it’s irresponsible to perpetuate the expectation that drivers have the right to barrel down a quiet residential street when studies repeatedly show that drivers are more likely to be the cause of pedestrian-vehicular collisions.

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‘Vision Zero’ aims to make Kingston streets safer

September 26, 2018, Global News (KINGSTON, ONTARIO)

The city is currently working on a new road safety strategy called “Vision Zero” aimed at eliminating all fatal and serious injury collisions.

On Kingston roads, flexible bollards have been placed on neighbourhood streets trying to make drivers slow down. But that’s not the only strategy that could be coming down the road.

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Drivers over-rely on safety tech they don't understand, AAA finds

September 26, 2018, Autoblog (BIRMINGHAM, MICHIGAN)

More and more newer-model vehicles are coming equipped with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) like blind-spot detection and lane-keeping assist, but a new study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety finds that many drivers don't understand the limitations of the safety technologies and rely too heavily on them — and increasing instead of decreasing the risk of crashes.

Researchers say the findings highlight the importance of educating new- and used-car buyers about how the safety technologies work and what their limitations are.

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Doubling of motorcycle deaths in B.C. alarms safety officials

September 24, 2018, The Star (VANCOUVER, B.C.)

A doubling of deaths in the province involving motorcycles this year has prompted the minister of public safety to issue an urgent warning — and in a break from past patterns, it’s young men that are dying the most.

The first seven months of 2018 have seen 30 deaths from motorcycle incidents so far; by comparison, the same period last year saw 14.

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Drive high, get charged!

September 21, 2018, Drug & Alcohol Testing Association of Canada (DATAC), (ONTARIO)

With the legalization of cannabis on October 17th looming it is very important for everyone to understand the new cannabis use rules and regulations that come along with it. In this post we will take an in-depth look at the cannabis driving regulations. These are the rules and parameters put into effect with specifics as to levels of THC you are allowed to have in your system when driving.

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Canadian police forces hold off on ordering the only device approved to test saliva for THC

September 18, 2018, National Post (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

Recreational cannabis becomes legal in Canada in less than a month, but when it does most police forces won’t yet be deploying devices that check a driver’s saliva for recent drug use.

The National Post contacted 15 of Canada’s largest police forces, and almost all said they’re still deciding whether to order the devices. Though the federal government approved one such device for use more than three weeks ago, many forces are waiting for it to approve a range of devices.

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Photo speed enforcement to be permanent after successes reducing collisions and injuries

September 17, 2018, SGI (REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN)

With two years of data proving drivers reduce their speed on photo speed enforced roads, and that the number and severity of collisions and injuries on those roads go down as a result, the Government of Saskatchewan has decided the photo speed enforcement (PSE) program will continue on a permanent basis.

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Montreal looking for answers after string of serious accidents involving pedestrians

September 16, 2018, The Globe and Mail (MONTREAL, QUEBEC)

A string of serious accidents involving pedestrians in Montreal has public officials and residents rethinking how to keep citizens safe in Canada’s biggest cities.

At least two people were killed and two others injured in separate road accidents over a three day period last week, including an 87-year-old woman struck and killed while crossing a street in the St-Laurent borough.

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Company demonstrates roadside cannabis testing device amid reports of machine’s failings

September 11, 2018, The Globe and Mail (TORONTO ONTARIO)

With cannabis legalization just over a month away, the company that makes the only device approved for roadside impairment testing in Canada is seeking to reassure the media that reports of the machine’s failings are incorrect.

Officials from Dräger Safety Canada Ltd. were in Toronto Tuesday to show off the toaster-sized testing device, which they are currently trying to sell to Canadian police forces, and to tout its reliability. Managing director Rob Clark called it “very simple to use” and cited data that he said put its accuracy at more than 95 per cent.

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Canadian roadside testing device may have issues

September 11, 2018, Drug & Alcohol Testing Association of Canada (DATAC), (ONTARIO)

Finally, Canada is in the final stages of approving a roadside testing device that will be used across the country to test for THC, the active component in cannabis, once cannabis is legalized this coming October. In July, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould announced that Canadian law enforcement will using the Dräger DrugTest 5000 in roadside tests this Fall, and it will be listed as the “approved drug screening equipment” for both THC and cocaine.

The Dräger DrugTest 5000, or DDT5000, is advertised as a fast and accurate oral fluids measurement device that can identify impairment from amphetamines, designer amphetamines, opiates, cocaine, metabolites, benzodiazepines, methadone, and cannabinoids. Used in conjunction with other physical and psychological roadside tests, the DDT5000 will lead to subsequent testing if the driver is suspected of driving impaired.

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Here are the harshest penalties for driving high in every Canadian Province and Territory

September 11, 2018, Narcity (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

Provincial governments are being consistent with their approach to dealing with high drivers.

As we’re sure you know by now, cannabis is going to become fully legal across Canada in just over a month on October 17th. Which is just over a month away from now. So you'd better get used to the idea that people are going to be lighting up legally across the country.

Police forces and governments in each province of Canada have been working to create new laws and strategies to prevent driving under the influence of marijuana. Here’s what you can expect in each province if you’re caught under the influence behind the wheel.

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Impaired driving fines go up in Saskatchewan

September 10, 2018, Humboldt Journal (HUMBOLDT, SASKATACHEWAN)

The provincial government is cracking down on impaired driving with new penalties.

The new rules will have zero tolerance for drivers that get behind the wheel with any detectable level of impairing drugs in their system. The changes include stronger penalties for drug-impaired drivers and for impaired drivers who transport children.

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Doctors group launches road safety campaign, proposes bike lane extension

September 7, 2018, The Star (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

A local doctors group launched a campaign on Thursday urging municipal candidates in the upcoming election to commit to road safety initiatives.

“The tragedies involving people who ride a bicycle need to stop,” Dr. Samantha Green, co-founder of Doctors for Safe Cycling, said in a news release. “Fortunately we have a prescription that can bring relief.”

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Nova Scotia Liberal government promises improvements to road safety in fall session

September 6, 2018, Global News (HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA)

Nova Scotia’s premier drew criticism Thursday for a throne speech without fresh measures to address doctor shortages – and for his comments outside the legislature that public heckling over hospital closures was “noise.”

The speech read by Lt.-Gov. Arthur LeBlanc was heavy on a list of past measures by the Liberal government of Stephen McNeil, highlighting the province’s success in attracting more immigrants and technology company start ups.

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New road surface treatment to improve safety at high-collision locations

September 5, 2018, Government of B.C. (VICTORIA, B.C.)

A high-friction surface treatment will be applied to 14 high-collision locations throughout the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island to help drivers stop faster, with the goal of reducing rear-end collisions.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has partnered with ICBC to identify four interchange off-ramps and 10 intersections that would benefit from the application of a high-friction surface treatment

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New smartphone app aims to deter cannabis-impaired driving

September 5, 2018, Straight.com (VANCOUVER, B.C.)

For $5.49 CAD, cannabis users can download software right to their smartphone to measure impairment.

The app called Druid—an acronym for “driving under the influence of drugs”—is designed to detect cognitive and behavioral deviations caused by a variety of substances, including weed. With a few taps and swipes, the program takes users through four arcade-style levels aimed to test decision making, reaction time, object tracking, and balance.

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Breakenridge: City police take wise approach to roadside pot testing

September 4, 2018, Calgary Herald (CALGARY, ALBERTA)

While we’ll undoubtedly see jurisdictions across Canada scrambling to acquire and deploy a new saliva-testing device designed to detect cannabis, it’s heartening to see Calgary police taking a much more prudent approach to the matter.

It would be ideal to have a reliable roadside testing device that could detect drug impairment, but a device that falls short of that could end up causing more problems than it solves. Therefore, trepidation is warranted.

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Alberta Motor Association pushing for new roadside safety legislation

September 3, 2018, Global News (EDMONTON, ALBERTA)

The last thing emergency workers need when they’re trying to save a life is to be worried about their own safety.

For that reason, the Alberta Motor Association (AMA) is pushing for new legislation to make it safer for emergency workers when they’re on the scene of an accident.

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New virtual reality program teaches children about road safety

September 2, 2018, CBC New (GUELPH, ONTARIO)

With most kids heading back to school this week, many parents may be concerned about whether younger children are traffic-savvy enough to cross the street without supervision.

Can they judge how far away an approaching vehicle is? Or how fast it's travelling to make it across safely?

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Health Canada just saying no to old-school anti-marijuana ad campaigns

September 2, 2018, CTV New (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)

In the past, public health campaigns warning of the harmful effects of drugs delivered one resounding message: Don't do it.

But now that the federal government has decided to legalize marijuana, Health Canada has undertaken new strategies to try and land on teens' screens and in the places they hang out.

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Ontario government hikes penalties for careless driving

September 1, 2018, CTV New (TORONTO, ONTARIO)

The Ontario provincial government has begun to enforce tougher penalties for careless drivers and those who fail to yield for pedestrians.

Beginning Sept. 1, drivers caught failing to yield to pedestrians at cross walks, school crossings and crossovers could be penalized four demerit points and a fine up to $1,000, instead of the previous reprimand of three points and a $500 fine.

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Canadian Events & Conferences in 2018

4th Ontario Road Safety Forum

Toronto, Ontario

October 11, 2018

Learn more…


arrive alive DRIVE SOBER Conference

Legalization: Our New Reality

Mississauga, Ontario

October 28-29, 2018

Learn more…


CCMTA Fall Meetings

Ottawa, Ontario

November 6-7, 2018

Learn more…