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Canadian Road Safety News Digest – October 1-31, 2015
November 5, 2015 | Categories: Quick Scan
Last Updated on November 5, 2015
A monthly compilation of national, provincial and local news stories on road safety
If Canada legalizes marijuana, how will cops combat high drivers?
October 30, 2015, Global News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)
As Justin Trudeau’s Liberals prepare to tackle the politics of legalizing weed, one challenge they’ll face is how to crack down on those who light-up before getting behind the wheel.
Pedestrian collisions spike in bad weather, but technology could help
October 28, 2015, CBC News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)
On average, six pedestrians are hit by vehicles every day in Toronto. On Wednesday, that number doubled during a dark and rainy morning commute with reduced visibility.
Breakenridge: Despite assurances, Alberta's roads aren't getting any safer
October 27, 2015, Calgary Herald (CALGARY, ALBERTA)
With no shortage of challenges facing Alberta’s still-new NDP government, it’s unlikely that traffic safety and traffic laws are at the top of the priority list.
Road safety top of mind as trick-or-treaters take to the streets this Halloween
October 27, 2015, Canada Newswire (TORONTO, ONTARIO)
With children getting ready to go door-to-door this Halloween, Parachute and FedEx Express Canada are urging everyone to take extra care on the roads so trick-or-treaters, and their families, stay safe on this ghoulish night.
U.S. states with legal pot grapple with edible treats, impaired driving
October 26, 2015, City News (VANCOUVER, BC)
A Colorado official has some sobering words of advice for Justin Trudeau if he fulfils his promise to legalize pot in Canada.
Driving and Off-Duty time for heavy vehicle drivers
October 26, 2015, SAAQ (MONTREAL, QUEBEC)
Driving and off-duty time for heavy vehicle drivers. Tired drivers pose a risk to themselves and to other road users. The rules about driving, on-duty and off-duty time help limit fatigue among heavy vehicle drivers.
Alcohol-related traffic fatalities on the decline in Alberta
October 24, 2015, Calgary Herald (CALGARY, ALBERTA)
The number of people dying from alcohol-related traffic accidents is down, according to the latest traffic collision statistics.
There were 15 per cent fewer alcohol-related fatalities last year than in 2013, according to the report, and overall that number has dropped 19 per cent since 2007, when Alberta’s first Traffic Safety Plan was introduced. There were 458 deaths in 2007 compared with 369 in 2014.
Car infotainment systems distract drivers even when voice-controlled - It takes drivers up to 27 seconds to return to full attention after using voice commands
October 23, 2015, CBC News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)
Car infotainment systems that use voice commands may let drivers keep their hands on the wheel, but they're still highly distracting.
Soaring photo radar numbers the new normal, Edmonton councillors say
October 23, 2015, Edmonton Journal (EDMONTON, ALBERTA)
The number of photo radar tickets issued in Edmonton reached almost 70,000 last year, a trend some councillors say is not likely to change any time soon.
“It’s the reality,” said Coun. Ed Gibbons, about the proliferation of photo radar equipment around the city, which helped contribute to a 2,055-per-cent spike in tickets handed out between 2012 and 2014.
U.S. states with legal pot sales see rise in fatal accidents by high drivers
October 22, 2015, Globe and Mail (VANCOUVER, BC)
Two U.S. states that have introduced recreational marijuana sales, as prime-minister-designate Justin Trudeau plans to do, have both seen significant increases in the proportion of fatal accidents involving drivers who tested positive for the drug.
But officials south of the border say it is too early to draw concrete conclusions about the effects of pot on traffic deaths…
…In Colorado, about 10 per cent of drivers involved in fatal accidents in 2010 tested positive for the drug. By 2014, just over a year after recreational sales were legalized, that percentage nearly doubled to 19 per cent.
Fewer Ontario teens texting and driving due to fines, danger - Study finds fines and perceived danger stop teens from texting and driving
October 22, 2015, TheStar.com (REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN)
A new study suggests teenagers are texting less while driving, in large part because they think it’s dangerous and irresponsible.
The study’s lead author, Sean Tucker, an associate professor at the University of Regina, says the number of teens who said they sometimes or almost always texted while driving fell to six per cent in 2014 from 27 per cent in 2012.
SPVM ramps up pedestrian safety campaign after 9 fatal accidents
October 21, 2015, Global News (MONTREAL, QUEBEC)
It sounds so simple: look both ways before you cross the street, but it’s a message that Montreal Police are making sure gets through….
…The move comes after nine fatal accidents so far this year.
ICBC, BC Coroner and police warn about spike in pedestrian crashes
October 21, 2015, ICBC (VANCOUVER, BC)
Today, ICBC is launching its annual pedestrian safety campaign with the B.C. Coroners Service, B.C. government and police to urge pedestrians and drivers to do their part to stay safe as crashes involving pedestrians spike at this time of year.
Almost two times more pedestrians are injured in crashes from November to January compared to June to August as the weather changes and daylight hours decrease.
Green light for more red light cameras
October 20, 2015, Hamilton Spectator (HAMILTON, ONTARIO)
Veteran Hamilton Coun. Tom Jackson says giving the political green light to the extension of the red light camera program in the city is a no-brainer.
And his colleagues on the public works committee obviously agreed. With little fanfare or debate, the committee voted unanimously Monday to support the program's expansion.
Traffic deaths preventable, WHO says in call for road safety
October 19, 2015, Yahoo Canada (GENEVA, SWITZERLAND)
Countries must introduce tougher laws to prevent drivers from speeding or drinking and help reduce the toll of 1.25 million people killed each year in traffic accidents, the World Health Organization said on Monday.
The United States, Indonesia and Nigeria are among countries failing to apply best practices, the WHO's Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015.
Read the Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015
Trends among fatally injured teen drivers & trends in alcohol and drug use among fatally injured teen drivers
October 19, 2015, TIRF (OTTAWA, ONTARIO)
TIRF is pleased to announce the release of two new fact sheets on trends among fatally injured teen drivers that were prepared with sponsorship from State Farm.
Deaths among young drivers due to road crashes have declined substantially in the past two decades, yet motor vehicle collisions continue to be the leading cause of death in Canada for persons aged 15 to-24 years…
Supreme Court upholds B.C.’s tough drunk-driving law
October 18, 2015, The Province (VICTORIA, BC)
The Supreme Court of Canada has affirmed British Columbia's tough drunk-driving law, which imposes heavy fines, penalties and immediate roadside suspensions.
The high court handed down a pair of judgments Friday, a 6-1 decisionand a unanimous 7-0 ruling, that uphold key portions of the law.
B.C. drunk driving laws will continue to be battled in court, say lawyers - Defence lawyers say breathalyzers are too unreliable and put the innocent at risk
October 17, 2015, CBC News (VANCOUVER, BC)
Drunk driving charges in British Columbia are likely to continue to be battled in court, despite a recent decision from the Supreme Court of Canada, say lawyers familiar with the case.
Canada's highest judicial branch upheld most of B.C.'s drunk driving laws on Friday — police can continue to seize vehicles and suspend licences if a driver fails a breathalyzer test.
Distracted driving not high enough on B.C. agenda, complain critics
October 17, 2015, CBC News (VANCOUVER, BC)
Critics say upcoming changes to B.C.'s distracted driving laws are too weak and taking too long, given the obvious risks.
NDP MLA Mike Farnworth said the road is already paved for the legislation.
Sobering morning after message for young drivers
October 17, 2015, Toronto Star (TORONTO, ONTARIO)
Just because you slept it off last night doesn’t mean you won’t get nabbed for driving impaired at dawn.
That’s the new Arrive Alive message packed in breakfast cereal boxes, along with a tiny toy car wreck, to make drivers aware they can still register an illegal alcohol level if they get behind the wheel the morning after.
Highway officials join police to promote road safety
October 16, 2015, Government of PEI (CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI)
Highway safety enforcement officers will join police officers across Prince Edward Island October 19 to 23 to conduct check points aimed at encouraging safety and preventing accidents on Island highways, says Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Minister Paula Biggar.
Stats show young drivers account for more than their fair share of road injuries, death - National Teen Driver Safety Week
October 16, 2015, Brampton Guardian (BRAMPTON, ONTARIO)
Young drivers account for 13 per cent of licensed drivers in Canada, but they account for close to 25 per cent of all road injuries and deaths, according to police.
That’s a statistic that has prompted Peel Regional Police to partner with Parachute for National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW), Oct. 19-25.
Child seat blitz with RCMP Road Safety Unit could be coming to a school near you
October 16, 2015, Richmond News (RICHMOND, BC)
Kim Moldowan, a certified children’s restraint technician, has seen every possible wrong way to buckle a child into a car — be it with a child safety seat, a booster seat or a regular seatbelt.
“There’s a 90 per cent failure rate for the installing of car seats or booster seats. It’s really high and it’s due to lack of education,” said Moldowan, who along with volunteers for the Child Passenger Safety Association of Canada, joined Richmond RCMP to perform a surprise safety campaign at Thompson elementary school Wednesday morning.
Supreme Court clears drunk-driving crackdown for provinces
October 16, 2015, Globe and Mail (TORONTO, ONTARIO)
Provinces can crack down on drunk drivers, but they still need to ensure that those drivers have a chance to defend themselves against strong penalties, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Friday.
Several drivers had challenged British Columbia’s law, the toughest in Canada, which authorizes police to suspend driver’s licences for 90 days based on a roadside breath test and provides financial penalties and costs of about $4,000.
BFFs wanted to help stop deaths of young adults
October 16, 2015, Canada Newswire (TORONTO, ONTARIO)
Leading into National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW), Parachute is asking young adults to use the power of friendship to impact driver behaviour and stop distracted driving.
Auto collisions are the number one killer of teens in Canada making distracted driving a major issue for young adults. While young drivers make up 13 per cent of all licensed drivers in Canada, they account for almost one in every four road-related injuries and fatalities.
Saving lives on B.C. roads
October 15, 2015, Government of British Columbia (VICTORIA, BC)
On average, a person dies on B.C. roads nearly six out of every seven days of the week – and it needs to stop.
In British Columbia in 2014, this is a death rate more than three times higher than that due to homicides (88). As Justice Minister Suzanne Anton will tell a conference of road safety partners later this morning, things need to continue to change.
Provincial news: Traffic safety campaign makes an impact on Ontario roads
October 15, 2015, Northumberland View (ORILLIA, ONTARIO)
Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers were kept busy over the Thanksgiving weekend during the national four-day traffic safety initiative called Operation Impact. Enforcement efforts appear to be having an impact because preliminary statistics indicate that the numbers of charges in two of the four main causal factors in motor vehicle collisions are down over the same period last year.
VIDEO: Peel police data shows nearly 90 per cent of accused drunk drivers are men
October 15, 2015, The Mississauga News (MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO)
Nearly 90 per cent of motorists charged with drunk driving in Mississauga and Brampton last year were men, according to Peel Regional Police data.
Peel police’s Road Safety Services Unit says 1,094 people have been charged with impaired-related driving offences this year. Last year, the force charged 1,477 people, 86 per cent of which were male.
Gender data for 2015 will be compiled at the end of the year.
CKWS TV NEWS: Drivers get insurance discount for winter tires
October 15, 2015, CKWS TV News (KINGSTON, ONTARIO)
The arrival of cooler weather is a sure sign that winter isn’t far behind, but there may be a silver lining for motorists. The province has passed legislation requiring automobile insurers to give drivers a discount – if they use winter tires. NewsWatch’s Darryn Davis has more…
Fewer injuries and fatalities on Saskatchewan roads
October 14, 2015, SGI (REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN)
Safer driving has led to 19 per cent fewer fatalities and 18 per cent fewer injuries in the first year of tougher traffic safety laws, according to preliminary numbers from SGI. The numbers are for the year-long period July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015. Traffic law changes in Saskatchewan took effect June 27, 2014 as a result of recommendations made by the all-party Special Committee on Traffic Safety.
‘Something has to be done’: Family of dead Halifax cyclist speak out on road safety
October 14, 2015, CTV News (HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA)
Loresa Makonin was cycling to work during rush hour on Oct. 7 when she was struck and killed by a propane truck. Now, her family is calling for the city to make roads safer for cyclists.
“Something has to be done,” said Makonin’s sister, Rebecca. “It's not just Loresa – you can't improve dated roads, that would be the city's responsibility. Maybe more bikes lanes. I want to contact the bike coalition and see what they want done because I would never be riding on these roads. They are horrible.”
Ontario First to Test Automated Vehicles on Roads in Canada
October 13, 2015, Ontario Ministry of Transportation (TORONTO, ONTARIO)
Ontario is launching a new pilot to allow for the testing of automated vehicles on Ontario roads.
Automated vehicles are driverless or self-driving vehicles that are capable of detecting the surrounding environment using artificial intelligence, sensors and global positioning system coordinates. Automated and connected vehicle technologies have the potential to help improve fuel efficiency as well as reduce traffic congestion, greenhouse gas emissions and driver distraction.
Injured motorcyclist Linda Brown wages battle against distracted driving
October 12, 2015, Toronto Sun (TORONTO, ONTARIO)
Motorcyclist Linda Brown may still lose a leg.
A distracted SUV driver plowed into her on the day the province implemented tough laws for the offence of driving with a hand held device.
Impaired driving charges up this Thanksgiving compared to last year
October 12, 2015, CBC News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)
Ontario Provincial Police say more than 35 impaired driving related charges were laid in the GTA since Friday morning, an increase from last year's Thanksgiving weekend count.
"In the same period last year we laid 29 impaired driving charges," OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said.
The safest cars for teen drivers – and what parents should look for
October 9, 2015, Globe and Mail (TORONTO, ONTARIO)
If you are looking for a safe, affordable car for your teen, the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recommends heavier vehicles with less horsepower.
In Canada, more than 2,000 people die yearly as a result of a car crash. That number is more than 30,000 in the United States and, per mile, teen drivers are nearly three times more likely to be in a fatal crash than those aged 20 and older.
RCMP stress road safety on long weekend
October 9, 2015, The Carillon (STEINBACH, MANITOBA)
Manitoba RCMP is reminding drivers to buckle up, stay sober and stay focused on the road this Thanksgiving long weekend.
Oct. 9-12 has been designated as Operation Impact, a national enforcement campaign to aggressively enforce laws against high risk driving behaviour and remind people that an essential part of the enforcement role is to save lives and reduce injuries on roadways.
OPP, London Police Launch ‘Operation Impact’
October 9, 2015, AM980 (LONDON, ONTARIO)
London Police and Ontario Provincial Police will have their sights set on distracted, dangerous and impaired drivers over the Thanksgiving Long Weekend.
Police will be focusing their efforts on curbing the so-called “Big Four”: distracted driving, speeding, impaired driving and failure to wear a seat belt.
MADD Canada asks new Government to take legislative action to reduce impaired driving deaths and injuries
October 10, 2015, MADD Canada (OAKVILLE, ONTARIO)
MADD Canada is calling on Canada’s newly-elected government to take effective and timely action to reduce the deadly toll of impaired driving in Canada.
“MADD Canada congratulates Prime Minister-Elect Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada on their election, and welcomes the opportunity to work with them, and all elected Members of Parliament, on meaningful legislation to address the very serious impaired driving problem that we have in this country,” said MADD Canada Chief Executive Officer Andrew Murie.
Editorial: Making streets safer for pedestrians
October 8, 2015, Montreal Gazette (MONTREAL, QUEBEC)
The committed Montreal pedestrian is a brave soul, trying to make his way safely across intersections in which drivers ignore him and along sidewalk surfaces that are uneven and cracked and slick with ice in winter. His safety is jeopardized by everything from enormous strollers to inattentive drivers and cyclists who think the rules of the road are for others.
Construction and renovation projects sometimes force people off sidewalks and onto the street. For pedestrians whose mobility is reduced, traffic light intervals often don’t provide enough time to cross streets safely. And don’t get us started on crosswalks.
Number of fatalities on P.E.I. roads up in 2015
October 8, 2015, The Guardian (CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI)
Charlottetown resident Piero Campanaro knows his late wife would want him to get on with his life.
He is doing so.
Yet the loss following 72-year-old Carole Campanaro’s fatal motor vehicle collision on April 10 in 2013 near North Wiltshire still looms large for the widower.
Stay safe, drive sober this Thanksgiving holiday weekend/
October 8, 2015, MADD Canada (OAKVILLE, ONTARIO)
As Canadians gather to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, MADD Canada and Allstate Insurance Company of Canada are asking everyone to protect themselves and one another against impaired driving.
“If you are going to be drinking this holiday weekend, please arrange a sober ride home,” said MADD Canada National President Angeliki Souranis. “It really could be the difference between life and death for yourself, your passengers and other motorists sharing the road with you.”
Halton police will be out in force Thanksgiving Weekend
October 7, 2015, InsideHalton.com (OAKVILLE, ONTARIO)
Halton police will be out in force during the Thanksgiving Weekend as part of a national campaign aimed at making Canada’s roads the safest in the world.
From Friday, Oct. 9 to Monday, Oct. 12 police will be participating in Operation Impact, a traffic enforcement program, which will see police target impaired drivers, people not wearing their seatbelts, aggressive drivers and distracted drivers.
Child safety seats used improperly 80 per cent of the time: Transport Canada
October 7, 2015, Global News (TORONTO, ONTARIO)
Parents know they should use safety seats to restrain their children in cars and the law requires it: but most mothers, fathers and caregivers aren’t doing the job properly, according to Transport Canada.
Auto accidents account for the largest number of child deaths; but the agency says as many as 80 per cent of children aren’t being correctly restrained in child seats or booster seats.
Drivers still ignoring roadwork safety zones
October 6, 2015, The Star Phoenix (SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN)
Angela Gardiner still remembers the phone call 13 years ago, telling her a friend and co-worker had been killed on the job in a road construction zone.
Now in a different job, as Saskatoon’s Director of Transportation, Gardiner emphasizes roadway work zone safety so nobody else will have to endure the same anguish.
New auto safety technologies leave some drivers bewildered
October 6, 2015, Global News (WASHINGTON, D.C.)
Many drivers buying new cars these days are baffled by a torrent of new safety technology.
Some features will automatically turn a car back into its lane if it begins to drift, or hit the brakes if sensors detect that it’s about to rear-end someone else. There are lane-change and blind-spot monitors, drowsiness alerts and cars that can park themselves. Technologies once limited to high-end models like adaptive cruise control, tire-pressure indicators and rear-view cameras have become more common.
It’s time to give priority to pedestrians at intersections
September 20, 2015, Neil.Arason.ca (BRITISH COLUMBIA)
In Canada, in a recent five-year period, over 17,000 pedestrians were hit by vehicles turning right or left at intersections, with 167 killed and 1,268 suffering major injuries.[i] Seventy-three percent of these turning vehicles were making a left-hand turn. Intersection turns, especially left ones, cause unrealistic demands on the brain of the driver. Around the world, the nature of the problem is similar.
Canadian Events & Conferences in 2015 & 2016
Grant Funding Available for Ontario
Winter Driving Campaigns/Events,
Ontario Ministry of Transportation
Deadline: December 14, 2015
View Application Guide
Working for Road Safety
CARSP Conference 2016
Call for Abstracts - Deadline November 9th
Westin Nova Scotian
Halifax, Nova Scotia
June 5-8, 2016
CCMTA Annual Meeting
Halifax, Nova Scotia
June 19-22, 2016
Prepared by CARSP. If you are aware of road safety news items or upcoming conferences that should be included in this Safety News Digest, please forward them to firstname.lastname@example.org