OTTAWA, Jan. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's roads are gradually becoming
safer to travel on due in large part to the efforts of road safety
stakeholders in support of the country's national road safety plan, called
Road Safety Vision 2010. While this measured improvement is encouraging, a
mid-term review of this safety plan, which was recently conducted by
independent consultants, indicated that Canada's roads could become even safer
through additional efforts by agencies responsible for road safety.
Canada's national road safety plan contains both a vision - 'to have the
safest roads in the world' and a quantitative target - 'to reduce fatalities
and serious injuries by 30% during the 2008-2010 period over comparable
figures during the 1996-2001 period'. Canada's level of road safety is
measured on a 'deaths per billion vehicle-kilometres travelled' basis.
Canada's death rate is compared with the world's other leading industrial
nations in order to determine if Canada is achieving its goal of having 'the
safest roads in the world'.
Road Safety Vision 2010 is a nine-year national road safety action plan,
with a 2002-2010 timeframe, that seeks to achieve reductions in casualties
through targeted interventions that are developed and implemented by
governmental and non-governmental organizations focusing on the most critical
road safety problems such as drinking and driving, non-use of seat belts and
The authors of the mid-term review examined jurisdictional progress
reports and collision data, conducted telephone surveys and held focus groups
and a workshop among key road safety stakeholders.
The consultants observed that noteworthy improvements had occurred among
a number of areas targeted under Road Safety Vision 2010. Specifically,
substantial progress occurred in the number of fatally or seriously injured
crash victims who were unbelted or young drivers who were involved in crashes
at intersections or on rural roads.
The consultants indicated that substantially more progress could be
achieved through the development of a road safety strategy and action plans
with modeled targets and community consultations; a 'safe systems approach'
for making road travel safer; increased multi-sectoral involvement, in
particular from the infrastructure domain; increased resources for police
enforcement, infrastructure programs, vehicle safety promotion and road safety
risk awareness; more evaluation and monitoring of programs and assessments of
network-wide risks; and the establishment of effective legislation and the
adjustment of ineffective legislation where necessary.
Canadian jurisdictions have already begun to act on the findings of this
review. A number of them have developed or are implementing some of the key
recommendations made by the consultants. For example, most jurisdictions have
developed three-year road safety action plans and are seeking a commitment
from their respective jurisdictional Ministers for the implementation of these
Canada currently ranks 11th among the world's leading economies in its
efforts to have the safest roads in the world - behind countries such as
Sweden, the Netherlands and Great Britain.
The world leaders in road safety all have a number of common traits. They
- A political champion who promotes road safety as an important public
- A lead road safety agency with overall responsibility and
accountability for achieving results; and
- Effective coordination and management arrangements within government.
In addition, these countries have adopted tough and sometimes unpopular
measures. Examples include:
- enhanced speed enforcement, including the use of more speed cameras and
higher fines for speeding;
- reduced speed limits on selected sections of urban and rural roadways;
- more "black spot" programs - particularly on rural roads - to identify
high-risk road locations;
- road infrastructure improvements to prevent head-on and single vehicle
- making intersections safer;
- more drinking driving enforcement;
- enhanced road safety public education programs, particularly for the
young and the elderly; and
- expanded police enforcement in combination with public education
programs targeting non-users of seat belts.
A renewed commitment by all road safety stakeholders and the adoption of
tough measures should result in even safer road travel for Canadians in the
Detailed information on the Mid-Term Review of Road Safety Vision 2010 is
available at www.ccmta.ca.
For further information:
For further information: For jurisdictional information, please contact:
BRITISH COLUMBIA: Lisa Howie, Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General,
(250) 387-5692; ALBERTA: Jeanette Espie, Alberta Infrastructure &
Transportation, (780) 427-6588; SASKATCHEWAN: Kwei Quaye, Saskatchewan
Government Insurance, (306) 775-6182; MANITOBA: Dianne DeKock, Manitoba
Infrastructure and Transportation, (204) 945-5776; ONTARIO: Sue Lo, Ontario
Ministry of Transportation, (416) 235-4050; QUEBEC: Audrey Chaput or Gino
Desrosiers, Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec, (418) 528-4894; NEW
BRUNSWICK: Chrystiane Mallaley, Dept. of Public Safety, (506) 444-5267; NOVA
SCOTIA: Bernie Clancy, Dept. of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal,
(902) 424-3541; PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND: Andrew Sprague, Dept. of Transportation
and Public Works, (902) 368 5112; NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR: Vanessa
Colman-Sadd, Dept. of Government Services, (709) 729-4860; NORTHWEST
TERRITORIES: Earl Blacklock, Dept. of Transportation, (867) 873-7712; YUKON:
Kira Steen, Dept. of Highways and Public Works, (867) 667-3146; NUNAVUT: Lorna
Gee, Dept. of Economic Development and Transportation, (867) 360-4614;
TRANSPORT CANADA: Jessie Chauhan, Transport Canada, (613) 991-5933