Government of Canada takes action on child road and traffic safety

WINDSOR, ON, Sept. 12, 2011 /CNW/ - Researchers will be tackling the issue of traffic and road injuries in Canadian children thanks to a new significant investment by the Government of Canada. The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State, Science and Technology, made the announcement today on behalf of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

"Our Government is taking action to reduce the rates and severity of injury that Canadian children experience due to road crashes and traffic accidents," said Minister Goodyear. "Today's investment will create new knowledge that will be useful in the development of new policies and programs to help Canadians avoid traffic and road injuries."

Minister Goodyear announced $1.7 million to support a research team led by Dr. Anne Snowdon of the University of Windsor and Dr. Andrew Howard of the Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto) that will address child road injury prevention funded by CIHR, the AUTO21 Network of Centres of Excellence, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the University of Windsor, and Transport Canada.

"Each year, about 130 Canadian children under the age of 15 die as a result of road traffic injuries," said Dr. Anne Snowdon, AUTO21 Theme Coordinator for Health, Safety and Injury Prevention, and a professor at the Odette School of Business at the University of Windsor. "This research will help reduce those injuries by ensuring children are safer riding in cars, or walking or cycling in their neighbourhoods."

The national team will look at how to keep children safer in vehicles on Canada's roadways. Research areas include increasing the use of children's vehicle safety seats through partnerships with health care practitioners, educators and parents; translating knowledge of patterns of safety seat use and misuse to design and commercialize a new generation of safety seats; and examining pedestrian and cycling safety for children. In addition to new products, the knowledge generated will help to inform policy and develop programs.

Watch video about Dr. Snowdon's research project:

"We are very proud to be funding this research team," said Dr. Michael Kramer, Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health. "By supporting research in traffic and road safety, we are improving our understanding of how to better prevent injury and keep our children safe when vehicle crashes occur on Canadian roadways."

"As Canada's automotive research program, AUTO21 is committed to helping Canadians protect their families while driving," said Dr. Peter Frise, Scientific Director and CEO for AUTO21. "We are pleased to contribute to this project that will have far-reaching benefits for families. Since 2001, AUTO21 and its partners have invested more than $4 million in children's vehicle safety to help Canadian families stay safe."

"The University of Windsor is committed to applying research to issues of importance to society and nothing is more important than the safety of children," said Dr. Alan Wildeman, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Windsor. "The work of Dr. Snowdon, Dr. Howard, and all of their collaborators in preventing road injury to the youngest members of our society is a great example of how Canadian researchers are addressing challenges that touch everyone."

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada's health research investment agency. CIHR's mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian health care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 14,100 health researchers and trainees across Canada.

AUTO21 supports nearly 200 researchers and 350 student researchers at 46 universities across the country. More than 120 public- and private-sector organizations partner with AUTO21. With an annual research budget of approximately $11 million, AUTO21 and its partners support projects in six key areas: health, safety and injury prevention; societal issues; materials and manufacturing; design processes; powertrains, fuels and emissions; and intelligent systems and sensors. AUTO21 is supported by the Government of Canada through a Networks of Centres of Excellence program, and its administrative centre is hosted by the University of Windsor.

The following documents are available at:
News release
Backgrounder on funded project

Ce document est également disponible en français.

SOURCE University of Windsor

For further information:

David Coulombe, Media Relations, CIHR, 613-941-4563
Stephan Fields, Public Affairs and Communications, University of Windsor, 519-253-3000 ext. 4045
Stephanie Campeau, Director of Public Affairs & Communications, AUTO21 Network of Centres of Excellence, 519-253-3000 ext. 4129

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