January 26, 2008
|Fatigue Impairment - Press Release
|CCMTA Completes Mid-Term Review of Road Safety Vision 2010
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 speeding.
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 plans.
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 include:
- A political champion who promotes road safety as an important public priority;
- 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 run-off-road crashes;
- 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 future.
Detailed information on the Mid-Term Review of Road Safety Vision 2010 is available at www.ccmta.ca.
For jurisdictional information, please contact:
TRANSPORT CANADA: Jessie Chauhan, Transport Canada, (613) 991-5933