Transport Canada's Road Safety Strategy 2015

No serious road safety plan here.
On November 23,  the National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims in Canada,  the Minister of Transportation will say Canada has a plan to make our roads the safest in the world.

It is true that we have a plan. But there is not much in it.

Branded as a rethink, the plan is cover for another Transport Canada retreat from the safety front. Last decade it was aviation. This decade, road safety.

We have a road safety plan that does not include commercial vehicles. Road Safety Strategy 2015 sees Transport Canada abandoning reporting timely national statistics. Cost-accounting based metrics have dropped from sight.

The government could beef up its road safety effort by releasing the excellent Human Factors report on trucking safety and by using existing, real-time police data to report on deaths, injuries and collisions.

Adding these elements to Road Safety Strategy 2015 would be easy.

A rethink of road safety will be more difficult.

There is no question driving has become less dangerous over the years. But it remains, for most of us, our highest risk activity.

A 33-year-old sitting on a couch drinking beers and watching hockey has a risk factor that's got to be in the order of 1,000 or 10,000 less than the same person, totally focussed, behind the wheel. How many orders of magnitude of risk does .08 or texting add to the basic risk of driving?

If this estimated ranking of risk has merit then our road safety message should be reframed. We'll still need to say, "Don't drink and drive."  But we could get a bigger retrun with a simpler message -- Don't drive.


Readings from an environmental scan: road safety

Transport Canada's Road Safety Strategy 2015

Canada’s Road Safety Targets to 2010

Australia's new road safety program

Transport Canada Human Factors Report

As top Ontario cop, the Hon. Julian Fantino released annual stats for OPP-patrolled roads within two weeks of the previous year's end. Fantino regularly cited the estimated $18-billion annual total cost of collisions in Ontario.

2009: The most recent official statistics for Canada

2008: Most recent Ontario statistics

Estimates of the Full Cost of Transportation in Canada