|No serious road safety plan here.|
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