Fatal collisions are on the rise in Canada, and compared to peer countries we are not doing well. In data drawn from the latest WHO reports, Canada has slipped from 28th to 31st place in the global rankings of per capita, per annum traffic deaths. In those same rankings we are likewise far behind countries with similar economies and climates in the number of fatalities per billion kilometers driven. That rate is 3.0 deaths for Norway, 3.8 for Sweden, and 5.1 for Canada. According to the latest (and late, 2018) numbers from Transport Canada, annual motor-vehicle-related fatalities are up 3.6% from the year before, to a rate of 5.2 deaths per million population.
How can roads be getting less safe for Canadians, at a time when when vehicle crashworthiness is progressing in leaps and bounds? One commonly-cited reason is the incidence of distracted driving behaviours threatening the life and limb of drivers and everyone around them.
Minister of Transport
House of Commons
K1A 0A6 email@example.com
February 25, 2020
Dear Minister Garneau:
Re: Stockholm Declaration and immediate actions needed to improve road safety outcomes in Canada.
We are writing you today as concerned road safety professionals and researchers regarding road safety in Canada. At the third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety held in Stockholm this month, a new declaration on road safety was endorsed to halve fatalities and injuries by 2030.1
We wish to draw to your attention the fact that Canada ranks sixteenth in international road safety performance, with best performing countries such as Norway having less than one-half the road fatalities of Canada. If Canada were to achieve the road fatality rate of Norway, we would save over one thousand lives every year. Best performing countries have not always had good safety performance but enjoy good performance because they have given road safety the priority it needs.
In contrast, the Canadian approach to road safety has not been sufficient to provide Canada with the lowest possible levels of road trauma. Continue reading →
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