OTTAWA – The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced the signing of three memoranda of understanding with 17 vehicle manufacturers. The agreements update a previously approved side-impact protection memorandum of understanding, address compatibility between vehicles and promote proper seatbelt fit.
The agreements will advance the safety of Canadian vehicles by:
updating the side impact protection requirements to better protect children who sit next to an air bag;
improving compatibility between vehicles of different sizes to reduce the severity of occupant injury in side and frontal collisions; and
promoting the use of new technologies in the design and manufacture of vehicles to ensure optimal seatbelt fit for front seat passengers.
�Canada�s new government is continually looking for ways to reduce the risk of death, injury and property damage due to incidents involving motor vehicles,� said Minister Cannon. �These agreements are the result of extensive cooperation between the Government of Canada and the automotive industry.�
The department continues to modernize its system of regulatory governance by making smarter regulations through innovative consultation mechanisms and processes, harmonized initiatives and voluntary agreements with the transportation industry.
�One of the auto industry�s goals is to continually enhance vehicle safety through engineering innovation, advances in vehicle design and cooperative voluntary agreements such as the ones we have signed with Transport Canada,� said Mark Nantais, President of the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers Association. �The best opportunities for advancement of vehicle safety are through changes to driver behaviour and the introduction of advanced vehicle safety systems across the entire North American market given the integration of our industry,� Mr. Nantais continued.
Transport Canada�s first memorandum of understanding related to road safety was signed on March 6, 2001 with automobile manufacturers and importers. It dealt with side air bag systems,as they were becoming standard or optional safety equipment in front seats of vehicles.
�Our industry has a proven history of working cooperatively with Transport Canada to achieve public policy safety objectives that are valued by all Canadians through innovative regulatory initiatives, such as the voluntary agreements that have been signed today,� noted David Adams, President of the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada.
Motor vehicle safety memoranda of understanding allow Transport Canada to implement requirements more rapidly. This approach is particularly useful in accommodating rapid technological advances in industry.
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