OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Jan. 26, 2011) – The Canadian Automobile Association applauds the decline in national road fatalities reported today by the federal government, but warns there are danger signs ahead.
Government figures released today show national road fatalities declined to their lowest level in almost six decades in the most recent year reported, 2008. That was a 12 per cent decline, to 2,419, from the previous year.
CAA vice president Jeff Walker attributed the reduction to better safety features in vehicles and the success of public education efforts, as well as to committed enforcement from Canada’s policing agencies.
“It’s taken a concerted effort to start moving the stats in the right direction, and we need to keep that momentum going,” Walker said.
CAA notes that despite the positive trend, areas of concern remain. Distracted driving is a key problem that needs more focus. In particular, texting while driving is an increasing phenomenon that has become the Number One road safety concern of Canadians according to CAA research. Similarly, impaired driving remains a concern, and encompasses not just drinking before driving but also consuming drugs.
“CAA is encouraged by recent legislative moves in many provinces to deal with distracted driving, but we would like to see more consistent legislation,” Walker said. “And on the public education front, more needs to be done, especially in getting the message out to youth that it’s not okay to text and drive.”
The government report can be found at www.tc.gc.ca/eng/roadsafety/tp-tp3322-2008-1144.htma.
About the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA)
Inspired by the evolving interests of over 5 million CAA Members, we help provide peace of mind to our Members through 9 automobile Clubs and 140 offices located across the country. CAA membership provides access to an ever-expanding range of innovative and reliable products and services; exceptional Roadside Assistance, Automotive and Travel Services, Member Savings, and comprehensive Insurance services. CAA also advocates on Member issues of concern, including road safety, the environment, mobility, and infrastructure. www.caa.ca