Campaign to reduce distracted driving

As York Region reports a rise in distracted behaviour on regional roads, it’s launching a multi-year campaign in a bid to reduce collisions.

Council recently approved the York Region Vision Zero Traveller Safety Plan. It’s driven by an international initiative called Vision Zero, which was developed using global road safety best practices to reduce severe collisions, which are defined as collisions resulting in serious injury or death.

The region has set a short-term target to reduce severe collisions by 10 per cent within five years. Its Traveller Safety Plan recommends countermeasures that include education initiatives, rumble strips, guide rail upgrades, enhanced pavement markings, automated speed enforcement, red light cameras, school zone speed reductions and roundabouts.

Between 2018 and 2019, collisions involving distracted driving behaviours contributed to 20 per cent of fatal and injury collisions across York Region, Nelson Costa, Manager for Corridor and Traffic Safety for York Region, reports. Distracted driving is on the rise: 44 per cent of Ontario drivers admitted to driving distracted in 2023 compared to 40 per cent in 2022.

Twelve per cent of distracted drivers have been in a vehicle collision caused by distracted driving, while four out of 10 pedestrians in Ontario and one in four cyclists report being involved in a collision or close call, Costa notes. Though more than 90 per cent of Ontarians aged 16 to 24 are aware of the province’s law banning texting while driving, 55 per cent reported reading texts and 44 per cent reported sending texts while driving, he adds.

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Photo: York Region representatives, along with partners from York Regional Police, the Ministry of Transportation and Canadian Automobile Centre, kicked off Road Safety Week, which runs May 14 through 20, by reminding travellers not to be distracted. Photos courtesy of The Regional Municipality of York.

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