National Action Plan Outlines Fight Against Distracted Driving
Distracted driving deaths have surpassed impaired driving deaths according to the latest fatality data from several Canadian jurisdictions. Nationally, distraction accounted for an estimated 25 per cent of drivers killed in fatal crashes in 2013. This troubling trend has made distracted driving a top road safety priority for governments and organizations across the country.
While a wide range of initiatives have been pursued by concerned stakeholders to tackle this pressing problem, there is an urgent need for a coordinated and comprehensive blueprint to effectively address it. To help fill this gap, the Canadian Coalition on Distracted Driving (CCDD) was formed to develop a National Action Plan, which was published today.
The Plan contains 15 action items organized according to four priority areas: education and prevention, enforcement, data and research, and technology and industry. It was designed to inspire and engage agencies concerned about distracted driving and provide them with tools to help reverse this trend.
In developing the plan, the CCDD explored the diverse topics that play a role in distracted driving, including: driver behaviour, penalties, enforcement, education campaigns, devices and in-vehicle technologies, emergency medical care, auto insurance, the transportation industry and automated vehicles.
The components of the plan represent the most essential activities that can support the efforts of agencies with a vested interest in the issue, and help them meet their objectives more efficiently and effectively. In the coming months, the
CCDD will produce the series of tools contained in the Plan, and convene discussions in key sectors to help agencies amplify efforts to reduce distracted driving.
An initiative of the Traffic Injury Research Foundation, Drop It And Drive and The Co-operators, the CCDD is the first coalition of its kind in Canada. The multi-
sectoral group includes members from various levels of government, enforcement, academia, health, industry and communities. Their expertise is varied, including road safety research, injury prevention and health care, policy, enforcement, education, as well as the insurance, automotive and trucking industries.