Na­tional Ac­tion Plan Out­lines Fight Against Dis­tracted Driv­ing

Road Today - - Contents - RT

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.

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