(Mayor Jim Watson and Transportation Committee Chair, Councillor Stephen Blais, announce the 2020-2024 Road Safety Action Plan. Photo: City of Ottawa)
The third Road Safety Action Plan (RSAP) was announced by Mayor Jim Watson and Transportation Committee Chair, Stephen Blais. The plan will provide an investment of $31.5 million in safety measures and initiatives between 2020 and 2024 to improve safety for all users on Ottawa roads. The last plan put in place to cover 2012 to 2016 resulted in a 14 percent reduction in fatal and major injury collisions in Ottawa. This newly announced plan, is aimed at continuing progress towards zero fatalities and major injuries on our roadways with a goal of a 20 percent reduction in the average annual rate of fatal and major injury collisions by 2024.
Mayor Watson announced, “making roads safe for all road users is a priority in Ottawa. While I am pleased that we have a fatal injury rate that ranks among the lowest in the world, even a single fatality is one too many. We will continue to work towards zero fatalities and major injuries in our city. This plan will direct our actions to get closer to that goal.”
“Everyone shares responsibility for safety on our roads; the City as the roadway providers, the Police who enforce the rules of the road, and even the users. Human life and health and the number one priority, so when we design and build roads, we will make sure that a small human error doesn’t result in death. We’ll supplement Police enforcement efforts with automated tools, but we also need to change the habits of high-risk users to make our roads safer.” Transport Chair Blais commented.
The proposed 2020 – 2024 Strategic Road Safety Action Plan emphasizes four main areas:
- Vulnerable road users (collisions involving a pedestrian, cyclist, or a motorcyclist)
- Rural areas
- High risk drivers (collisions resulting from aggressive, impaired or distracted driver behaviours)
In Stittsville there exist serious concerns for users of our roadways — the need for lowered speed limits on residential streets; lack of connection to major roadways; traffic shortcuts through existing neighbourhoods; cycling and traffic volume on our Main Street; and, highway markings on Hazeldean Road for bike and turning lanes — to name a handful. Stittsville has been fortunate in that there are not more accidents.
According to the 2013-2017 Collision Data Analysis, Ottawa currently has an average of 2.8 fatal injuries per 100,000 in population. This statistic is significantly lower than Canada’s national rate of 5.8, and aligns with that of Sweden and the Netherlands, which are some of the leading countries in the world that have adopted a safe systems approach to road safety resulting in low rates of serious injuries and fatalities.
Authored by city staff, the Road Safety Plan proposed safety measures will be addressed at the upcoming December 4th Transportation Committee meeting prior to introduction to Council for approval on December 11th.