Safer Roads Ottawa presented their annual update at the transportation committee. The Safer Roads Ottawa program was officially launched in the fall of 2011 with the goal of growing awareness and shifting the behavior of all road users in the city of Ottawa. In 2017, all initiatives focused on one or more of the originally approved focus areas, including: “Specific Monthly Initiatives”, “Distracted Driving”, “Children’s Safety”, and “Pedestrian and/or Cycling Safety”.
As you know this is a subject very near and dear to my heart. I have taken out a snap shot of the presentation to highlight.
The Safer Roads Ottawa program regularly seeks opportunities to utilize technology as both an education and enforcement tool some examples are:
Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR)
The Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) is a road safety device that assists enforcement agencies in identifying various Highway Traffic Act (HTA) infractions, including stolen license plates and suspended or unlicensed drivers. Given the success of the first ALPR delivered to the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) in 2016, a second unit has been purchased. The new device has been in operation since August 2017. Since August 2016, the scanner has detected nearly 200 suspended drivers and helped issue approximately $600,000 in fines.
SmartCone Pilot Initiative
Safer Roads Ottawa joined forces with SmartCone, a local Stittsville business, to create an innovative camera system that detects cyclists as they approach the intersection. The camera system communicates with and activates LED lighting on either side of the intersection to alert motorists of the approaching cyclist. The detection system was put into operation in October 2017 and it will be evaluated to determine whether the technology will be beneficial in other future locations throughout the city. I am proud that a Stittsville company was behind this great safety initiative and can’t wait to see what other ventures are pursued. For more information, please review the video below:
Safer Roads Ottawa has been working with representatives from PedSafe and staff from the City of Ottawa’s Information Technology Services to refresh a mobile app for use by cyclists, pedestrians and residents using mobility devices. The app will convert a mobile device into a form of beacon light to help make its user more visible in dark conditions. The free app will be available in English, French and Spanish and will also be hosted on both IOS and Android platforms. The launch of the app is scheduled to take place in Fall 2017.
School Bus Camera Project
The School Bus Camera Project focuses on the use of technology to improve the safety of children and school bus drivers. Utilizing a camera system to enforce sections of the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) related to motorists failing to obey the stop signal and flashing lights of a school bus increases the ability to hold motorists accountable when they break the law. Procurement for the project’s camera systems is complete and the Privacy Impact Assessment and draft agreements are currently being finalized in partnership with the City Clerk and Solicitor’s Department. The goal is to launch camera systems on up to six buses in the fall of 2017.
Stay Safe, Stay Back
To encourage cyclists to stay behind the bumpers of large vehicles, Safer Roads Ottawa, in partnership with OC Transpo and the Share the Road Cycling Coalition, provided more than 1,000 ‘Stay Safe, Stay Back’ decals to be added to the City’s fleet this fall. This is the first time a public transportation service has participated in the campaign.
Bicycle Repair Stations
A total of 27 bike repair stations have been installed as of October 2017 including one in Village Square Park!
I would like to thank Rob Wilkinson and the entire Safer Roads Ottawa team for all they have done this past year to help keep our roads safer! With all of the success of this year, I cannot wait to see what the 2017 year brings. To view the report in full, please click here.