Proud to call Halton home – Safest Region in Canada

For the eighth straight year, I am proud to say that Halton Region continues to be the safest region in Canada, according to Statistics Canada’s recently released annual report.

The results are determined based on Statistics Canada’s 2016 Crime Severity Index (CSI) that track six personal and property crimes including homicide, sexual assault, aggravated assault, auto theft, robbery and breaking and entering.

Thanks to our dedication to community safety and our strong relationships with our police partners, Halton Region had the lowest overall crime rate, violent crime rate and property crime rate among Ontario’s ‘Big 12’ police services. We also maintained the lowest values for each of the indicators for eight straight reporting years.

DSC_1797Even though Halton is ranked as one of the safest regional municipalities in Canada, we’re always working with our community partners on key issues to ensure we’re doing all we can to keep Halton safe. Our recent partnership with the Halton Regional Police Service on developing a Community Safety and Well-Being Plan for Halton is an excellent example of this ongoing work.

Draft-Community-Safety-and-Well-Being-Plan-1Community safety and well-being planning is about proactively responding to issues in our community like mental health, neighbourhood safety, housing and homelessness and social isolation so that those in need of help can receive the right response at the right time (before there is a crisis).

If you’re interested in keeping our community safe, I encourage you to visit our web page to sign up for email updates about the Community Safety and Well-Being Plan and other community safety and well-being issues and initiatives. We also want to hear from you, so please tell us your thoughts by completing our survey.

red_light_road_signOther programs we’re implementing to encourage safety across our community include red light cameras, Project Lifesaver Halton and Drive SAFE programs including reminding people of the dangers of distracted driving and impaired driving.

Halton’s reputation as a safe community is one of the reasons so many people and businesses choose to call Halton home. This achievement is the result of our residents, businesses and local municipalities, working together with the great police officers and staff of the Halton Regional Police Service, to ensure Halton Region remains a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

To learn more about community safety, visit halton.ca/safetyandwell-being, haltonpolice.ca and halton.ca/drivesafe.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

Fines increasing for distracted driving

According to the Ontario Provincial Police, distracted driving is a factor in 30 to 50% of traffic collisions on Ontario, but is probably much higher due to unreported incidents. Distracted driving is a danger to everyone but the good news is that it is preventable.

Messages about the risks of distracted driving are slowly being heard, but there is still more to be done to encourage everyone to keep their attention focused on the road while driving.  That’s why, as of March 18, 2014, the police will be increasing the fines for distracted driving from $155 to $280 as the latest effort to stop drivers from making that call or sending that short text while at the wheel.

Other than being on a cell phone, many people aren’t even aware of what is considered distracted driving, and when they could be fined. Distracted driving includes more than you may think:

  • Talking/texting on cell phones without Bluetooth
  • Holding/using MP3 Players
  • Using other handheld devices
  • Programming GPS devices
  • Watching display screens

What can you do?

  • If you see a driver demonstrating unsafe driver behaviour, you can submit a Citizen Report Form through the Halton Community Road Watch program. The police will send an information letter to the registered owner of the vehicle explaining that their vehicle was observed being operated in an unsafe manner at a specific time and location, and asks them to drive safely.
  • Take the pledge to drive distraction-free.
  • Turn off your cell phone or other non-essential devices when you drive.
  • As a passenger, remind the driver of the dangers of distracted driving.
  • Talk about distracted driving with your friends and family.
  • Still not convinced? Here are a few videos about the dangers of distracted driving. Caution, there are some disturbing scenes.

Halton Region is committed to enhancing the safety of our community. Please do your part to help keep our roads safe every day.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”