Working together to keep our roads safe this summer

With plenty of warm days ahead of us, summer activities across the region are still in full swing. Whether you’re out enjoying the region’s attractions and festivals or simply getting together with friends and family, please remember to drive safely so everyone can continue to enjoy a great summer.

Move to the right for sirens and lights

Every year, Halton paramedics respond to more than 50,000 calls and transport more than 30,000 people. When they deal with potentially life-threatening situations, you can help paramedics by moving to the right for sirens and lights. By clearing the way, you help paramedics reach or transport their patients as quickly as possible.

Stop on red

RedLightCameraHalton has 12 red light cameras at intersections across the region and will add another five cameras by the end of the summer. These cameras, which take a picture of vehicles entering an intersection after a light has turned red, help remind people how important it is to keep your eyes on the road and drive with care. To learn more about how red light cameras work and how they help improve the safety of our intersections, please visit halton.ca/stoponred.

Drive sober

SafeRoads_SignPlease remember to drive responsibly and if you plan on drinking, don’t drive. If you’re on our roads and think you see an impaired driver, call 911 to report it. Impaired driving is a crime in progress and one call could save a life!

Share the road

ShareTheRoad_SignThanks to our many beautiful parks and trails, world-class velodrome, and strong community interest in recreational and competitive cycling, Halton has become the home of cycling. This summer, I’d like to remind everyone to share the road while traveling throughout Halton. Both cyclists and drivers have a responsibility to obey the rules and share the road with each other.

Thank you for helping us keep Halton’s roads safe and enjoy the rest of your summer!

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”.

Be prepared for severe summer weather

EmergencyPrepWEBAs we move into August, it’s important to remember that great weather can quickly take a turn for the worse. Floods, tornadoes and lightning storms are more frequent during the summer—storms can also bring down power lines and cause wide-spread power outages across a municipality or region.

The Region works closely with our community partners to help protect residents and businesses from emergencies, including severe weather. Through planning, joint exercises and ongoing evaluation, we ensure that we are ready to respond in a crisis; however, emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility that involves individuals, all levels of government and local organizations. By preparing your home and family, you can help reduce the impact of severe weather and improve the resilience of our entire community.

Follow the steps

You can prepare for any emergency, including severe weather, by following these three simple steps:

  • Know the risks—identify potential hazards in your community and stay informed about emergencies through alerts from the province or your local news provider.
  • Make a plan—determine what each member of your household would do during and after various emergencies, also considering neighbours, family and friends who may be particularly vulnerable.
  • Get a kit—assemble, buy or refresh the items your household would need to stay safe for 72 hours, including supplies for older adults, children and pets.

Staying up-to-date on current weather conditions can also help you prepare or react when a severe warning is in effect. Check the radio or television, visit halton.ca/severeweather or call 311 for updates and information.

When you are prepared and keeping up-to-date on important information, first responders can focus their attention on those in immediate need during an emergency situation. By working together, we help keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

To learn more about emergency preparedness, visit halton.ca/beprepared. To learn about how the Region is adapting to climate change to increase resiliency and support the needs of the community, visit halton.ca/actionplan.

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”.

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”.

Winter safety starts with you

Tips on how to stay safe in the cold, at home and on the roads

We are well into winter and it is a good time to review basic safety tips that can help you and your family stay safe during the cold winter months. If you are headed outdoors or on the road, you will want to pay close attention to the weather to ensure you are prepared for the temperature and weather conditions. Halton Region issues cold warnings when the temperature drops below -15 degrees Celsius (without wind-chill), or when weather conditions are severe enough to warrant alerting the community to the risks involved with prolonged exposure.

Anyone can be affected by extreme cold-related weather conditions, depending on how long one is exposed to cold conditions and exertion levels. Those especially at risk include: adults over the age of 65, infants and young children, people who work outdoors, people who exercise outdoors (hikers, skiers) and people who have limited resources to house or protect themselves. During extreme cold, call or visit friends and neighbours who may be at risk and keep pets inside.

Protect your health

  • Plan ahead and check the weather forecast.
  • Cover exposed skin using multiple layers of loose-fitting clothes with a wind-resistant outer layer, a hat, mittens, and scarf.
  • Dress appropriately when going outside. Frostbite can occur within minutes.
  • Always be on the lookout for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
  • Prepare emergency kits for your home and car.
  • Sign up for automatic cold warnings.

For more information on cold warnings and what you can do to protect your health, visit halton.ca/cold.

Protect your home

Every winter, some Halton residents experience water outages or frozen water pipes, service lines or meters. To reduce this risk during cold temperatures:

  • remember to shut off and drain pipes leading to outside faucets;
  • ensure doorways to basement areas and crawl spaces with water meter and plumbing are opened enough to ensure the temperature in these areas remains warm;
  • do not set your household temperature too low at night or when the house is vacant; and
  • wrap foam pipe insulation around pipes most susceptible to freezing (e.g., near outside walls, under kitchen and bathroom cabinets, in crawl spaces and attics).

For more tips on avoiding frozen water pipes, visit halton.ca/frozenpipes.

Protect yourself on the roads

Plan ahead for winter driving to ensure your trip is a safe one.

  • Clear snow and ice from all windows, lights, mirrors and roof and make sure that you have plenty of windshield washer fluid and that it is rated to -40oC or lower.
  • Plan your route ahead of time. Let someone know of your destination and expected time of arrival. Bring a map and be prepared to take an alternate route.
  • Always keep your gas tank at least half full.
  • Bring a cell phone.
  • Use winter tires.
  • Make sure there is enough space between you and other cars.
  •  Keep a winter driving survival kit in your car that includes booster cables, washer fluid, emergency flares, a survival candle, blanket, first aid kit and highway help sign.

To learn more visit halton.ca/winterdriving and halton.ca/beprepared.

Being prepared is the most important step you can take to stay safe this winter. I wish you all a safe and healthy winter season!

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”.

Partnering with police to protect lives of Halton residents

The new Project Lifesaver Halton program is another example of how we’re working with partners, including the Halton Regional Police Service, to keep our community a safe place to live.

Project Lifesaver Halton helps protect family members who may wander due to Alzheimer’s disease, autism, down syndrome, acquired brain injury or other kinds of cognitive impairment, by providing police with a quick and easy way to find people who are wearing the program tracker if needed.

dsc_7703People participating in the program, coordinated by the Halton Regional Police Service, wear a small bracelet with a transmitter that sends out a radio tracking signal 24-hours a day, seven days a week. If caregivers notify police that the individual is missing, a specially trained emergency response team will use mobile tracking equipment to find them.

As part of our commitment to connect people with the services they need, the Region is supporting Project Lifesaver Halton by offering financial assistance to those eligible for the program. If program participants are in need of financial support to cover program costs, the Halton Regional Police Service will connect them with Halton Region.

dsc_7747Project Lifesaver Halton is just one example of how Halton works to enhance the health and well-being of all residents, no matter what their income, age or stage of life. The Region has several programs and services that provide residents with access to the important supports they need. Residents can find more information online about how Halton provides support in areas such as housing, Ontario Works, transit, employment and childcare.

For more information on Project Lifesaver Halton, residents can visit haltonpolice.ca/projectlifesaver, halton.ca/lifesaver or contact the Halton Regional Police Service by dialing 905-825-4810 or projectlifesaver@haltonpolice.ca.

Through various Regional programs and by working together with our community partners, we can keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire for everyone.

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”.

Protect yourself from West Nile virus

As the summer winds up, it’s easy to start thinking about back-to-school and the autumn season, but did you know that late summer and early autumn are also the times when West Nile virus (WNV) is often spread and when the symptoms of mosquito-borne diseases often start to appear? Working together, we can work to reduce WNV in our communities while making smart, healthy choices.

Since the virus is spread by mosquitoes, until the first hard frost in the fall, the most important step to preventing WNV is to prevent mosquito bites. Taking a few simple actions can make all the difference in protecting your family’s health:

  1. Wear insect repellent with DEET or Icaridin;
  2. Avoid being outdoors at dusk and dawn;
  3. Cover up – wear light coloured clothing that covers your arms and legs; and
  4. Remove areas of standing water from your home since mosquitoes lay their eggs in water that doesn’t flow.

To help control the mosquito population and reduce the risk of WNV, the Halton Region Health Department treats areas of standing water, such as catch basins, with a larvicide. This larvicide prevents the mosquito larvae from maturing into adult mosquitoes. When walking around your neighbourhood, you may have noticed some dots of spray paint on catch basins – these indicate how many rounds of larvicide have been applied to each catch basin.

Health Department staff also set mosquito monitoring traps throughout the region to determine the level of WNV risk. The number and types of mosquitoes trapped are examined and sent for WNV testing. If the Health Department finds West Nile virus positive mosquitoes in the region, we inform the community to remind you how to help prevent the spread of the virus across Halton.

To learn more about how to protect yourself against WNV, visit halton.ca/wnv. Working together to prevent WNV, we can make safe and healthy choice and keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire all year long.

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”.

Protecting Halton from West Nile virus

To help keep West Nile virus (WNV) out of our communities, Halton Region has begun its West Nile virus prevention program. Whether by monitoring and reducing the amount of mosquitoes in Halton or helping our residents make smart choices to prevent West Nile virus, together we can help keep Halton safe and healthy this summer.

Since West Nile virus is spread by mosquitoes, Halton Region is diligent in monitoring and preventing mosquito larvae from hatching to help keep WNV out of Halton. As a result of the relatively dry spring, the Halton Region Health Department has found higher numbers of mosquito larvae in catch basins and other places with standing water. To help control the mosquito population and reduce the threat of West Nile virus, the Health Department has started treating areas of standing water with a larvicide to prevent the mosquito larva from maturing into hungry adult mosquitoes.

Health Department staff also set mosquito monitoring traps throughout Halton Region to determine the level of WNV risk. The number and types of mosquitoes are examined and sent for WNV testing.

While Halton works behind the scenes to reduce the chance of WNV in Halton, you can also help protect yourself and continue to enjoy the warm weather this summer.

The most important step to preventing West Nile virus it to prevent mosquito bites and a few simple actions can make all the difference.

  1. Wear insect repellent with DEET or Icaridin.
  2. Avoid being outdoors at dusk and dawn.
  3. Cover up: wear light coloured clothing that covers your arms and legs.
  4. Remove areas of standing water from your home. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water that does not flow.

If you notice any areas of standing water on public property that can’t be drained or removed, please report it to the Health Department and they can determine if larviciding is necessary.

Working together, we can enjoy a safe and healthy summer and keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

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.”