New video and webpages give drivers and parents tools to help stop impaired driving

Impaired driving remains Canada’s number one criminal cause of death with four Canadians killed and 200 injured in alcohol-related crashes every day. To be part of the solution to stop impaired driving, Halton Region, in partnership with the Halton Regional Police Service, has launched new detailed webpages at www.halton.ca/impaired to provide drivers with ways to help plan for a safe ride home, how to report a suspected impaired driver, ways to talk to teens about impaired driving and more.

If you go to the movies in Halton Region over the next few weeks, you’ll see a 30-second public service video highlighting the emotional cost of impaired driving to those left behind. It’s a timely reminder, especially around this time of year, that every choice matters. The video, along with more details about Matthew’s story, is also posted online.

Death and injuries on our roads due to impaired driving are devastating to our community. The impact from any one incident ripples throughout our families, neighbours and communities. Because of this, road safety is a top priority for Halton Regional Council. We want Halton drivers to feel safe on our roads. By partnering with the Halton Regional Police Service, we’re working together to make sure this holiday season is a safe one for everyone.

But we can’t do it alone – we need your eyes on the road to help keep impaired drivers off of them. Through the Halton Drive SAFE program and its Safe Roads… Your Call campaign, you’ll see signs throughout the Region reminding you to call 911 if you see a suspected impaired driver on the roads. One call could save someone’s life.
In addition, if you witness dangerous drivers, you can report them through the Road Watch Program. This is a community driven program encouraging anonymous reporting of incidents involving dangerous and/or aggressive driving. Reports can be made by completing an online form at www.haltonpolice.ca.

This holiday season, help us keep us keep our roads safe while ensuring that Halton remains 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 or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Stopping Red Light Running in Halton

Have you seen someone run a red light? If so, you’re in the company of 40% of Halton drivers who reported seeing someone run a red light at least once a week and 62% who say they’ve witnessed a near-miss accident due to someone running a red.

Clearly this is unacceptable. Halton Region and Halton Regional Police Services work hard to earn the distinction of being named the safest place to live in the GTA and the Safest Municipality in Canada – the fact that half of Halton drivers worry about getting into an accident when driving through an intersection shows we need to do more to increase intersection safety in the Region.

Residents are so concerned about intersection safety that it rates almost as high as concern about drinking and driving. A recent survey found that Halton Region drivers are very concerned about drinking and driving on roads (78%), followed closely by drivers running red lights (72%). With the “Safe Roads…Your Call” program in place which encourages motorists to help police apprehend impaired drivers by calling 9-1-1 when they see a suspected impaired driver, Halton Region is now tackling the important issue of red light running.

To help improve road safety we joined the provincial Red Light Camera Program. With two cameras already installed – one in the City of Burlington and one in the Town of Oakville – we’re currently planning where to put the next 10 cameras to discourage people from running red lights.

Red light cameras are about saving lives. With at least one accident every week in Halton Region attributed to someone running a red light, it’s important to remember that running red lights is not only dangerous, it’s also illegal.

Red light cameras are only a piece of the puzzle to reduce aggressive driving on our roads. You too can do something about aggressive driving – report it!

If you see a driver demonstrating unsafe driving behaviour, you can submit a Citizen Report Form through the Halton Community Road Watch program. The police then send an information letter to the registered vehicle owner explaining that their vehicle was observed being operated in an unsafe manner at a specific time and location and asking for voluntary compliance. For more information, visit www.haltonroadwatch.ca.

Working together, we can make our roads safer for everyone. For more information on red light cameras, dial 311 or visit http://www.halton.ca/stoponred.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

This summer, be sure to Drive SAFE

As we head into the first long weekend of the summer, we all need to take a minute to make sure that our long weekend plans include safe driving.

To help lower the number of speeding and aggressive drivers on Halton roads, Halton Region and Halton Regional Police Service teamed up for a road safety campaign, Drive SAFE (Safety Awareness for Everyone).

The aim of the Drive SAFE campaign is to reduce speeding and make aggressive driving less socially acceptable, while reminding drivers to be aware of their surroundings when driving. To highlight these issues, Halton Region and the Halton Regional Police Service created the “Speeding Costs” road signs, reminding drivers entering Halton of the costs associated with speeding and the “Safe Roads…Your Call” road signs, which encourages motorists to call 9-1-1 when witnessing an impaired driver travelling on the roadway.

As the Chair of Halton Region, I have the pleasure to sit on the Board of the Halton Region Police Service (HRPS) External Link. As a member of the board, I have the opportunity to hear about the community programs HRPS is involved in with the community, as well as learn about ways we can work together to keep our community safe.

One exciting project currently run in Halton Region is the Community Road Watch External Link program, a community-operated program that gives residents the opportunity to report aggressive and unsafe drivers through a Citizen Report form External Link to Police. 

A new radar speed message board called Speedi was also implemented. Equipped with a video camera that displays speeds of passing motorists, Speedi takes video pictures of speeding vehicles and their license plates. Owners of offending vehicles can then expect to receive a Road Watch External Link warning letter in the mail letting them know their vehicle was involved in a speeding infraction.

Halton Region and the Halton Region Police Service also developed three 30-second public service announcements. Working with Halton Region Emergency Medical Services, one video highlights the proper steps to take when an emergency vehicle is approaching while you are driving. The other two videos were created with the Regional Cycling Committee to help raise awareness of bicycle and driver safety in Halton Region.

Together we can help keep Halton’s roads safe by being mindful of the speed limit and patient with our fellow drivers. As you’re planning your fun for the long weekend, be sure to plan your ride to and from the party. Hop on the GO to get around the GTA, book a taxi, take local transit, or plan to spend the night – whatever you do, don’t drink and drive

This summer, help keep Halton roads safe. Drive SAFE.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”