Recognizing that distracted driving is a growing safety issue across Canada, Transport Canada hosted a National Distracted Driving Roundtable in Montreal with key industry stakeholders, including the Canadian Trucking Alliance and the Quebec Trucking Association.
The session explored activities underway by various industries to address distracted driving; opinions on key actions required to change road user behaviour concerning electronic devices while driving, cycling or walking; and identifying how different sectors can work together to strengthen awareness and enhance road safety.
CTA observed the issue of distracted driving among all road users now poses the highest risk of collision, surpassing impairment and speeding. The Alliance promoted a holistic approach to tackling the problem, focusing on prevention and planning, monitoring, enforcement and evaluation.
Specifically, CTA supports incorporating distracted driving prevention messaging into entry level and ongoing training for truck drivers; as well as adoption of proven technologies such as ELDs, which reduce cognitive distraction; and focusing on the feasibility of regulations for forward-facing cameras for all heavy commercial vehicles.
CTA also discussed how federal and provincial governments can work with industry to focus on-road enforcement on known human factors that contribute to collisions and supporting enforcement and licence agencies to pursue meaningful proactive consequences for those caught driving distracted.
As well, the industry encouraged government to consider incentives and pilot testing for new generation advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) that can play a meaningful role in reducing distraction.
Meanwhile, CTA is currently in the process of establishing a working group of carriers and industry suppliers to produce a “Road Map” Policy paper on the issue of distraction with the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF).