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N.S. highway safety improved in 2003

HALIFAX, N.S. -- Last year was the safest to be on Nova Scotia's highways and roads, according to fatality statisti...

HALIFAX, N.S. — Last year was the safest to be on Nova Scotia’s highways and roads, according to fatality statistics compiled by the province.

There were fewer people killed and fewer fatal collisions than the past five years.

“It’s the kind of trend we hope will continue,” said acting Transportation and Public Works Minister Ernest Fage. “While there are still too many fatalities, it appears drivers are learning that safety is the number one priority while you’re on the road.”

Seventy-one people died on provincial roads last year, compared to 88 in 2002, and 97 in 1999, one of the worst years in recent memory. The difference between last year and 1999 is a 27 per cent reduction.

The decline since 1973 has been even more dramatic. In that year, there were 277 fatalities on Nova Scotia’s roads.

Nova Scotia is an active participant in Transport Canada’s Road Safety Vision 2010, a plan that aims for a 30 per cent decrease in the number of road users killed and seriously injured across Canada by 2010.

Mr. Fage also noted that a decline in highway collisions and serious injuries might help stabilize insurance rates for consumers in the future.

The recently developed provincial injury prevention strategy will also help to address injury. Implementation of the strategy will be led by the Office of Health Promotion in conjunction with other government departments — including Transportation and Public Works — and many non-government organizations. The new strategy will improve collaboration on initiatives to reduce injury across Nova Scotia — at home, at work and on the roads.

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