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‘Roadmap’ offers direction in distracted driving fight


SCARBOROUGH, Ont. – The Canadian Trucking Alliance is defining a “roadmap” to help curb collisions linked to distracted driving.

Underlying ideas were unveiled in Scarborough, Ont. during last week’s annual meeting of the Canadian Coalition on Distracted Driving, which included the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF), road safety groups, police, insurers, and government officials.

“There is no silver bullet to eliminating incidences of distracted driving. Solutions will need to come from government and industry, so we are developing a holistic, ‘roadmap’ approach with TIRF and input from our membership that explores four key areas – prevention and planning, monitoring, enforcement and evaluation,” said Geoff Wood, the alliance’s senior vice-president of policy.

Short-term action items identified by the group include adding distracted driving messages to driver training material, adopting technologies such as electronic logging devices (ELDs) to help keep minds on tasks, and focusing on the feasibility of regulations for forward-facing cameras. The alliance also wants “meaningful, proactive consequences” for those who are caught driving distracted, as well as pilot tests and incentives to identify the next generation of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), to ensure they’re ready for Canadian operating conditions.
“We believe there are areas where can have an impact in the shorter term and we would like to get working on those plans with our road safety partners as soon as possible,” said Wood.

The CTA is now looking to establish a working group of carriers and industry suppliers with the Traffic Injury Research Foundation, to produce a related policy paper on distracted driving.

The paper will focus on technologies that can reduce distractions; identify the returns on investments linked to related technologies; the feasibility of mandating certain technologies; and recommended best management practices for drivers, dispatchers, operations teams, and customers.


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