Ontario Taking Immediate Steps to Keep Drivers Safe in Eastern Ontario
Province Working with Eastern Ontario Mayors, Police, Trucking Industry on Highway 401 Safety
Ontario is taking immediate steps to keep families and commuters safe along Highway 401 in eastern Ontario by introducing new winter driving measures.
Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation, was in Kingston today, along with Sophie Kiwala, MPP for Kingston and the Islands, Brett Todd, Mayor of Prescott, Joe Baptista, Mayor of Leeds and the Thousand Islands, and Inspector Paul Bedard, Ontario Provincial Police, to highlight actions the province is taking to improve commercial motor vehicle safety in the region.
These steps will be implemented as Ontario actively works with the mayors of eastern Ontario, the commercial motor vehicle industry and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) on long-term solutions to improve commercial vehicle safety through enforcement, education, training and technology.
Throughout the winter, the province will conduct a series of targeted commercial vehicle enforcement blitzes, focused on distracted and aggressive driving, mechanical fitness and the safe transportation of dangerous goods on Ontario's highways.
The province is helping drivers make informed decisions during winter driving conditions, by introducing improvements to the information provided to all drivers, including commercial vehicles and carriers of dangerous goods. Ontario will add more changeable message signs along Highway 401 from Port Hope to the Quebec border to provide real-time weather specific warnings to all drivers so that they can drive for the conditions, or make alternate travel plans.
A new forecasted driving conditions feature is now also available on Ontario 511 that predicts driving conditions based on forecasted weather, precipitation, wind and temperature, all to help drivers plan their routes. The traveller information service also includes current reported road conditions and more traffic and weather cameras to help drivers stay informed and plan their trips.
Keeping roads and highways safe is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- Ontario is a leader in truck safety standards and enforcement and has some of the toughest penalties in North America for drivers of unsafe commercial vehicles.
- Ontario conducts the highest number of safety inspections on commercial vehicles and drivers annually when compared to other North American jurisdictions.
- From 2005 to 2014, the number of annual fatalities resulting from large truck collisions declined 13 per cent from 125 to 109, despite an increase of 17 per cent in the number of large trucks registered in Ontario.
- $1.24 trillion in goods are moved on Ontario’s roads by truck annually.
- More than 12 million litres of anti-icing liquid were used last winter to help prevent ice and snowpack from forming on provincial highways.
- Winter tires that are in good condition can shorten braking distances by as much as 25 per cent.
- To help drivers plan ahead this year, Ontario has expanded Track My Plow to all 20 of the province’s winter maintenance contract areas, helping more people track the location of snowplows in their area.
“Everyone has a role to play when it comes to road safety. We will continue working with the mayors, and all our partners in policing, trucking and road safety, to keep all drivers safe this winter. Through our new winter driving measures, drivers can stay informed and better plan their trips.”
Steven Del Duca