The newly-created Canadian Coalition on Distracted Driving (CCDD) has wrapped up its first ever meeting, a two-day working session in Ottawa where it began work on creating a National Action Plan to combat distracted driving.
An initiative of the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF), Drop It And Drive and The Co-operators, the CCDD is the first coalition of its kind in Canada. The multi-sectoral group includes members from various levels of government, enforcement, academia, health, industry and communities. Their expertise is varied, including road safety research, injury prevention and health care, policy, enforcement, as well as the insurance, automotive and trucking industries.
“As a member of the Canadian Coalition on Distracted Driving, the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario understands the importance of tackling this problem in our province and across the country. Sharing strategies and data will assist us all in addressing this increasingly significant issue,” said John Lefebvre, manager, special projects, safety policy & education branch, Ministry of Transportation of Ontario.
As part of its Drive Out Distraction program, The Co-operators entered into a partnership with TIRF aimed at reducing the incidence of distracted driving in Canada. In December, they released Distracted Driving in Canada: Making Progress, Taking Action, which provides a snapshot of the many initiatives across the country to address the problem. The report identified the need for a national action plan and recommended the creation of a national working group. This led to the establishment of the CCDD, which plans to release a national action plan later this year.
“The complexity of the distracted driving problem makes it a challenge to change behaviour, so it is critical that we invest time, energy and resources to develop an informed and evidence-based plan that is achievable, and that more importantly contributes to behaviour change,” said Robyn Robertson, president & CEO of TIRF. “The diversity of agencies that are participating in the coalition speaks not only to the pervasiveness and seriousness of this issue, but also to their commitment to sharing expertise to find the most effective ways to keep Canadians safe.”