New statistics show that fewer people are dying on Canada’s roads. The latest edition of the Canadian Motor Vehicle Traffic Collision Statistics – released annually by Transport Canada – provides statistics on motor vehicle collisions and casualties for the year 2003, as well as historical information dating back to 1984. The figures reveal that there are 21.7 million licensed drivers and over 18.8 million passenger vehicles on Canadian roads – more than ever before. In spite of this, collisions and casualties decreased by five per cent from the previous year, and injuries were down by three per cent. “I am pleased to see a decrease in lives lost on Canadian roads,” said Transport Minister Jean-C. Lapierre. “Transport Canada will continue to work with its partners on Road Safety Vision 2010 and other initiatives to continue to further reduce fatalities and injuries on our roadways.” Although road fatalities still represent over 90 per cent of all transportation-related fatalities, Canada’s road safety record has steadily improved over the years. Since 1980, road traffic deaths have declined by almost 50 per cent. The statistics, collected by Transport Canada in cooperation with the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, show that in the year 2003, there were 2,496 fatal collisions leading to 2,778 deaths. Motor vehicle occupants accounted for 76.6 per cent of all road user fatalities, with 1,473 drivers and 656 passengers killed. In addition, 378 pedestrians, 178 motorcyclists and 45 bicyclists were also killed on the road. Road Safety Vision 2010, an initiative introduced by the federal, provincial and territorial governments and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, aims to raise awareness of road safety issues, to improve collaboration and cooperation among safety agencies and to toughen enforcement. This national plan calls for a 30 per cent decrease by 2010 in the average number of people killed or seriously injured on Canada’s roads. Transport Canada receives data from the provinces and territories related to collisions occurring in these areas. The department uses these statistics to further improve road safety through public awareness and outreach programs with the goal of making Canada’s roads the safest in the world.