Working to reduce distracted driving in Canada
The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF), with its Drop It And Drive® (DIAD) program, and in partnership with Co-operators, conducted a multi-stage project to reduce distracted driving in Canada.
In Phase 1, an environmental scan involving a broad cross-section of stakeholders was undertaken to gain an understanding of activities to reduce distracted driving that were underway in Canada. The results of the scan were published in a report entitled Distracted Driving in Canada: Making Progress, Taking Action which identified the need for a national action plan to combat the problem.
In Phase 2, the Canadian Coalition on Distracted Driving (CCDD) was formed to bring together experienced professionals representing diverse sectors to identify opportunities to address the problem. The first meeting took place in Ottawa in June 2016 and the main outcome of the meeting was a National Action Plan for Canada on distracted driving that contained a series of tools to support the efforts of many organizations.
Increased Action Plan Participation
The CCDD met again in April 2017 in Ottawa and, in addition to CCDD members, a much larger number of stakeholder organizations were invited to participate and provide input into activities related to the Action Plan.
The CCDD launched a new web-based information hub in January 2018, one of the components of the Action Plan, at www.diad.tirf.ca/ehub. It is designed as a resource with tools to help governments and interested stakeholders develop effective strategies to reduce distracted driving. The hub contains the latest research, stats and data on distracted driving, laws and penalties in Canada, and a variety of educational tools and resources.
In addition to the fully bilingual fact sheets that were released by the CCDD in November, other elements of the Action Plan are also underway. A call to action for health practitioners was published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Physical Sports Therapy.
Workgroups involving insurance, enforcement, the trucking industry and health professionals are being established to increase awareness in these sectors and build partnerships to reduce distracted driving. The third annual meeting of the CCDD is scheduled for Spring 2018 and will focus on technologies and their role in reducing distracted driving.