A report in the Toronto Star notes that vulnerable road users are less well protected than our politicians would have us believe. According to
a new WHO report Canada is now at the “
back of the pack when it comes to policies aimed at protecting vulnerable road user”. The report states that
77 per cent of United Nations countries carry out safety audits to ensure the safety of road infrastructure projects for cyclists and pedestrians but Canada does not. Many studies show the
types of walking and cycling infrastructures needed to improve road safety. These include safe routes and crossings for pedestrians, and my favourite – slower traffic speeds, along with dedicated cycling lanes. Yet most Canadian cities lack such policies. Overall road deaths around the world are down slightly, since the previous Global Status Report on Road Safety in 2009 and Canada mirrors this trend. However, world wide polices tend to neglect walkers and cyclists.
Editors comment: In Canada, it appears there are no consistent national, provincial or municipal level policies that require safety audits or assessments of road construction projects. To a large extent policies reflect political priorities not safety concerns. This is not surprising in a country where injury prevention is largely buried (and woefully underfunded) in the Public Health Agency of Canada. Visit the website and decide for yourself if I am exaggerating.