February 2, 2007

Traffic fatalities decreasing though number of drivers increasing, Transport Canada says

Ottawa, Ontario – The number of drivers continues to increase yearly, and though fatalities rose in 2005, they are in decline over the long term, according to the annual publication, Canadian Motor Vehicle Traffic Collision Statistics. Now up-to-date for 2005 data, it also provides historical information dating back to 1986.

As of 2005, there were over 21.9 million licensed drivers and over 18 million passenger vehicles on Canadian roads, more than ever before. From 2004 to 2005, there was an increase of about 7 per cent in the number of fatalities on Canadian roads. However, while road fatalities represent over 90 per cent of all transportation-related deaths, Canada’s safety record has steadily improved; since 1982, road traffic deaths have declined by almost 30 per cent. In 2005, there were 2,578 fatal collisions, leading to 2,923 deaths. Motor vehicle occupants accounted for 76.6 per cent of all road user fatalities, with 1,557 drivers and 683 passengers killed. In addition, 344 pedestrians, 234 motorcyclists and 52 bicyclists were also killed.

A national plan, Road Safety Vision 2010, aims to raise awareness of road safety issues, to improve collaboration and cooperation among safety agencies, and to toughen enforcement. The plan calls for a 30 per cent decrease in the number of people killed or seriously injured on Canada’s roads by 2010.

The annual report is available at Transport Canada’s website; a free copy may also be ordered by calling 1-800-333-0371.

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