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Service NL
November 21, 2012

The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Nick McGrath, Minister of Service NL:

Minister Commemorates National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today in this Honourable House to pay tribute and commemorate the National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims.

The National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims is an annual event which remembers those killed or seriously injured on Canadian roads. This is the fifth year for the event, which places a focus on key areas such as increased enforcement, the building of safer vehicles and a general change in road user behaviors.

Mr. Speaker, my department is responsible for the Highway Traffic Act, and we are constantly reviewing the act to determine how we can make adjustments to ensure that we are making roadways safer and protecting the public. This is done through education and awareness, as well as ensuring our law enforcement officials have the best tools possible to assist them in their daily work.

In recent years the Provincial Government has made amendments to the Highway Traffic Act, designed to strengthen the act and turn the tide of senseless tragedies caused by reckless and impaired driving. The act was also amended to authorize police to use traffic safety stops as a means of determining whether drivers are driving while suspended, driving without insurance or driving while impaired.

Mr. Speaker, our efforts do seem to be making a difference. Here in this province in 2010, we saw an 11.4 per cent decrease in fatalities and a one per cent decrease in injuries. Through strengthening our enforcement activities and an increase in awareness, we are beginning to see a shift in behaviour behind the wheel.

But we must remain vigilant in our efforts, and continue this positive trend in road safety, especially as we approach the holiday season. This is the time of year when families and friends get together to share a toast and celebrate the season of giving. We must maintain a heightened sense of awareness of moose on our highways, dangerous and slippery road conditions and avoid driving when we are impaired or fatigued.

Mr. Speaker, working together, as government, law enforcement agencies and the community, we can continue to bring the importance of road safety to the forefront, and do our part to bring an end to senseless tragedies on our roads and highways.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

2012 11 21                            2:15 p.m.

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