Government Services
Transportation and Works
November 19, 2008

Wreaths Placed at Provincial Weigh Scales to Honour Road Crash Victims

The Honourable Kevin O�Brien, Minister of Government Services, today laid a wreath at the Foxtrap weigh scales to mark November 19 as the first official remembrance in Canada for those injured or killed in road collisions. In keeping with a United Nations� March 2008 resolution calling for a global recognition on this issue, the Canadian Global Road Safety committee is organizing a National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims. The committee consists of Canadian injury prevention and road safety professionals, including the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA). Newfoundland and Labrador is a member of CCMTA.

"On this first ever National Day of Remembrance, wreaths have been laid at all five of our provincial weigh scales as a way to honour those who have been killed or seriously injured in road collisions. The wreaths also help us raise awareness of these incidents, many of which are preventable," said Minister O�Brien. "We can all actively help prevent injuries and deaths by wearing seat belts, driving to the conditions of the road, slowing down, and avoiding driving when tired or impaired by alcohol or drugs. It sounds simple, but adhering to these practices will save lives."

Statistics show that Newfoundland and Labrador is performing better than the Canadian average with respect to reductions in highway fatalities and serious injuries. The national average for 2006 was a reduction by 1.9 per cent over the 2001-2004 average. In this province, that reduction was 12.3 per cent. Despite improvements in these numbers, there is still work which needs to be done to reduce the number of speed-related and impaired driving fatalities and to increase seat belt use.

"Safety is the number one priority of the Department of Transportation and Works and the Provincial Government is investing millions of dollars to help make our roads safer," said the Honourable Trevor Taylor, Minister of Transportation and Works. "Sadly, collisions do occur and today we all pay our respects to the victims and their families."

"This year�s focus for the National Day of Remembrance is impaired driving," said Minister O�Brien. "Impaired driving continues to be a leading cause of death in Canada. The impact on individuals, families, friends and communities is inexcusable. We all know this is an unacceptable practice but people continue to drive impaired. We are committed to reducing incidents of impaired driving by working towards the goals set out in Road Safety Vision 2010, an initiative of the CCMTA."

The goal of Road Safety Vision 2010, a national road safety plan, is to make Canada�s roads the safest in the world. The objective of Road Safety Vision 2010 is to achieve a 30 per cent reduction in highway deaths and serious injuries by 2010. This is supported by eight sub-targets involving measurements of: occupant restraint use; impaired driving; commercial vehicle safety; improved highway safety on rural roadways; high-risk drivers; young drivers; vulnerable road users; speed and intersection safety.

The CCMTA reports to the Council of Ministers and Deputy Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety, a federal/provincial/territorial body.

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Media contacts:
Vanessa Colman-Sadd
Director of Communications
Department of Government Services
709-729-4860, 682-6593
David Salter
Director of Communications
Department of Transportation and Works
709-729-3015, 691-3577

2008 11 19                                                    12:05 p.m.

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