This first-ever consultation on road safety in Québec allowed everyone—individuals, groups and associations—to provide input on how to improve the road safety record, resulting in major amendments to the Highway Safety Code in April 2018. Many of the 80 new measures introduced reflect the opinions and ideas expressed by the public during the road safety consultation held in winter 2017.
In order to have as many individuals, groups and associations as possible participate in the consultation, we offered different ways of taking part:
regional consultation sessions were held in 11 cities across Québec: Chibougamau, Val-d’Or, Gatineau, Baie-Comeau, Rimouski, Trois-Rivières, Saguenay, Sainte-Adèle, Sherbrooke, Montréal and Québec
a questionnaire covering 15 topics allowed people to give their opinions online
people submitted briefs, letters, and other types of documents expressing their ideas and opinions
The aim of the consultation was to stimulate discussions in six priority areas.
Legislation: Over the years, new provisions have been added to several laws and regulations in order to govern the behaviour of road users and impose stiffer penalties for offences.
Public awareness: Every year, a variety of awareness campaigns and activities are carried out (TV commercials, radio ads, social media posts and online ads, and participation in trade shows and in school and business events) throughout Québec to inform road users about good driving behaviours and encourage their adoption.
Enforcement: Roadside inspections, facility audits and increased monitoring near road work zones (specifically for heavy vehicle owners, operators and drivers), targeted police operations and the control of access to the road network through the management of driver’s licences – these are all examples of strategies being used to apprehend and penalize offenders, revoke high-risk road users’ driving privileges and, ultimately, ensure that the bulk of drivers on the road are responsible and respectful and committed to safe behaviour.
Insurance contributions: In recent years, the increasingly safe behaviour of Québec drivers on the road has had a direct impact on the number of accidents. This has resulted in a decrease in compensation-related expenses, which in turn has allowed us to lower the insurance contributions for coverage in the event of bodily injury for over four million drivers and vehicle owners. This proves that an improved road safety record translates into real savings and that “Caution pays off!”
Transportation infrastructure: The implementation of best practices for the development, operation and maintenance of transportation infrastructure helps reduce the number and severity of accidents for all modes of transportation, particularly for active modes (e.g. walking, cycling).
Vehicles: Vehicles equipped with components that make driving safer and that ensure greater protection for passengers in the event of impact also contribute to a decrease in the number and severity of accidents.
The consultation was led by two spokespersons with an undeniable interest in road safety: Ms. Claudia Di Iorio and Mr. Alain Gelly. Their role was to promote the public consultation, to meet with interested individuals and groups during the regional consultation sessions, and to stimulate discussion among participants.
Various road safety topics provided a framework for discussion:
drinking and driving
drugs and driving
health of drivers
infrastructure development and maintenance, and road signs and traffic signals
seat belts and child safety seats
young drivers and road safety education
In addition to recapping the consultation’s objectives and approach, the Public Consultation Summary Document also provides some fast facts that give an overview of participation.