CARSP President End of Year Message
Hello CARSP friends,
As we approach the end of 2022, it is with some relief that we are emerging from a global pandemic. However, we do so with a sense of cautious optimism, as various challenges persist for families, communities, and the health care system.
COVID-19 has impacted every aspect of our lives, including the way we work and move, and on the safety performance of our roads. Traffic levels have generally stabilized but have been accompanied by substantial changes from pre-pandemic patterns, including reduced commuting to workplaces, the continued growth of car-share programs and electric vehicles, and the emergence of various types of mobility, including bike-share and scooter-share programs. Public transit ridership continues to lag behind pre-pandemic levels.
Growth of Vision Zero and Safe System Implementation
Vision Zero is central to CARSP's Strategic Plan. 2022 has seen an increasing adoption of this goal across the country, which states that no loss of life is acceptable on our roads. Formal road safety plans and programs were developed and delivered by more provinces and municipalities reflect a Safe System approach, which emphasizes the importance of and interaction between all components of the system: Safe Roads, Safe Speeds, Safe Road Users, Safe Vehicles and Post-Crash Care. For example, several municipalities across Canada implemented lower residential or default speed limits in 2022, in recognition of the direct correlation between vehicle speeds and the severity of crashes. An increased emphasis on safe land use planning and growing public transit ridership will also be necessary to further develop the Safe System towards achieving Vision Zero.
An international Vision Zero Handbook was released by Springer Publishing in 2022. This publication provides a global picture of activities around the world in support of Vision Zero. CARSP was thrilled to contribute to the Canadian Chapter.
In 2022, CARSP played an active role supporting, along with its partners, the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety, which calls for a 50% reduction in road-related deaths and injuries by 2030. The theme of CARSP’s 2022 Annual Conference, held in Sudbury, Ontario was “Collaborating on the United Nations' (UN) Decade of Action for Road Safety”. The conference was attended by 221 delegates, and for the first time was offered in a hybrid format so that members could participate regardless of health concerns or travel restrictions. The conference was immediately followed by a Vision Zero Symposium in partnership with the Ontario Traffic Council. Thanks to the conference Chair, Brian Jonah, for leading the planning, and to the rest of the planning committee for making this happen!
CARSP Knowledge Exchange and Training
In November 2022, with support from a grant from Transport Canada, CARSP launched the final component of the Knowledge Exchange and Training Hub: a brand-new website that includes more user-friendly and interactive features and an enhanced Safety Network Newsletter (Editors: Samantha Piper and Peter Kehoe). The Hub was designed based on surveys and consultations conducted with CARSP members earlier in the year. CARSP continued its monthly webinar series in 2022, with topics ranging from the Global Decade to motorcycle safety to the ethics of Autonomous Vehicles. We also made progress on an Advanced Vehicle Safety Systems project and sought funding for other projects focused on the development of multi-disciplinary road safety knowledge. Finally, the online program Road Safety Training for Canadian Practitioners, developed by the Transportation Association of Canada and supported by CARSP, became available earlier this year. All CARSP members are encouraged to consider taking this high-quality training program!
CARSP Organization and Management
CARSP has grown to become an organization of 459 members. We continue to be led by our capable Executive Director, Brenda Suggett and our Executive Assistant, Navoda Rillagodage. Our member survey highlighted key priorities and new directions for CARSP, including expanding our partnerships and providing more networking opportunities for our members. The CARSP Board welcomed four new members this year, bringing new ideas and approaches to fulfilling the needs of our general membership. We held an Engagement Event in the fall to introduce the Board and hear from you - thank you for your great questions and comments!
We are especially proud of the continued growth of the Young Professionals Committee under the direction of Robert Colonna and his team. We continue to build capacity in our youth so that we can maintain a consistent workforce well into the future, to conduct research and make important decisions regarding road safety!
Onto Next Year!
We have a lot planned for 2023, starting with our Annual Conference. We are very excited to partner with the Canadian Institute of Transportation Engineers and to welcome you all to Winnipeg, Manitoba! The conference theme is Road Safety: Creating Impact Through Diversity, which underscores the importance of the broad range of people, ideas, skills, approaches it will take to achieving a maximum and lasting impact on road safety.
Also in the pipeline for 2023 is the development of a virtual network for members and developing a plan to assist Lower- and Middle-Income Countries with our expertise. Stay tuned for more on these and other initiatives! To support our expanded services, several valuable volunteer opportunities are available. If you’re interested in making a greater impact on your profession, please feel free to contact myself (email@example.com) or Brenda (firstname.lastname@example.org).
On behalf of the board of directors, I thank you for your continued support of CARSP, and I wish you good health, Happy Holidays and a happy and successful 2023.