Implementing Further Measures to Reduce Fatalities on the Roads of Halifax

The goals of Halifax’s Strategic Road Safety Framework include a 20 percent reduction in serious collisions by the end of 2023. The Framework was first approved four years ago by Halifax regional council, and a recent update reveals that fatal and injury-causing accidents have already been reduced by 13 percent. While this is an improvement, more needs to be done to reach the city’s goal of zero fatalities within the next five years.  The plan has included the implementation of extra traffic calming measures throughout the city and it is hoped that, together with new province-wide safety campaigns and regulations, these will continue to reduce the number of incidents of dangerous driving in Halifax
Minimising the Number of Traffic Tickets
The Halifax Regional Police Traffic Unit regularly issue driving-related tickets, and in just one week in November, 90 traffic tickets were handed out for speeding and other driving offences. While receiving a traffic ticket may significantly limit driving freedom, according to X-Copper, successfully fighting a ticket can result in a reduced fine or fewer license points.  The main  focus for the Halifax police, however, is to minimise the number of tickets issued in the first place and make the streets safer. To this end, they are currently running a campaign to detect impaired driving and remind drivers to take extra care during the holidays and throughout the winter. 
Introducing Measures to Calm Traffic
One of the ways to ensure safer driving is to install traffic calming measures such as speed humps to slow vehicles and change driver behaviour.  Earlier this year, the Halifax Regional Municipality placed innovative ‘speed cushions’ to slow down passenger vehicles on a road where several accidents have occurred over the past few years. While cars must reduce their speed to pass over the cushions, the design includes cutouts to fit the wheels of larger vehicles such as buses and fire trucks, allowing them to pass through with minimal disruption to their journey. Local residents are pleased with the initiative and if it is deemed effective by the city, the measures could be installed in other locations.
Improving Commercial Vehicle Safety
As well as keeping the roads clear for larger vehicles, new regulations will improve road safety for all commercial drivers in Nova Scotia. From the beginning of 2023, drivers of buses and trucks that are federally regulated will need to record their driving time with an electronic device if they drive outside of the province or travel within more than a 160-kilometre radius of their base. Accurate time logs enable drivers to manage their driving time more efficiently and avoid incidents caused by fatigue behind the wheel.
While the city’s Strategic Road Safety Framework appears to have effectively reduced the number of serious traffic accidents, more still needs to be done to reach zero fatalities on the roads. To help achieve this goal, police safety campaigns, traffic calming measures and amended regulations are all continuing to contribute to safer roads in Halifax.

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