Summary: The Halifax Cycling Coalition, The Bicycle Mayor of Halifax and the Healthy Populations Institute have written to Municipal and Provincial decision-makers to request urgent action on vulnerable road user safety. Three awareness-raising videos have also been released.
About Road Safety Week: The 7th UN Global Road Safety Week runs from 15-21 May 2023. It calls for policy makers to #RethinkMobility in order to make walking, cycling, and public transport safe and convenient so that people can make the shift to active, sustainable mobility. This modal shift is one of the recommendations in the Global Plan for the Decade of Action 2021-2030. – UN/WHO, 2023
Key UN/WHO Campaign Messages: “Safety must be at the core of efforts to reimagine how we move in the world.”
“When safe, walking and cycling can contribute to making people healthy, cities sustainable, and societies equitable.”
With these messages from the World Health Organization in mind, we have written to municipal and provincial decision-makers to urge action on changes that prioritize the safety of our most vulnerable road users.
We welcomed the adoption of targets to reduce injury and fatal incidents for all road users by 20% every five years. And a policy commitment to equity – ensuring vulnerable road user safety is prioritized.
However in 2022, injury and fatal incidents involving pedestrians and cyclists in Mi’kma’ki on designated as the Halifax Regional Municipality significantly increased over baseline 2018/19 levels.
We are deeply concerned by a lack of progress on key goals and core ambitions in the Integrated Mobility Plan and Road Safety Framework 2018, also delays with completing the Traffic Safety Act and Road User Regulations.
Achieving these objectives is essential to support safe mobility for vulnerable road users.
Whilst we are encouraged by the recent Regional Council motion to explore a proactive approach to how infrastructure projects best reflect policy priorities in the Integrated Mobility Plan, we hope for review and realignment of all current projects with those key policy priorities.
Our action requests:
- Address increasing vulnerable road user injuries with a significant shift in approach.
- Implement key action requirements in the Road Safety Framework relating to vulnerable road user safety.
- Commit to the end of 2024 as a new deadline for completing a cycling network, using tactical methods.
- Provide a renewed commitment to completing the new Traffic Safety Act and Regulations by a fixed deadline (Province of Nova Scotia)
Awareness-raising videos exploring issues downtown: