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Road Safety Action Plan

Road Safety Action Plan

Since 2003, the City of Ottawa has implemented two Road Safety Action Plans (RSAP). The first was implemented in 2003 and concluded in 2011 as part of the Integrated Road Safety Program. The second took place from 2012 to 2016, was delivered as part of the Safer Roads Ottawa Program (SRO) and, resulted in a 14 per cent reduction in fatal and major injury collisions in Ottawa.

The purpose of refreshing the City’s RSAP is to build on the success of the previous plan. The refreshed plan, known as the 2020-2024 Road Safety Action Plan, is guided by the theme of “Think Safety, Act Safely” and focuses efforts and resources where they are needed most to have the greatest impact on reducing collisions resulting in serious injury or death.

Road Safety Action Plan - Think Safety, Act Safely

There was an average of 150 collisions resulting in fatal or serious injuries, involving all road users, annually on Ottawa roads from 2015-2019. One fatality or serious injury is one too many. We all have a role to play in reducing loss of life and life-altering injuries due to collisions on our roads.

About the Road Safety Action Plan (RSAP)

The 2020-2024 Ottawa Road Safety Action Plan is an integrated, comprehensive, and proactive strategy for making our roads safer for all users–and for continuing to advance toward zero fatal and serious injury collisions. The RSAP:

  • builds on the successes of Ottawa’s first and second road safety action plans, which have delivered some of the best collision reduction results in the country, including a 14% reduction since the last Action Plan was implemented
  • incorporates input and guidance from residents, community stakeholders, road safety advocates and experts
  • integrates proven road safety best practices and innovative new measures that include engineering, enforcement, and education

The action plan addresses these key road safety emphasis areas for our city:

  • Vulnerable Road Users (Pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists)
  • Intersections
  • Rural Roads
  • High-Risk Drivers (speeding, aggressive and impaired driving)

20% Reduction

Theme

Think Safety, Act Safely.

Vision

A comprehensive and proactive strategy for making Ottawa roads safe for all users.

Goal

A reduction in the average annual rate of fatal and major injury collisions of 20% by 2024.

The full Strategic Road Safety Action Plan Update Report is available here.

2021 Implementation Plan Highlights

The 2021 RSAP implementation plan sets out to enhance existing programs and to introduce new strategies and tactics to make our roads safer. These measures–which integrate education, enforcement, and engineering–will together address the road safety focus areas: vulnerable road users, high-risk driving, rural roads, and intersections. While enforcement is the responsibility of Ottawa Police Service, valuable contributions to road safety are also made by Ottawa Fire Services, Ottawa Paramedic Service and Ottawa Public Health.

View the PDF version of the 2021 Implementation Plan

Making Roads Safer for Vulnerable Users

Pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists are the most vulnerable users of our roads. These are some of the actions that will be undertaken to address their safety in 2021.

  • The City continues to grow and improve its cycling network and has been adding cycling infrastructure to key areas such as Bay Street and Laurier Avenue.
  • Allocate funding to the Cycling Safety Improvement Program to implement cycling enhancements.
  •  
  • Allocate funding to the Pedestrian Safety Evaluation Program to implement low cost measures to address pedestrian safety issues at up to 10 locations.
  • Implement high-visibility ladder markings at 10 locations.
  • The City is overseeing the maintenance of over 40 bike repair stations across Ottawa, as well as the installation of several new ones.
  • The City is facilitating a free Enhanced Motorcycle Safety Course for its residents throughout the month of July and start of August. This course focuses on emergency braking techniques, principles, and application of “Threshold Braking”, brake balancing to avoid collisions, reaction time and collision avoidance, surviving and preventing high risk situations and risk assessment process in high risk situations, such as intersections. Registration can be found here.
  • The City is creating a Motorcycle Safety Working Group with community members and groups. Working together, the working group will be dedicated to improving motorcycle safety in our communities.
  • Deliver school zone enforcement blitzes as operations allow.
  • Apply leading pedestrian interval (LPI) criteria and report total LPI and "No right turn on red restrictions" implemented on an annual basis.

Reducing Collisions at Intersections

Almost half of all fatal and serious injury collisions in Ottawa each year happen at intersections. The following are some of the actions that will be undertaken in 2021 to address safety at intersections.

  • Added more fully protected left turn arrows.
  • Geometric modifications at one high-ranking location for fully protected left turn installation.
  • Reviewed and updated signal timings at more than 200 intersections.
  • Developed a network screening process to identify locations requiring safety improvements.
  • Selection of three intersections from the high-volume cycling safety study for detailed design.
  • Allocate additional funding to the New Traffic Control Devices Program to design one intersection that meets warrants for traffic signals.
  • Complete required modifications at one at-grade rail crossing to comply with Transport Canada Grade Crossing Regulations.
  • Design underway for Pedestrian Crossover (PXO) crossings at three roundabouts.
  • Continued to apply the complete streets policy for new roadways and re- construction project.
  • Update Sight Distance Measurement Guidelines.
  • Continued the use of roundabouts at intersections on new roadways, reconstructions, and roadway modifications.
  • The City has added a number of safety infrastructure to ensure pedestrians can safely cross the road such as protected intersections, advanced crossing lights and audible cues to crossroads for those with a disability.
  • Complete a Detailed Safety Assessment (DSA) together with the rail authority at five at-grade rail crossings.

Making Rural Roads Safer

More fatal injury collisions happen on Ottawa’s rural roads than anywhere else in the city. The following are some of the actions that will be undertaken to make rural roads safer.

  • Redesigning 12 “skewed” rural intersections.
  • Conduct rural speed enforcement blitzes as operations allow.
  • Detailed design for geometric modifications at three rural skewed intersections.
  • Improving the process for identifying road shoulder maintenance priorities. Upgrade approximately 20 linear km of gravel shoulders on rural roads to help reduce the occurrence of edge drop-off related incidents.
  • Enhanced delineation on horizontal curves identified through the new network screening process to improve safety at five locations.
  • Develop a guideline to select locations on candidate rural road resurfacing projects.
  • Complete pilot study to evaluate constructability and maintenance. If acceptable pilot study results are achieved, create specifications for safety edge installation and identify a process to select locations for rural road resurfacing projects starting in 2022.

Addressing High-Risk Drivers

Aggressive, distracted, and impaired driving were contributing factors in approximately 450 fatal and serious collisions between 2013 and 2017. The following are some of the actions that will be undertaken in 2021 to reduce the harms caused by high-risk drivers.

  • More red-light running cameras installed at high collision intersections.
  • Gateway speed limit areas with signage to establish 40 km/h or 30 km/h limit areas will continue to be implemented within neighbourhoods.
  • Distribution of community “Slow Down for Us” signage to promote reduced speeds in high-risk areas.
  • The introduction of traffic calming measures in select school areas.
  • A broad range of enforcement measures delivered principally by Ottawa Police Service will continue.
  • Deploy automated license plate recognition devices across the city to enforce suspended drivers.
  • Deliver distracted driving enforcement blitzes.
  • Deliver an impaired driving (drugs and alcohol) educational initiative for teens.
  • Deliver intelligence-led monthly RIDE Program across the city.
  • Assign speed related enforcement initiatives based on intelligence-led data.
  • Operation Springboard: Deliver intelligence-led intersection enforcement initiative.
  • Automated speed enforcement pilot locations will be assessed.
  • Conduct monthly enforcement initiatives related to: following too close, stop sign violations, unsafe lane changes, red-light running, school bus/school safety zone, impaired driving, unsafe vehicles and heavy trucks, cycling safety, motorcycle safety, pedestrian safety, speeding, construction zones, distracted driving, etc.

Creating a Culture of Road Safety

During 2021, Safer Roads Ottawa will undertake an overall road safety communications program targeting all road users and encouraging them to Think Safety and Act Safely.

City of Ottawa policies–and those planning, designing, and constructing our road network–are likewise critical to road safety. The City, its suppliers, developers, and builders are all encouraged to Think Safety, Act Safely when proposing policies and integrating new construction projects and developments.

City of Ottawa plans and programs that impact road safety:

  • Transportation Master Plan
  • Building Better and Smarter Suburbs
  • Ottawa Pedestrian Plan
  • Ottawa Cycling Plan Update
  • Complete Streets Implementation Framework
  • Arterial Road Corridor Design Guidelines
  • 30 Km/h Speed Limit Policy
  • Traffic Calming Design Guidelines
  • Safer Roads Ottawa Plan
  • Road Safety Audits

Road Safety Action Plan 3.0: 2020 Implementation Plan

View the PDF version of the 2020 Implementation Plan.

Think Safety, Act Safely

There was an average of 149 collisions resulting in fatal or serious injuries, involving all road users, annually on Ottawa roads from 2013-2017. One fatality or serious injury is one too many. We all have a role to play in reducing loss of life and life-altering injuries due to collisions on our roads.

About the Action Plan 3.0

The 2020-2024 Ottawa Road Safety Action Plan is an integrated, comprehensive and proactive strategy for making our roads safer for all users–and for continuing to advance toward zero fatal and serious injury collisions. The Action Plan:

  • builds on the successes of Ottawa’s first and second road safety action plans, which have delivered some of the best collision reduction results in the country, including a 14% reduction since the last Action Plan was implemented
  • incorporates input and guidance from residents, community stakeholders, road safety advocates and experts
  • integrates proven road safety best practices and innovative new measures that include engineering, enforcement and education

The action plan addresses these key road safety focus areas for our city:

  • Pedestrians
  • Cyclists
  • Motorcyclists
  • Intersections
  • Rural Roads
  • High-Risk Drivers

20% Reduction

Theme

Think Safety, Act Safely.

Vision

A comprehensive and proactive strategy for making Ottawa roads safe for all users.

Goal

A reduction in the average annual rate of fatal and major injury collisions of 20% by 2024.

Investment

In 2019, The City of Ottawa invested $25 million in programs related to road safety. In 2020, that investment will increase to $31.5 million, which includes a one-time $4 million enhancement to implement measures identified in the updated Road Safety Action Plan. It is anticipated to increase even more significantly in 2021 and beyond, when additional revenue from new automated enforcement measures (speed cameras, red light cameras, school bus cameras, automated license plate recognition) will be directly invested in the Road Safety Action Plan.

2020 Implementation Plan Highlights

The additional $4 million available for road safety during 2020 will be used to enhance existing programs and to introduce new strategies and tactics to make our roads safer. These measures–which integrate education, enforcement and engineering–will together address the road safety focus areas: vulnerable road users, intersections, rural roads and high-risk drivers. While enforcement is the responsibility of Ottawa Police Service, valuable contributions to road safety are also made by Ottawa Fire Services, Ottawa Paramedic Service and Ottawa Public Health.

Making Roads Safer for Vulnerable Users

Pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists are the most vulnerable users of our roads. These are some of the actions that will be undertaken to address their safety in 2020.

  • Enhanced, high visibility crosswalk markings will be added at 10 high priority locations
  • Pedestrian countdown timers and AODA compliant pedestrian push buttons will be installed at all new intersections and when existing intersections are upgraded
  • The Adult Crossing Guard Program will be expanded by 10 new locations
  • Additional no right turn on red restrictions will be added at priority locations
  • New mid-block pedestrian signals will be installed at two locations
  • The Walking School Bus program will be expanded with a hybrid paid/volunteer model
  • Education and outreach on new and existing pedestrian infrastructure will be expanded
  • More advanced pedestrian walk signals will be added at locations downtown and near schools
  • Geometric modifications will be made at one high risk intersection and new low-cost safety measures will be implemented at additional locations
  • The Be Safe Be Seen initiative will be expanded to 24 events per year
  • A review of high-volume cycling/vehicle interaction locations will be completed to guide future designs; a detailed design will be developed for one location
  • Expansion of the cycling network will continue
  • A comprehensive motorcycle fatal and serious injury collision study will identify trends and measures to improve safety
  • A broad range of enforcement measures delivered principally by Ottawa Police Service will continue
  • Cycling safety enhancements will be made to 10 locations, including signs, signals, pavement markings, bike lanes, bike boxes and cross rides
  • Red Reverts eliminated at signals where multi-use pathways and cross-rides are present
  • Motorcycle safety training will be expanded to 300 participants
  • New cycling safety technologies like curb products and cycling detection feedback will be assessed and piloted
  • The number of cycling safety courses available to the public will be increased
  • Take It to the Track events will be expanded to engage high risk motorcyclists

In addition to these highlights, engagement initiatives, and communications campaigns will be funded.

Reducing Collisions at Intersections

Almost half of all fatal and serious injury collisions in Ottawa each year happen at intersections. The following are some of the actions that will be undertaken in 2020 to address safety at intersections.

  • Fully protected left turn arrows will be added at 12 locations
  • New design measures will be undertaken to reduce collisions at one high collision intersection
  • New and emerging safety devices for intersections will be piloted, tested and evaluated
  • A broad range of enforcement measures delivered principally by Ottawa Police Service will continue
  • Signal timings at more than 200 intersections will be reviewed and updated
  • Upgrades to two at-grade rail crossings will be completed to ensure the city meets the 2021 deadline to comply with Transport Canada Grade Crossing Regulations
  • New network screening process will be introduced to identify locations requiring safety improvements
  • Detailed designs will be developed for 2 locations meeting signal warrants (roundabouts and protected intersections considered during design)
  • The complete streets policy will continue for new roadways and re- construction projects
  • Roundabouts will continue to be added on new roadways, reconstruction and roadway modifications

Making Rural Roads Safer

More fatal injury collisions happen on Ottawa’s rural roads than anywhere else in the city. The following are some of the actions that will be undertaken to make rural roads safer.

  • Safety edges will be added on roadways where technically feasible
  • Functional designs will be developed for 12 “skewed” rural intersections
  • Rural stop locations along one corridor per year will be equipped with oversized stop signs, stop ahead signs, and flashing LED beacons as required
  • An improved process for identifying road shoulder maintenance priorities will be introduced
  • A broad range of enforcement measures delivered principally by Ottawa Police Service will continue

Addressing High-Risk Drivers

Aggressive, distracted and impaired driving was a contributing factors in approximately 450 fatal and serious collisions between 2013 and 2017. The following are some of the actions that will be undertaken to reduce the harms caused by high-risk drivers.

  • More red-light running cameras will be installed at high collision intersections
  • Gateway speed limit areas with signage to establish 40 km/h or 30 km/h limit areas will continue to be implemented within neighbourhoods
  • Traffic calming measures will be enhanced in school areas
  • A broad range of enforcement measures delivered principally by Ottawa Police Service including RIDE programs and others will continue
  • Automated speed enforcement pilot locations will be assessed
  • A broad range of communications and education programs targeting high-risk driving behaviours including cannabis and stunt driving will be undertaken

Creating a Culture of Road Safety

During 2020, Safer Roads Ottawa will undertake an overall road safety communications program targeting all road users and encouraging them to Think Safety and Act Safely.

City of Ottawa policies–and those planning, designing and constructing our road network–are likewise critical to road safety. The city, its suppliers, developers and builders are all encouraged to Think Safety, Act Safely when proposing policies and integrating new construction projects and developments.

City of Ottawa plans and programs that impact road safety:

  • Transportation Master Plan
  • Building Better and Smarter Suburbs
  • Ottawa Pedestrian Plan
  • Ottawa Cycling Plan Update
  • Complete Streets Implementation Framework
  • Arterial Road Corridor Design Guidelines
  • 30 Km/h Speed Limit Policy
  • Traffic Calming Design Guidelines
  • Safer Roads Ottawa Plan
  • Road Safety Audits

Read the entire Road Safety Action Plan Report.