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Safer Roads Ottawa Program

The Safer Roads Ottawa Program is a leading community partnership between Ottawa Fire Services, Ottawa Paramedic Service, Ottawa Police Service, Ottawa Public Health and the Transportation Department committed to preventing or eliminating road deaths and serious injuries for all people in the City of Ottawa, through culture change, community engagement, and development of a sustainable safe transportation environment. 

Also participating in the Safer Roads Ottawa Program are the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Sureté du Québec, Department of National Defence’s Military Police and Gatineau Police Service to improve road safety for all residents of the national capital region.

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.

The 2020 Implementation Plan is a summary document for the larger 2020 to 2024 Road Safety Action Plan (RSAP) and identifies at a high-level, those countermeasures to improve road safety that are to be completed in 2020. The 2020 Implementation Plan will be presented to City Council on Wednesday, December 11th, 2019. The full Strategic Road Safety Action Plan Update Report is available here.

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


Think Safety, Act Safely.


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


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


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.

Safety Improvement Program

The City's Safety Improvement Program (SIP) touches on all three Es of road safety: education, enforcement and engineering, with primary focus on engineering. The program selects locations to study, carries out in-depth studies of collision patterns and recommends countermeasures. Typically, the program studies locations with higher-than-average traffic collision rates.

The program is carried out on an annual basis, when year-end traffic collision and volume data becomes available. The study takes all road users, including pedestrians and cyclists, into consideration. SIP assessments lead to recommended changes to signage, pavement markings, traffic control signal timings and phases and/or the installation of skid-resistant asphalt and roadway geometric modifications. The majority of the implemented recommendations are low-cost, high-return measures that provide operational benefits as well as improved safety.

The collection and analysis of the City's collision data is critical to the success of SIP. Police services forward copies of all collision reports to City staff, who maintain a database of relevant information. The analysis of this information is summarized in an annual Collision Statistics Report.

Road safety

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Volunteer with Pathway Patrol


Pathway Patrol was established in 1997 to provide information, improve safety and courtesy, and promote healthy living on Ottawa’s recreational pathways. Pathway Patrol is a City of Ottawa volunteer program working in partnership with the National Capital Commission. We are the “eyes on the path”.

Pathway patrol volunteers

Are you a cyclist? Walker? Runner? Inline skater? Do you enjoy using any of the pathways around your neighbourhood?

Join the Pathway Patrol Volunteers!

Pathway patrollers:

  • Greet pathway users
  • Provide assistance to pathway users
  • Remind users of pathway courtesy and regulations
  • Provide information about the pathway system
  • Promote safety and active living
  • Promote helmet use
  • Monitor pathways use and patrol activities
  • Report obstacles and hazards

Patroller requirements:

Applicants must meet the minimum requirements of:

  • 18+ years of age
  • Complete Police Record Check
  • Complete Pathway Patrol training session
  • Standard First Aid and CPR Level C
  • Cyclists and in-line skaters must wear helmet
  • Able to commit to a minimum of 6 hours of patrolling per month
  • Must provide cell phone
  • Wear the Pathway Patrol Jersey while on patrol
  • Patrols must be with a minimum of 2 people

First AID and CPR training

All Pathway Patrol volunteers must hold a valid Standard First Aid and CPR level C certification.  

Volunteer and get free Training!

Sign-up for Pathway Patrol today:

Email us:

Online application

Call us at: 613-580-2424 ext. 28064