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first_img banning hand-held cellphones expanding penalties for street racing making punishments tougher for driving with a .05 blood-alcohol level retrofitting 100 series highways with rumble strips as part of repaving projects legislating and funding public safety improvements for crosswalks, school zones, bicycles and buses The Nova Scotia Road Safety Action Plan will be released later this year. The departments of Health and Wellness, Justice, Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal and Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations are working on the strategy. Road safety survey highlights are available at www.gov.ns.ca/tran/publications . The province will use information from a 2011 survey of Nova Scotians to continue improving road safety. The 2011 Nova Scotia Road Safety Survey provides insight into the public’s knowledge, attitudes and behaviours and reveals that Nova Scotians are concerned about dangerous driving and inattention. “We all need to pay attention to the road and be aware of the consequences if we don’t,” said Bill Estabrooks, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. “We need to use what Nova Scotians said to guide our work with partners to improve road safety for everyone.” “Whether we are on foot, on a bike, a bus or in a car, we all travel on roads and we all have a role in making them safer,” said Jackie Norman, president and CEO, Safety Service Nova Scotia. The survey results will be released at the organization’s third annual road safety conference today, March 27. Findings show that most people understand the dangers of risky road behaviour, such as driving under the influence of alcohol, prescribed drugs or illegal substances, or driving while distracted by cellphones and other telecommunications devices. Results also showed that knowing the dangers does not always stop bad habits. Ten per cent of those surveyed in 2011 said they often use mobile telecommunications devices while driving, up from six per cent in 2009. Nineteen per cent said they had to avoid a crash in the past year and 72 per cent said it happened more than once. “Even though drivers view distracted driving as a serious concern, 80 per cent of them said they had engaged in at least four distracting activities while driving during the past month,” said Kent Speiran, Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal’s manager of road safety. “We estimate that more than 6,000 people nod off at the wheel every year. Most people think that it’s not going to happen to them.” Corporate Research Associates surveyed 1,400 people 16 years or age and older. Respondents were asked to rate the seriousness of traffic safety issues. The top four were drivers using cellphones (74 per cent), driver distraction (72 per cent), drinking and driving (71 per cent) and speeding (65 per cent). Questions also focused on illicit and prescription drug use and awareness of penalties for driving with a blood alcohol level of .05 or .08. One in 10 said they had been in a car with a driver who had been consuming alcohol or drugs. Nearly seven of 10 said a person cannot drive safely after taking any illegal drugs. “The survey tells us that we need to do more to change people’s behaviour to make our roads safer,” Mr. Speiran said. “The information will help us as we move forward with our provincial road safety action plan.” Surveys, consultations and research have led to provincial partnerships that are allowing measures to make roads safer and life better for families in Nova Scotia, such aslast_img read more