April 7, 2004

York Regional Police Save-a-Life

NEWMARKET - The Save-a-Life Program is a three-pronged approach to traffic management on York Region roads Engineering, Education and Enforcement. In partnership with York Region's Transportation and Works Department and Health Services Department, the York Regional Police Traffic Bureau and its Community Oriented Response Units conduct strict traffic enforcement and educational programs throughout the year. 
Aggressive and speeding drivers are targeted along with those who do not obey the rules of the road and those not driving in accordance with weather conditions.
"Road safety plays a significant role in reducing congestion on our roads," said York Regional Police Chief Armand La Barge. "Collisions in intersections, which create frustrating traffic delays, are often the result of aggressive driving, which includes speeding, unsafe lane changes and stop sign or red-light runners."
This past winter, Operation Winter Blitz proved a huge success in educating drivers about the need to alter their driving habits according to weather conditions. Snow and ice in winter and rain and fog in spring mean reduced visibility and motorists must learn to slow down. York Regional Police will continue to monitor driving behaviours and ticket anyone driving in an unsafe manner.
Unfortunately, speed continues to be the major contributing factor in serious and fatal motor vehicle collisions on our roads and serious and fatal collisions contribute to traffic tie-ups and gridlock. So far this year, 13 people have died, including five pedestrians, in ten collisions in York Region. In 2003, 29 people died in 28 collisions; in 2002, 49 people died in 41 collisions.
Neighbourhood-based Road Watch programs and frequent speed enforcement initiatives, combined with diligent enforcement by officers in marked and unmarked vehicles, will continue throughout the spring and summer months targeting those drivers contributing to traffic congestion on our roads.

"Save-a-Life" Results

Although many years of data are required to accurately assess the overall improvements in road safety, initial findings do reflect the downward trend in severe collisions and injury rates.  This trend may in part be attributed to the combined efforts of the education, enforcement and engineering strategies established through the Save- a- Life Program.
 picture of a line chart
The chart above shows that population growth in York Region has increased approximately 4.5% per year since 1999.  The rate of increase in Fatal and Injury collisions is less than the population growth rate.  The rate of increase for Property Damage Only collisions is higher than the population growth rate.  This may be as a result of the increase in congestion levels and traffic volumes.  It appears that in 2003 the upward trend in Fatal and Injury collisions has been reversed significantly.

Contact:   Nancy Vosylius, Corporate Communications, York Region
- (905) 830-4444 or 1-877-464-9675, ext. 1226
- Email: Nancy.Vosylius @region.york.on.ca

The Regional Municipality of York is committed to providing cost-effective, quality services that respond to the needs of our rapidly growing communities.  York Region is comprised of the following nine area municipalities:  Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville.  For more information, visit our Web site at:  www.region.york.on.ca

Contact: Patrick Casey, Senior Media Relations Specialist, York Region

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