A National Action Plan has been published to tackle distracted driving in Canada.

The plan has been developed by the Canadian Coalition on Distracted Driving (CCDD), formed to establish a coordinated and comprehensive blueprint to effectively address distracted driving.

According to the latest fatality data from several Canadian jurisdictions, distracted driving deaths have surpassed impaired driving deaths.

The Plan contains 15 action items organized according to four priority areas: education and prevention, enforcement, data and research, and technology and industry. It was designed to inspire and engage agencies concerned about distracted driving and provide them with tools to help reverse this trend.

“The plan was designed to harness the collective knowledge and learning that has been gained by many organizations,” said Robyn Robertson, president and CEO of the Traffic Injury Research Foundation. “Transforming their experience into practical tools and resources that can be used by a much larger group of stakeholders can improve efficiency and affect outcomes on a larger scale.”

In developing the plan, the CCDD explored the diverse topics that play a role in distracted driving, including: driver behaviour, penalties, enforcement, education campaigns, devices and in-vehicle technologies, emergency medical care, auto insurance, the transportation industry and automated vehicles.

The components of the plan represent the most essential activities that can support the efforts of agencies with a vested interest in the issue, and help them meet their objectives more efficiently and effectively. In the coming months, the CCDD will produce the series of tools contained in the Plan, and convene discussions in key sectors to help agencies amplify efforts to reduce distracted driving.

An initiative of the Traffic Injury Research Foundation, Drop It And Drive and The Co-operators, the CCDD is the first coalition of its kind in Canada. The multi-sectoral group includes members from various levels of government, enforcement, academia, health, industry and communities. Their expertise is varied, including road safety research, injury prevention and health care, policy, enforcement, education, as well as the insurance, automotive and trucking industries.

“As the insurer of more than a million vehicles throughout Canada, we see first-hand the toll of distracted driving and we are committed to taking action to address this problem,” said Rob Wesseling, president and CEO of The Co-operators. “That’s why we partnered with the Traffic Injury Research Foundation and worked as part of the CCDD to develop this set of practical recommendations to reduce the incidence of distracted driving and make our roads safer for everyone.”

Download the CCDD distracted driving 15-point action plan (external link).