National case study: Canada Road Safety Week & Safe Driving Week

The Canada Safety Council, a national charity that promotes improved safety to stop preventable deaths and injuries, runs two annual week-long events on road safety: National Safe Driving Week in early December and National Road Safety Week in May.

National Safe Driving Week started out as ‘Safe Driving Day’ in 1956 and was changed to a full week in 1959. The focus of Safe Driving Week is preventing drink and drug driving and its timing in December was chosen because of the increase in impaired driving during the festive period. Driving safely in winter conditions has also recently been included as an important message of Safe Driving Week.

Canada’s Road Safety Week began in 1985 and initially focused on encouraging more Canadians to wear seatbelts. Since then, Road Safety Weeks have focused on at least one of the “big four” contributors to road death or injury: not wearing seat belts; drink and drug driving; speed and aggressive driving; and distracted driving. Road Safety Week includes a range of public awareness activities coupled with increased traffic enforcement by police.

Safe Driving Week and Road Safety Week aim to engage the public in key road safety issues. The Canada Safety Council encourages the participation of a variety of groups in their weeks including: community groups; employers with staff who drive for work; schools and youth groups; charities and road safety organisations; and the police and other public officials.

The Canada Safety Council has the support of Transport Canada, the government department dealing with transport issues, in sponsoring and delivering Road Safety Week. Canada’s Road Safety Strategy 2015 has the goal of making Canada’s roads the safest in the world by 2015 and highlights Road Safety Week and Safe Driving Week as playing an important part in this.

   -   Visit the Canada Safety Council website for more information.
   -   Find out how you can organise a similar event on our governments & NGOs page.
   -   Read about other events through our Road Safety Week map.