News release

Joint Crosswalk Safety Task Force Report Finalized

The province is making an initial investment of $300,000 over three years to begin implementing recommendations from the report of the Joint Crosswalk Safety Task Force.

The recommendations include installing eye-level amber lights at five sites in the Halifax Regional Municipality and improving the visibility of amber lights across the province.

"This report provides a solid road map for our continuing efforts to address crosswalk safety in both urban and rural communities," said Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Murray Scott. "The research and recommendations clearly show that we need long-term efforts and partnerships to make a lasting impact on this public-safety issue."

The task force made 42 recommendations in education, engineering, enforcement and evaluation.

"Crosswalk safety is a public-safety issue we all have to deal with every day as pedestrians and drivers," said HRM Mayor Peter Kelly. "Our joint task force's recommendations are a positive first step that should enable HRM to cover a broad range of concerns.

"Tying these concerns with an intensive educational program is imperative for success. After analyzing data that will be collected from these projects, we would expect to see further crosswalk safety improvements."

The province will provide an initial $300,000 for cost-shared projects with municipalities to improve crosswalks on eligible roads.

One such project is eye-level amber lights at crosswalks, beginning with the following Halifax Regional Municipality intersections:

  • Nantucket Avenue at the former Green Road (above McDonald's)
  • Bedford Highway at Mount Saint Vincent University
  • Herring Cove Road at Drysdale Road
  • Dunbrack Street at Clayton Park Drive
  • Pleasant Street at Dartmouth General Hospital

The funding will be used to make amber lights at crosswalks across the province more visible by installing larger, brighter lights and reworking controls so amber lights continue flashing when pedestrians re-activate the signal. Pilot projects to explore and evaluate new technologies will also be considered.

The task force was created in spring 2007 with representation from HRM Traffic Services, Halifax Regional Police and the departments of Health Promotion and Protection, Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, Justice and Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

The mandate was to review policies, best practices, statistics and legislation to develop recommendations for improving crosswalk safety. An interim report was delivered in September, resulting in legislative changes in the fall sitting of the legislature.

The task force made a number of enforcement recommendations, including reviewing the Motor Vehicle Act for possible amendments to require both front and back licence plates, and allow officers to issue tickets based only on licence plate identification.

The task force also recommended measures to help reduce speeding, including a public-awareness campaign. The province has already introduced initiatives to address speeding, including doubling the fine for speeding in school and road-work zones.

Education was also highlighted as an important factor in crosswalk safety. The task force made several recommendations to help ensure pedestrians and drivers of all ages have the information and skills to cross safely. This includes working with the departments of Education, Seniors and Health Promotion and Protection to provide more information about crosswalk safety.

"While a lot of progress has been made, there is more to be done and it's essential for us to continue these efforts," said Mr. Scott. "Together with law enforcement, municipalities and all road users, we will keep up the fight to make crosswalks as safe as possible."

The final report of the Cross Walk Safety Task Force can be viewed on line at www.gov.ns.ca/tran .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

The province is investing $300,000 over three years to begin implementing recommendations from the report of the Joint Crosswalk Safety Task Force.

The recommendations include upgrades to make lights more visible and installing eye-level amber lights at five sites in the Halifax Regional Municipality.

Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Murray Scott says the report provides a road map to improve crosswalk safety across the province.

The task force was established a year ago with representatives from HRM Traffic Services, Halifax Regional Police and several provincial government departments. The final report includes 42 recommendations in education, engineering, enforcement and evaluation.

Halifax Mayor Peter Kelly says the joint task force's recommendations are a positive first step that should cover a broad range of concerns.

The final report of the Cross Walk Safety Task Force can be viewed online at W-W-W dot gov dot N-S dot C-A slash T-R-A-N.

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Media Contact:

Cathy MacIsaac
Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal 902-424-8978 E-mail: