Change for Good Roads is a new initiative from Parachute, Canada’s national charity dedicated to injury prevention, that brings together a wide range of sectors committed to improving urban road safety in Canada.
TORONTO – February 1, 2022. Environment. Inclusion and equity. Accessibility for the elderly and those with disabilities. All these improve when urban roads are designed to be safer through strategies such as improved access to public transit, dedicated bike infrastructure, walkable and more connected neighbourhoods and slower, more controlled traffic.
While advocating for safer roads traditionally has been the purview of injury-prevention champions such as Parachute, so many others, motivated by other goals, want to improve how we move in our urban communities. The Change for Good Roads initiative is the beginning of a national movement to bring together all these parties and strengthen our advocacy.
“Collective action across sectors is the missing link in driving positive change in urban road safety,” says Pamela Fuselli, President and CEO of Parachute. “Safe, healthy and sustainable urban roads are only possible if we treat the underlying issues as a complex problem, one that involves not only urban planning, but also public health, engineering, recreation and many other sectors, and includes a focus on issues such as inclusion, equity, sustainability, and community. It’s at this intersection of interests that sustainable changes in road safety will occur. Road safety is everyone’s business: different populations have different needs and priorities but the safety of our roads affects us all.”
Representatives from 17 organizations – from cycling groups to 880 Cities and CNIB – worked together throughout fall 2021 guided by Impakt, an organization that fosters thought leadership and helps corporations and civil society organizations solve social problems, to apply their proven Change for Good approach to support the development of a clear and cohesive strategy to support a Parachute-led collective of road safety advocates. This initiative will grow and expand to include others from government, academics, NGOs, advocates and the private sector.
This initiative has defined five strategic areas of focus to encourage unified action from across all sectors to create safe, active, healthy and sustainable urban roads across Canada.
- Collaborate and communicate. Establish universal standards for safe roads, promote national and local buy-in, develop a shared language and create a unified vision.
- Change the culture of road use. Lower speeds, build safer cars, support multi-modal transportation and address low perception of safety for cyclists and pedestrians. We can shift the culture around road use by ending victim blaming and promoting accountability; rethink who uses the roads; eliminate preventable deaths; and share success stories.
- Transform data practices. Share data between sectors; use appropriate measures of impact; prioritize equity; collect more detailed data – for example, racial data and contextual details surrounding a road collision.
- Champion equity and accessibility. Redefine accessibility; design roads for everyone; make the healthy choice the easy choice; create equity in the built environment; remove bureaucratic barriers to change.
- Engage communities in co-creation. Prioritize co-creation when it comes to road design and use over consultation; emphasize safety as an effective motivation for embracing change; enable meaningful and ongoing community engagement.
“We have seen during the COVID-19 pandemic that cities have fast-tracked initiatives to promote active transportation, such as implementing new bike lanes, and these have been embraced by the public,” said Valérie Lavoie, President and Chief Operating Officer, Desjardins General Insurance Group. “We need to continue this momentum toward safer, healthier roads, and Desjardins Insurance is pleased to participate in Change for Good Roads and support the collective’s commitment to creating safer roads for all.”
Read the full report, Change for Good Roads: An intersectoral approach to urban road safety, which also outlines how this initiative is built upon the foundation of The Global Plan for the Second Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030, launched in October 2021 by the World Health Organization. This Global Plan acts as a guiding document to support the implementation of the Decade of Action, which has the ambitious target to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries by 50 per cent by 2030.
We acknowledge Transport Canada for providing funding for this initiative.
Vice President, Communications and Marketing, Parachute
mobile: 416 886-0950
Parachute is Canada’s national charity dedicated to reducing the devastating impact of preventable injuries. Injury is the No. 1 killer of Canadians aged 1 to 44 and costs the Canadian economy $29.4 billion annually. Through education and advocacy, Parachute is working to save lives and create a Canada free of serious injuries. For more information, visit us at parachute.ca and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
About Desjardins Group
Desjardins Group is the largest co-operative financial group in North America and the fifth largest cooperative financial group in the world, with assets of $391 billion. It was ranked as one of the Canada’s Top 100 Employers by Mediacorp. To meet the diverse needs of its members and clients, Desjardins offers a full range of products and services to individuals and businesses through its extensive distribution network, online platforms and subsidiaries across Canada. Ranked among the world’s strongest banks according to The Banker magazine, Desjardins has one of the highest capital ratios and credit ratings in the industry.