Be Safe When On the Road This Holiday Season – The City of Mississauga is reminding all road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, transit users, micro-mobility users and drivers, to be safe this holiday season. As many gear up for the holidays, streets, sidewalks, trails, cycling paths and intersections will be busier as many people are distracted with to-do lists, errands and outdoor activities.
“While the hustle and bustle is going to look different this holiday season, with many of us staying home and following COVID-19 guidelines, road users are still travelling throughout Mississauga to get to work, run errands and volunteer their time,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “Over the course of the holidays, we need to work together to prevent collisions on our roads, as no loss of life is acceptable. No matter what time of the year, our goal is to achieve safety for all road users.”
Driving during the holiday season can be more hazardous due to winter weather and road conditions. Impaired and distracted driving are also a major concern on our roadways that is amplified this time of year, especially as we cope with the ongoing pandemic. Remember to make the right decisions while on the road, practise safe driving behaviours and avoid the following:
- Impaired driving: Fatalities and collisions related to impaired driving (drinking and driving or driving high) showed an upward trend in Peel in 2019. It’s a serious road safety issue that is preventable. Peel Regional Police’s Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere (R.I.D.E) program will be out to detect and deter impaired drivers, reducing the number of collisions resulting from impaired driving. If impaired, plan a safe alternative way to get home like taking transit, or designating a sober driver.
- Distracted driving: Distracted driving is dangerous for all road users. It’s illegal to use a handheld communications device or display screen like a phone, tablet or navigation system while driving.
- Aggressive driving: Plan for extra time to get to your destination as holiday driving can be stressful. Aggressive drivers tend to be impatient, easily annoyed and look for opportunities to save time. This holiday season, avoid aggressive driving by staying calm, being alert and planning ahead.
- Speeding/Stunt driving: Adhere to speed limits and don’t put yourself and others at risk. Drivers caught engaging in stunt driving can face a seven-day licence suspension, prison time, receive a $10,000 fine and other penalties if convicted.
- Tired driving: if you are tired or sleepy, it’s best not to get behind the wheel and instead take time to rest. If you are driving a long distance, remember to stop and take a break.
“The Region of Peel’s 2019 Vision Zero Report, shows a decrease in fatal and serious injury collisions in all focus areas except impaired driving. Despite the number of people who have been hurt or died at the hands of an impaired driver, it concerns me that people are still engaging in this reckless behaviour on our roads,” said Pat Saito, Councillor Ward 9 and Chair of the Road Safety Committee. “We understand that this year has been incredibly challenging for all of our residents, but please remember that you put yourself and everyone else on the road at risk when you choose to drive under the influence. We will continue to work closely with our community partners to spread the message about safety on our roadways.”
If you are heading out on the road this winter, remember the following:
- Drive for the road conditions: If there is bad weather like snow or ice on the roads – slow down. Give room to snowplows and salters.
- Clean off your car:Clear snow and ice from all windows and headlights to ensure you have an unobstructed view and others can clearly see you. Also, remember to clear the roof of your vehicle.
- Have an emergency kit:Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle. It should include blankets, a shovel, salt, an ice scraper, a flashlight, windshield wiper fluids, water, non-perishable food and flares.
“Safety on Mississauga roads is a priority no matter what time of the year. The City has made considerable progress in its efforts to prevent collisions and fatalities on Mississauga roadways by lowering speed limits, installing traffic calming measures, constructing new pedestrian and cycling infrastructure and developing education and awareness safety campaigns,” said Geoff Wright, Commissioner, Transportation and Works. “As a City, we know how devastating collisions can be. We want to ensure the safety of all road users and will continue to implement important master plans like the Transportation Master Plan and Cycling Master Plan to further prevent collisions.”
The City is also collaborating with Peel Regional Police on the #TakeThePledgePeel road safety program. Consider taking the pledge to do your part on our roads, whether it’s slowing down when driving, following signs when cycling or being aware of your surroundings as a pedestrian, to keep yourself and other road users safe. We want to ensure that everyone can get to their destination while also returning home safely. If you’re on the road during the holidays, stay calm, plan ahead, don’t rush and remember to stay safe on Mississauga roads to get to your destination safely. Visit: mississauga.ca/services-and-programs/transportation-and-streets/road-safety/.
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, residents are encouraged to continue following provincial and public health orders. This includes continuing to practise physical distancing, wearing a mask or face covering, reducing close contact to those in your household or essential supports, staying home where possible and celebrating the holidays with your household only. For more information, visit mississauga.ca/coronavirus.