As the holiday season approaches, you may find it harder to arrange a trip home after the city of Toronto recently voted to temporarily stop issuing driver’s licenses.
MADD Canada said it is concerned that there will not be enough rides available as the busy holiday season approaches, and although it supports the implementation of a mandatory training program, the organization is concerned that the move may have a negative impact on the Torontonians.
“We are entering the holiday season – a time when alcohol consumption may increase and the risk of impaired driving is high,” said MADD Canada’s CEO Andrew Murie. “This decision means there will be fewer drivers available and increased waiting times for Torontoians trying to make the responsible decision not to drive even after consuming alcohol or drugs.”
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The city began looking at mandatory education requirements after Nicholas Cameron’s death in March 2018. Cameron was killed while taking an Uber to the airport as the driver pulled over to the shoulder of the Gardiner Expressway to pick up a cell phone that was lying on the floor of the car , the car was hit as it melted back into traffic.
“We have tens of thousands of drivers on the road who are not trained and they are still picking up passengers for a commercial fee so that what happened to Nicholas Cameron could happen to someone else,” Coun said. Kristyn Wong-Tam, who supported the proposal and expressed her disappointment that city staff did not present a plan before.
“I do not think the pandemic is a legitimate excuse for the city staff not doing what the council has asked them to do.”
The mandatory training program will affect not only drivers, but essentially all hired drivers, including limousine and taxi drivers.
Toronto’s taxi sector has stated that it welcomes the break and said it will have cabs available to offer safe rides for anyone who needs one.
“Having untrained drivers on our streets is a threat to the safety of both passengers and drivers – as well as other road users,” said Kristine Hubbard, operations manager at Beck Taxi. “Pausing licenses until they can be trained is right for safety, for safety and for service.”
Toronto’s taxi industry said they would like to see the city develop comprehensive and rigorous training that would include both in-car and class components, defensive driving, accessibility, diversity and sensitivity training.
Lift, one of two popular rideshare programs in Toronto, is concerned about the recent move and says its drivers undergo rigorous safety screenings before being approved to ride on the platform.
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“We support Toronto’s efforts to implement further training. However, the city’s abrupt action will lead to lost earnings opportunities for new drivers at a time when many are trying to recover from the economic devastation of COVID-19,” writes CJ Macklin, senior communications manager for Lift. “As passengers continue to return to rideshare, ride prices may rise and waiting times may suffer due to an insufficient number of drivers.”
However, Ontarians appear to have consumed more alcohol since the beginning of the pandemic, a study by Sunnybrook Health Sciences has found that alcohol purchases increased by more than $ 250 million in the first four months of the pandemic, meaning Ontarians use about $ 2 million. a day on splashes.
“Our findings underscore a potentially underrated public health problem that focuses on the importance of evaluating a person’s pre-pandemic and pandemic alcohol consumption,” said Dr. Jonathan Zipursky, lead author, clinical pharmacologist at Sunnybrook.
Dr. Don Redelmeier, who is one of the doctors who wrote this report, said he does not believe driver training is the only appropriate step the city can take, as he statistically said he has found that advanced driver training only works in a military environment and not necessarily in domestic travel.
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“It is not clear that you want to enforce advanced driver training, which is an intervention that has not been associated with significant improvements in driver safety, and it may not be the most appropriate way to make such rules,” said Redelmeier, who is also a professor of medicine at the University of Toronto.
“Red light cameras, photo radar are linked by about 30 percent to a 40 percent reduction in life-threatening accidents, so they are not just a tax rebate from the government.”
MADD Canada continues to lobby for the repeal of the temporary team on new licenses and will present a presentation at a committee meeting in late November, as it continues to insist that a wide range of transportation services be made available.
Wong-Tam said she expects the training program will be rolled out in January 2022 and anyone who received a license from 2019 onwards will be required to take the training.
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