Recently, the Quebec Minister of Transport and Sustainable Mobility unveiled the 2023‑2028 Road Safety Action Plan for the province. The Road Safety Action Plan sets out priority actions directed at protecting vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists. One of these actions is to have the Quebec Standards Bureau develop a new safety index designed to measure the safety level of heavy vehicles from the standpoint of the safety of pedestrians and cyclists with whom they may share the roadway. The idea is to reduce the risk of collisions by encouraging the use of safer vehicles.
The goal is to publish the new safety index in November 2024. It will address a number of vehicle-related safety elements including the driver's field of vision, indirect vision (mirrors, camera systems or other detection devices) and the use of other safety equipment (alarms, lights, indicator panels, side bars or any other system designed to improve road user safety).
Impact on Public & Other Procurement
According to the Quebec Standards Bureau, this standardized methodology will allow both heavy vehicle manufacturers and users to make proper design and procurement choices that contribute to the safety of road users. The suggestion is that this safety index could be used by public authorities to set minimum requirements in calls for tenders and also inspire the requirements of fleet purchasers.
The Standard Development Committee
The committee of the Quebec Standards Bureau in charge of working on this new safety index includes government representatives, pedestrian and cycling advocacy groups and heavy vehicle equipment suppliers and users.
A draft of the standard will be published on February 18, 2024, followed by a public consultation period of, typically, 90 days. During the public consultation process, any interested party will have the opportunity to submit comments and suggestions in writing to the Quebec Standards Bureau through a formal process. The submissions will be considered by the standards committee prior to the publishing of the final standard in November 2024.
Links to the information currently available (some in French only):
The foregoing provides only an overview and does not constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal advice should be obtained.
© McMillan LLP 2021