Gila Martow, PC Critic for the Greater Toronto Area, says a plan by a private member to clear Ontario’s highways more efficiently after accidents could benefit Bill 15, the Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act. Indeed, Martow goes as far as to describe the plan as the “missing piece” that makes the proposed Bill 30 workable.
As PC MPP for Thornhill, Martow was participating in a Question Period when she suggested a new highway management system for accidents was the final piece.
"Unfortunately, missing from this new legislation was a concrete plan to address highway incident management," said Martow, PC critic for the Greater Toronto Area. "Mr. Speaker, will the (transportation) minister move forward with the missing puzzle piece of their own Bill 15 by bringing Bill 30 forward for discussion in this House?"
Bill 15 will effectively become Bill 30, if the latter is passed and would include creating a committee of traffic incident management experts. Bill 15 already made significant changes, such as to the Consumer Protection Act to make tow truck operators publish their rates, accept credit card payments and provide itemized invoices before receiving payment.
Bill 30 is the next step and if passed would need a committed made up of Minister of Transportation, the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services and the Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) to look into ways to make the public educated on road safety and the inclusion of accident management protocols.
Transportation Minister Steve Del Duca said that his division objective "is to safely manage highway incidents as quickly as possible." He added that Bill 30, "like all others, will continue to work its way through the legislative process."
Martow says emergency services are still too slow to react to accidents in the majority of cases:
"Once an incident is detected and confirmed, the response and clearance must be managed so as to preserve and protect human life, maintain a reasonable level of safety for all participants, minimize delays to the travelling public, and minimize damage to public and private property," she said at the time. "In a major incident, these are complex and often competing factors. Successful incident management can be facilitated by high-tech equipment, but is largely dependent on inter-agency coordination, education and on-site personnel.”