Transport Canada is not reacting quickly enough to respond to emerging risks, meaning technology is soaring ahead of regulation, a new report has claimed.
The report by the Auditor General of Canada, released Tuesday, says that the organisation – which is responsible for transportation policies and programs – has been left behind by the pace of technology and has not done enough to consult with stakeholders such as the insurance industry.
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As a result, the regulations and standards designed to protect Canadians are not up-to-date, Toronto Star
“Transport Canada did not develop motor vehicle safety standards to respond to emerging risks and issues in a timely manner,” the report claims, adding that the body has no long-term strategy or funding for motor vehicle safety.
The report found that the body’s failure to engage with outside groups, such as insurers, may have led to it exercising “disproportionate influence on regulatory decision making and caus[ing] delays in updating the regulations.”
The five-year review also found wait times of up to 10 years when it came to implementing regulatory changes, and claims that Transport Canada often waits for the US to introduce changes before implementing them here.
“This reactive approach created significant delays in implementing new standards, and meant that some passenger vehicles were not equipped with the newest safety features available in other countries,” the report said.
The department often lags behind other territories in introducing safety measures, the report added, citing the example of “innovative” headlights on European vehicles that dim so they do not affect the visibility of oncoming cars.
Transport Canada said the technology did not meet Canadian or American standards, but the report found that the body has been working on improving night-time lighting for eight years and has so far not come up with a solution.
The audit also noted that the US implemented a new standard for side-impact collisions in 2007, but at the time of the audit Transport Canada had still not updated its own standard.
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