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e-4421 (Public safety)

Initiated by Steve Sullivan from Oakville, Ontario

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the House of Commons

  • Impaired driving kills hundreds of Canadians and injures thousands more every year;
  • In 2021, there were nearly 78, 500 federal charges and provincial sanctions for impaired driving;
  • Impaired driving is estimated to cost society billions of dollars every year, between health care, law enforcement, courts, prisons, insurance, personal costs, and more;
  • The HALT Act, named after the Abbas family who were killed by an impaired driver, was signed by U.S. President Joe Biden in November 2021 with bi-partisan support. It will require new cars and trucks to be equipped with advanced alcohol impaired driving prevention technology by 2026-2027; and
  • Experts estimate technology could eliminate the majority of injuries and deaths caused by alcohol-impaired driving.
We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to introduce legislation to require anti-impaired driving technology in new vehicles by 2026-2027.

Response by the Minister of Transport

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez

Road safety in Canada is a shared jurisdiction among all levels of government, industry partners, and all road users. Under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act, Transport Canada regulates the safety performance of new and imported motor vehicles and equipment to strengthen road safety. Justice Canada is responsible for the Criminal Code of Canada, which contains the federal laws and penalties for impaired driving. Provincial and territorial governments are responsible for driver licensing and vehicle registration, vehicle maintenance, and insurance as well as setting and enforcing the rules of the road. 

Safety is a key priority for Transport Canada, and this includes measures to strengthen road safety. The Department works with provincial and territorial partners and other stakeholders, including police, to reduce impaired driving. The Department chairs a Canadian Standards Association Technical Committee concerning the standards for breath alcohol ignition interlocks for convicted offenders and conducts surveys to measure impaired driving on Canadian roads.

Maintaining road safety requires the combined efforts of many, which is why in 2017, the Government announced investments of $161 million until March 2025 to address drug-impaired driving (DID). Funds are administered by Public Safety Canada to enhance training of frontline officers to recognize the signs and symptoms of DID; build law enforcement capacity; provide access to drug screening equipment; develop policy and research; and raise public awareness about the dangers of DID. Provinces and Territories can access up to $81 million of this funding.

Transport Canada also has regular communication with the United States (U.S.) on road safety. The Department is aware that their recent legislation includes financial support to further test anti-impaired driving technologies. Although there are significant benefits to anti-impaired driving technologies being installed in vehicles, various considerations need to be assessed for the benefits of these devices to be fully realized. Some of the issues include: the need for provincial and territorial support and coordination; public acceptance; addressing the cost of device manufacturing and associated costs to consumers; and assessing the vehicle fleet changeover time to have a meaningful impact. It is important to note that the technology is still evolving. 

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is scheduled to release their Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in 2023, seeking comments on mandating these technologies. This will be followed by a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking additional comment prior to any Final Rule being published. Transport Canada will continue to monitor these developments and collaborate with the U.S. NHTSA through their process as well as similar processes in other countries. These steps will help inform the appropriate path forward for Canada which could potentially include mandating these devices to keep Canadians safe.

While collective efforts to tackle impaired driving are resulting in a decrease in occurrences, the numbers are still far too great, and we are committed to working with partners to continue to explore all options to address this egregious crime.


Open for signature
May 24, 2023, at 8:26 a.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
September 21, 2023, at 8:26 a.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Bardish Chagger (Waterloo)
October 25, 2023 (Petition No. 441-01825)
Government response tabled
December 11, 2023
Photo - Bardish Chagger
Liberal Caucus