Regulation of Vehicle Safety

Regulation of Vehicle Safety

All new motor vehicles manufactured or imported for sale in Canada must comply with the regulations passed pursuant to the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Act.  Since the 1970s, Transport Canada has investigated real-world collisions to evaluate the effectiveness of safety standards and estimate the potential of new advancements in vehicle safety.

Research Program

Transport Canada’s research teams conduct in-depth investigations of motor vehicle collisions that meet the criteria for specific studies.  A comprehensive analysis and reconstruction of the collision events of each case is conducted to understand various aspects of the crash such as occupant kinematics and the role of restraint systems in reducing or increasing the severity of injuries.  Teams conduct detailed inspections of the collision scene and of the involved vehicles.

The in-depth investigation of real-world motor vehicle collisions allows Transport Canada to evaluate existing safety standards, which can lead to advancements in vehicle design and enhancements to future regulations.  The ultimate goal of the research study is to reduce the societal costs of fatalities, injuries, and property damage resulting from motor vehicle collisions.

Legislative Authority

The legislative authority to conduct research is given to the Minister of Transport in Section 20 of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. Section 20 (1) states that the Minister may (a) conduct such research, studies and evaluations as the Minister considers necessary for the administration and enforcement of this Act; (b) undertake research and development programs for the study of the impact of vehicles, drivers of vehicles and the streets and highways on road safety, energy conservation and the environment for the promotion of measures to control that impact.

Privacy of Personal Information

Any personal information obtained concerning the owners, operators, and passengers of motor vehicles is protected under the provisions of the Canada Privacy Act (1980-81-82-83, c.11 Sch. II ‘1’).  Such data is consequently unavailable for access by third parties. In this manner, the anonymity and confidentiality of such data is assured.  Furthermore, it is Collision Analysis’ and Transport Canada’s practice to not record any specific identifying information in research reports.  No information retained by Transport Canada identifies specific collision locations, involved vehicles, or individuals.  As a result of our specific motor vehicle safety mandate, it is intended that Transport Canada will remain impartial and will not be party in any criminal or civil proceedings that may arise in a Transport Canada studied crash.