Road safety is a joint responsibility of the ministère des Transports and the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec. Together they have prepared the “Road Component” of the Transportation Safety Policy, whose application they ensure.
Road Network Safety
The Ministère's main concern as the primary body responsible for transportation infrastructures and systems is road safety. Its ultimate goal is to improve road safety both through the development of standards and regulations and through its infrastructure management and design.
Concern with safety underlies all the Ministère's activities in the areas of road maintenance, road and traffic signs and signals, pavement markings and the installation of guardrails. Its road safety activities include the following:
developing and updating standards ;
designing, standardizing and promoting road signs ;
analyzing safety at several intersections and on road sections that might pose dangers. It is currently studying the problem of areas with high accident-frequency rates in order to identify corrective measures to make them safer.
Research is essential in matters of road safety, and the Ministère, working in collaboration with the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec and the Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies, has implemented a research assistance program in this field. The Ministère also works to ensure knowledge transfer and the concrete application of research findings.
The number of off-road vehicles (ORV) in Québec has increased considerably from 194,988 registered vehicles in 1990 to 469,826 in 2005. Considering that at least two people use each vehicle, Québec has nearly one million ORV users. Snowmobilers have a network of 33,500 km of trails, while quad bikers have a 16,000 km network, more than half of which is accessible during the winter and more than a quarter of which is accessible all year long.
On June 13, 2006 , the Assemblée nationale passed Bill 9, which amends the Act Respecting Off-Highway Vehicles. The bill emphasizes, among other items, tighter regulations, more regional consultation, better awareness and trail patrolling. The changes affecting snowmobiling and quad biking will help ensure citizens and users of these vehicles can coexist more harmoniously. This new legislation will also provide better guidelines for practicing these activities, while ensuring the safety of enthusiasts.