MTO’s Annual Road Safety Achievement Awards

Ministry of Transportation Hosts Road Safety Achievement Awards

The 21st annual Road Safety Achievement Awards were held on June 13, 2017 at The Doctor’s House in Kleinburg, Ontario.

Hosted by the Ministry of Transportation, the Honourable Steven Del Duca made opening remarks and presented the awards for 2016.

The Road Safety Achievement Awards celebrate individuals, community groups and organizations who promote road safety at the community and provincial levels. This year there were 27 nominations across the six categories, which include: Professional, Volunteer, Media Excellence, Corporate Leadership, Partnerships and Initiative of the Year.

MTO is pleased to announce the names of the 2016 Road Safety Achievement Award recipients.

Road Safety Achievement - Professional: OPP Constable Beth Ethier

Constable Ethier, a 30-year veteran of the OPP’s Upper Ottawa Valley Detachment, has had a successful career promoting road safety. Over the years, Constable Ethier oversaw several important initiatives, including child and bus safety programs in schools and local bicycle safety rodeos, and was instrumental in securing Ontario Road Safety Challenge funding to address distracted driving issues in the community.


From left to right: Minister Del Duca, Beth Ethier (Professional award recipient), Brian Brohart (nominator).

Road Safety Achievement - Volunteer: Roz Sonshine

Roz, a volunteer with the Toronto Police Service’s 33 Division, is involved in a number of road safety initiatives to promote pedestrian and cycling safety for youth and seniors. She enthusiastically organizes events, distributes safety brochures and resources, and develops innovative ways to promote road safety and engage the community, including distributing ‘safety’ loot bags for kids at Halloween.

road-safety-achievement-roz sonshine

From left to right: Hugh Bagnall (nominator), Minister Del Duca, Roz Sonshine (Volunteer award recipient), Richard Hedegus (nominator).

Media Excellence in Road Safety: Manitoulin Radio Communication

Operating out of Little Current, Ontario, Manitoulin Radio’s vision is to promote Manitoulin and the North Shore’s beauty, culture, and keep everyone informed on local news and events. The owners, Craig and Kelly Timmermans, have been using the station as a platform to connect with the community on upcoming events and promote important road safety messages on a range of topics, including impaired driving, distracted driving, seat belts and school bus safety.


From left to right: Todd Fullerton (nominator), Minister Del Duca, Manitoulin Radio’s Kelly and Craig Timmermans (Media Excellence award recipients).

Corporate Leadership in Road Safety: ERB Group of Companiesy

In 2016, ERB Group partnered with TEENS LEARN to DRIVE to deliver road safety messages to high schools in five northern Ontario communities (Wawa, Marathon, Terrace Bay, Nipigon and Thunder Bay). ERB’s donation of a driver and a brand new tractor trailer was instrumental in
giving high school students the opportunity to sit in a truck driver’s seat so that they could see – or not see – other vehicles behind them.


From left to right: Stephanie Mattiussi and Sarah Marie Hallig (nominators), Minister Del Duca, ERB Group’s Tom Boehler and Floyd Berber (Corporate Leadership award recipients).

Road Safety Partnerships: Timiskaming Bus Buddies

Since its start in 2010, the Timiskaming Bus Buddies committee has successfully expanded its annual Young Rider Day program every year. This interactive program teaches students about school bus safety, including how to safely wait for, enter, ride and exit a school bus, as well as where the school bus danger zones are.


From left to right: Minister Del Duca, Timiskaming Bus Buddies’ Keitha Willard, Debra Smith, Julie Rivard and Chantal Reynolds (Partnerships award recipients).

Road Safety Initiative of the Year: Pledge to Ignore – York Region

York Region and York Regional Police have launched a successful campaign challenging motorists to “Pledge to Ignore” their phones when driving and pedestrians to “Pledge to Ignore” their phones when walking near roads. The campaign raises awareness of the dangers of being distracted.


From left to right: Minister Del Duca, York Region’s Caroline Berryman (Initiative of the Year award recipient), Karen Hodge (nominator) and York Region’s Nelson Costa.

Two additional awards were handed out this year. The first, a special Lifetime Achievement Award, was presented to Anne Leonard, outgoing Executive Director of arrive alive DRIVE SOBER. A second award, MTO’s Road User Safety Partnership Award, was presented to Ross McKenzie, Managing Director of the Waterloo Centre for Automotive Research (WatCAR).

MTO is pleased to announce the names of the Lifetime Achievement and Road User Safety Partnership Award recipients.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Anne Leonard

Anne Leonard has dedicated her career and life to preventing impaired driving. As Executive Director of arrive alive DRIVE SOBER since 1990, she has worked tirelessly, building the most recognized anti-impaired driving road safety brand in Ontario. Under her leadership, arrive alive DRIVE SOBER has not only supported advancements in legislation and enforcement leading to steady declines in impaired driving rates and fatalities but has also helped foster a cultural shift in society. Anne has been a driver of innovation and capacity building. She is a humble leader and visionary whose success can be seen through the shift in attitudes and perceptions towards impaired driving over the past three decades, as well as through the reduction of impaired driving rates in Ontario.


From left to right: Andrew Davidson, Minister Del Duca, Anne Leonard (Lifetime Achievement award recipient).

Road User Safety Partnership Award: Ross McKenzie, Waterloo Centre for Automotive Research (WatCAR)

Ross McKenzie, Managing Director of the Waterloo Centre for Automotive Research, and his team have been a driving force in testing an array of technologies that could be used in autonomous vehicles. WatCAR was among the first group to register to participate under the ministry’s AV pilot framework and Ross continues to champion and advocate for MTO’s work in this area.


From left to right: Heidi Francis, Minister Del Duca, Ross McKenzie and Sebastian Fischmeister (Road User Safety Partnership award recipients).

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