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Time is Precious

Updated: Dec 22, 2023

From the City of Ottawa

Most of us make excuses for our bad behaviour on the roads. We justify that it’s okay because we know what we’re doing. The City has launched a new ad campaign today to show these assumptions may be ‘dead wrong’.

To preview the ads and the video that will be appearing online and around Ottawa, visit the "Time is precious" ad campaign website.

This campaign is guided by the City’s Road Safety Action Plan in partnership with the Ottawa Police Service. Each month, education focuses on the road behaviour with the most incidents of fatal and major injury collisions as captured in the 2017-2021 data.

Of 673 fatal and major injury collisions in that five-year period, 67 per cent involved high-risk driving behaviours. This includes distracted or impaired driving but also aggressive behaviours such as:

  • speeding

  • failing to yield right of way

  • following too closely

  • disobeying traffic control

The emphasis area for December is impaired driving, so the ads will focus on this theme.

In the new year, the campaign will continue with ads addressing the other emphasis areas:

  • rural roads

  • intersections

  • vulnerable road users, including motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians

If all road users take responsibility for their behaviour, whether behind the wheel, cycling or walking, we can reduce fatal and major injury collisions and even eliminate fatalities. You don’t need an excuse to stay alert, follow the rules of the road and watch out for others.


It's the law: The amount you’ve consumed is irrelevant if you exhibit signs of impairment – it’s a criminal offense. If police determine that you have drugs or alcohol in your system and/or that you are impaired by any substance, you can face severe consequences and potential criminal charges.


It’s a life: Receiving a fine or even a short license suspension is one thing, but seriously injuring or killing someone is another. Data confirms the danger. Between 2017-2021, there were 25 fatal or major injury collisions in Ottawa related to impaired driving. Those are 25 mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, partners or friends whose lives were forever changed or lost.


The safe alternatives: We all know suitable alternatives to impaired driving, but here is a reminder:

  • Have a designated driver who is not consuming

  • Call a taxi or ride-sharing service

  • Take public transit: Free transit service will be provided on New Year’s Eve after 6 pm on buses, O-Train Line 1 and Para Transpo, courtesy of Safer Roads Ottawa and MADD.    

  • Walk, if the distance permits (and wear bright clothing after dark)

  • Spend the night somewhere close


“We have a goal to make Ottawa safe for everyone, especially on the road. With this new ad campaign it's about making the right choices. Drive safely – no distractions, no phones, no drugs, or alcohol – it’s that simple. Please #TeamOttawa, make the right choices as your choices can save lives and make our city safer.”

Mayor Mark Sutcliffe


“This new ad campaign supports the City’s Road Safety Action Plan, which aims for a 20 per cent reduction in the average annual rate of fatal and major injury collisions by 2024 with a longer-term goal of zero fatal collisions. The campaign's creative approach is to de-normalize unsafe road behaviour and develop a culture of road safety in Ottawa. This is a behavioural change campaign that is founded on our data on fatal and major injury collisions and research into the public’s behaviour and perceptions.”

Councillor Tim Tierney, Chair, Transportation Committee


For more information on City programs and services, visit, call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401) or 613-580-2400 to contact the City using Canada Video Relay Service. You can also connect with us through FacebookX (formerly Twitter) and Instagram.

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