Q & A with Coordinator, Rob Wilkinson
What was it that brought you to work for Safer Roads?
In 2012 I was approached with the opportunity to coordinate the program as senior management wanted a new and fresh perspective on the city’s road safety program. City Council had in the fall of 2011 rebranded the new and vastly different Safer Roads Ottawa program and I thought that it was a great opportunity.
What is it about your work that you enjoy the most?
I truly love working with and for the residents of the city. I’m inspired by the passion that they show for wanting to make things safer for their families, friends, neighbours and the community as a whole. I also enjoy the fact that the Safer Roads Ottawa program is very much action oriented and about making things happen.
What is the mandate of safer roads and what are the main campaigns? Are there any new initiatives in the works?
The Safer Roads Ottawa Program is a leading partnership between Ottawa Fire Services, Ottawa Paramedic Service, Ottawa Police Service, Ottawa Public Health and the Public Works Department. We are committed to preventing or eliminating road deaths and serious injuries for all people in the City of Ottawa, through culture change, community engagement and the development of a sustainable safe transportation environment.
As for the plan for 2016, we’re still working on the final campaigns, but we will be working on initiatives that focus on school buses, cyclists, pedestrians and a host of others.
How do you think the work of SRO has impacted the community?
I believe that we’ve truly started to make a difference through community and ensuring that we provide them tangible tools to try and create change. We regularly receive requests from community associations and other groups about our programs and initiatives. As well, we’re also regarded as a leader in Canada for how we’ve brought a community engagement orientation to the road safety program.
What has been the most successful project you’ve worked on with OSC?
We really enjoy seeing the Best Fit Car seat initiative blossom as it has over the past few years. Knowing that staff and volunteers from the OSC are working directly with parents and teaching and empowering them to know how to properly install their children’s car seats is tremendous!
Follow Rob on Twitter: @Denvale
Follow Safer Roads Ottawa on Twitter: @SROttawa