Centenary - Historical Review

The Ontario Safety League was formed in 1913 by a group of business and community leaders in response to the increasing threats to public safety brought about by the automobile.  The mission was to reduce preventable deaths, injuries and destruction on Ontario’s roads through public education and safety awareness.  Ontario Safety League’s mandate continues to be safety through education.

Today, the League is recognized as one of North America’s leading traffic safety organizations.  It provides the general public with safety information and safety-based programs, including Elmer the Safety Elephant for children.  A range of innovative safety courses and services are available for the transportation industry.

  • Instructor Training for Private or Commercial Vehicles
  • Driver Improvement training
  • Fleet Safety and Management
  • Collision Investigation, Analysis and Prevention

OSL History

The Ontario Safety League (OSL) is a non-partisan, public interest organization that focuses on road safety.  Established as a private sector, non-profit, charitable entity in 1913, our mandate is to work for safety through education for all road users and vehicle types.  Over 90% of our annual operating funds are generated through courses, commercial services and membership programs.  The balance is comprised of contributory grants from industry, government and the general public.

What We Do

Our primary role is to provide road safety education and training to the transportation industry and the general public in Ontario.  A comprehensive range of programs develops and maintains a high degree of safety consciousness in all areas of activity, at all stages of life.  From preschool children through to senior drivers and from novice car drivers to experienced truck drivers, the OSL provides lifelong education for all road users.  Specific educational programs address regulations, policies and procedures that govern various classes of vehicles, including cars, trucks, commercial fleets and motorcycles.  Commercial services, such as CVOR analysis and safety audits, are other supports available for fleet operators.

OSL Background

The League maintains and evaluates operational standards for driver education and training.  The OSL plays a significant part in elevating standards for the MTO-Approved Beginner Driving Education program and the commercial driving industry.

With over eight decades experience in developing a higher public safety consciousness, OSL continues to provide programs that successfully integrate people and the changing roles of vehicles and traffic.  In addition to being a major contributor to Ontario’s annual road safety campaigns, the OSL has also developed several long-term safety initiatives.

Elmer the Safety Elephant has been administered by the OSL since 1947, and has educated generations of Ontario’s school children on the fundamentals of road safety. In the 1960’s, OSL spearheaded the private sector initiative that resulted in compulsory factory-installed car seat-belts and seat-belt usage.  More recently, the OSL was instrumental in the highly successful movement to reduce impaired driving in Ontario.

OSL Mission

The Ontario Safety League is dedicated to reducing preventable deaths, injuries and destruction on Ontario roads through public education and safety awareness.