Latest figures spark worries about Toronto road safety
The success of Toronto’s Vision Zero initiative is being questioned, following the latest figures from Toronto Police regarding road-related injuries.
The rising death and injury toll, with at least 55 people having been killed on Toronto roads so far this year, 31 of which were pedestrians, is causing concerns amongst the city’s residents.
The aim of the programme, launched in 2017 following more than 2,100 pedestrian incidents, aimed to reduce the figure to zero by boosting safety on our streets. Yet the past week alone saw three major incidents with pedestrians resulting in severe injury or fatality, and now the people of Toronto want answers.
Monday saw a 34-year-old artist and father die during a hit and run, Tuesday saw another male pedestrian die after being trapped beneath a streetcar on The Queensway, and on Wednesday an elderly man riding a scooter in the west end was left with serious injuries after being hit by a truck. While neighbourhood-to-neighbourhood there have been some improvements, it seems that speed is still a huge problem for Toronto’s roads.
It’s something mayoral candidate Jennifer Keesmaat has pledged to work on-with plans to limit all speed limits to 30 km/h on residential streets if she is elected. She has also suggested the redesign of dangerous intersections and adding simple changes like planter boxes or posts to slow down cars.
"It's about designing the streets so that preventable deaths are prevented," she said. "We haven't been doing that as a city, and that's why we see these tragedies."
However current mayor John Tory has defended the progress made so far on Vision Zero, pointing out the major investments the $100-million project has made including safety zones, photo radar and intersection improvements.
"I'm absolutely determined we're going to get there," he said.