Can Toronto’s New Road Safety Plan Eliminate Fatalities?
Mayor John Tory is serious about road safety and is putting money behind a strategy that will protect pedestrians and cyclists in his city. As deaths of pedestrians continue to rise, with seniors a large portion of the fatalities, Toronto’s Mayor recognizes that more is need to be done to make city streets and roads safe.
Toronto’s Mayor believes that his city can do better when it comes to reducing injuries and fatalities, and he hopes to do that by the plan drafted by his staff. The details include lowering speed limits in specific areas, modifications of some of Toronto’s most dangerous roads and intersections and the creation of school safety zones. The plan also includes police enforcement of dangerous and distracted driving.Toronto’s long-awaited strategy for protecting pedestrians and cyclists is already facing revisions after a wave of ferocious criticism for falling far short of what some other cities are doing.
Roady Safety Plan For Toronto May Not Be The Answer
The death toll for pedestrians in Toronto has worsened. And the victims are disproportionately seniors, which means the problem could become bigger as the population ages.
The plan, written by city staff, includes lower speed limits in dozens of places, physical modifications to some of the most dangerous intersections and roads, extra police enforcement of dangerous driving and the creation of “school safety zones” that would combine such measures. The plan includes spending $40-million over five years on safety-related improvements.
The unveiled plan is modelled after Vision Zero from Sweden, a concept with the primary goal of eliminating traffic fatalities. The project immediately received criticism in that it wasn’t enough to deal with the continued rise in deaths on Toronto roads. City staff confirmed that the committee overseeing the plan would introduce a motion to change its target to zero people injured or killed on Toronto’s roads within five years.
Other cities such as New York and San Francisco have designed their road-safety plans to achieve zero traffic fatalities within a ten year period. These cities are also putting more money behind their projects in contrast to the Toronto initiative. Time will tell if the program is a success. In the meantime, it’s up to drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists to do their part to keep all roads safe!