The City of Toronto has announced its Vision Zero Road Safety Plan for 2017, which includes 45 new measures that will be introduced this year targeted at eliminating fatalities and reducing serious injuries, with an emphasis on pedestrians, aggressive and distracted driving, school children, older adults and motorcyclists.
Toronto Mayor John Tory and city councillor Jaye Robinson (Ward 25 Don Valley West), chair of the city’s public works and infrastructure committee, outlined the new measures on Tuesday. These 45 measures are part of the city’s $54 million in funding the Vision Zero Road Safety Plan and overall traffic safety measures this year, the city said in a press release.
Among the initiatives that the city is introducing immediately is implementation of red light cameras at 76 new locations across the city. The city added in a backgrounder that since the inception of red light cameras in Toronto in 2000, the number of angle collisions (those most indicative of red light running) causing fatalities, serious injuries or property damage has been reduced by over 60%. Based on collision data, 76 new red light camera sites are currently under construction.
Another initiative is road safety audits, which involve in-depth investigations into locations where pedestrians have been killed or seriously injured to determine reasons for collisions and to make recommendations on appropriate safety improvements. These improvements could include geometric road modifications, speed reductions, street lighting improvements, enhanced pavement markings and signage, implementation of prohibited turn movements and/or signal timing modifications, the backgrounder said. In 2017, road safety audits will be conducted at 14 locations.
Other initiatives include:
Creation of “Seniors Safety Zones” to be implemented at 12 high priority locations, with increased pedestrian walk times, enhanced signage and enhanced pavement markings;
Geometric safety engineering improvements at 13 locations (realigning, reconfiguring and/or modifying intersections by reducing crossing distances, making the pedestrian crossing more accessible and reducing vehicle conflicts with cyclists and pedestrians);
Speed reductions along 32 additional corridors; and
Implementation of increased pedestrian walk times at 50 additional signalized intersections.
In 2016, there were 77 fatalities in Toronto, including 43 pedestrian deaths – up from 38 pedestrian fatalities in 2015.
“The number of pedestrians and cyclists injured and killed by vehicles in our city last year is both alarming and unacceptable,” Tory said in the release. “We must do more to prevent these deaths and protect our residents across the city.”