GTA police ramp up road safety program during back-to-school week

Published: September 5, 2018

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It’s back to school week across the Greater Toronto Area, meaning more child pedestrians will be on the roads. To avoid collisions, police across the city are urging drivers to slow down and remain alert behind the wheel.

Throughout the week, police across the GTA will be monitoring motorists, looking specifically for drivers breaking speed limits and engaging in distracted driving. Focus will be put on school areas, which are becoming busier heading into the winter.

"All road-users need to consider the safety of our most vulnerable users: school children, pedestrians and cyclists. We all need to have the common goal of reaching our destinations safely each day," Toronto police said in a news release issued early Tuesday morning.

The advice and law enforcement crack down is part of the Vision Zero Road Safety Plan, a City of Toronto initiative that aims to reduce fatalities on roads. Student and pedestrian safety are part of the program, as detailed below:

  • The active and safe routes to school pilot project, which includes road markings, sidewalk stencilling and signs to encourage kids to walk or bike to school, and to reduce vehicle speed around schools.
  • The mobile watch your speed program, which includes portable, pole-mounted signs in each city ward that have built-in radar and can display a motorist's speed. A school watch your speed program calls for permanent signs around schools.
  • Crossing guards that can replace Toronto police officers when they are unable to fulfil their crossing guard duties.
  • School safety zones will be clearly marked at 88 schools this year, up from 20.”

"As students and their families settle back into school-year routines following the summer break, Peel Regional Police wishes to remind motorists and pedestrians that road safety is a shared responsibility," read a news release issued Monday by the force.