The City of Toronto has published its Vision Zero Road Safety Plan for 2017, with a number of changes made to help reduce collisions and traffic related fatalities. There are 45 new measures added to the plan that have been designed to help improve driver safety, while Toronto says the plan is focused on pedestrian safety.
Other focuses of the Vision Zero Road Safety Plan for 2017 include protecting areas around schools, motorcycle safety, and fighting distracted driving. The plan was announced on Tuesday by Toronto Mayor John Tory, who was alongside Jaye Robinson (Ward 25 Don Valley West), chair of the city’s public works and infrastructure committee.
The city has set aside $54 million in funding towards the plan and wider safety measures for traffic in the city. Some of the changes will happen over time, but one will be rolled out immediately. Toronto has announced 76 new locations for red light camera.
In a press release, the city says red light cameras have been successful since their introduction on 2000. Since then, angle collisions (most common at red light intersections) that result in fatality or injury have fallen by over 60%. The new cameras will be rolled out in the coming months.
Toronto will also take danger hot spots more seriously. Areas of the city where pedestrians have been killed will now be investigated in-depth. This audit will result in recommendations and improvements to enhance the road safety in a particular location. 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.
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.
77 fatalities occurred in Toronto during 2016, 43 of them were pedestrians.
“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.”