Toronto proposes no right turns at red lights

Published: June 15, 2016

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



Changes to road laws in Toronto are to be debated next Monday at the city council committee meeting, where the local government will decide whether to ask the Ontarian government to make important changes to laws. A June 10 staff report proposes that turning right on some red light intersections in Toronto and that the approval of photo radar automated speed enforcement technology.

The proposal seeks for the city manager of transportation services, Stephen Buckley, to request the Ontario Ministry of Transportation “to allow the City of Toronto to implement a mobile automated speed enforcement pilot project in school zones and construction zones.”

Provincial government will only be asked if the city council committee agrees to push forward with the request, which will be decided during the meeting on June 20.

That is one recommendation that the city’s public works and infrastructure committee is scheduled to discuss June 20. Staff say the proposals would reduce KSI, injury, and death related collisions in Toronto by 20 per cent, citing the growing number of traffic-related fatalities in 2015 as a reason for action.

“After remaining fairly steady from 2005-2012, with an average of 44 persons killed per year, traffic fatalities have increased over the last 3 years, with 65 traffic-related fatalities in 2015 representing a 10-year high,” Buckley stated in the road safety plan.

“Leading Pedestrian Intervals is a feature at traffic signals which displays the pedestrian ‘Walk’ signal a few seconds earlier than the green signal for vehicles, giving pedestrians a head start into the intersection,” according to the report. If approved, the road safety plan would call for a program to “expand implementation of leading pedestrian intervals beyond the current 9 signalized intersections to 20 additional intersections per year, focusing on locations with high pedestrian demand, school zones and areas with high older adult trip generation rates,” the report suggested. “Leading pedestrian intervals increase driver visibility to pedestrians and can reduce the likelihood of left turn collisions with pedestrians at signalized intersections.”

The report however admits that the adoption of automated speed enforcements may not be possible due to the economic constraints.

There is “high possibility that automated enforcement of stop sign and turning violations may not be economically feasible,” the report added.