Toronto’s chief cop wants to re-establish traffic unit

Published: December 4, 2019

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According to Toronto’s highest-ranking police officer, having fewer traffic officers has resulted in more collisions and deaths in the city. Information from the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) backs up the assertion.

IBC says it wants a new enforcement project to help reduce collisions rates. The insurance industry representative says this would also benefit consumers if premiums decrease alongside collision rates.

“We want everyone to be a safe road user and driver,” said Pete Karageorgos, director of consumer and industry relations‎ in Ontario with IBC.

Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said he wants to create a new unit that would focus on areas of the city where collisions are most frequent. Called the “Vision Zero enforcement team,” the unit would reintroduce the sort of police initiative that was operating in Toronto from 2003 to 2012.

During the lifecycle of that unit, traffic tickets increased by 125%.

Education must go alongside enforcement, says the IBC. Karageorgos says drivers should be informed about the benefits of winter tires, best practices, and legal penalties for infractions.

“It would be best if people just followed the rules of the road and drive safely and appropriately for the road conditions,” he added.

“If that is a way police can support road safety, I think, as road users and insurance companies that want to see a reduction in the number of collisions, we’re supportive of any effort and any campaign that makes our roads safer,” Karageorgos said.