In 2011, the City of Toronto saw a 19% decrease in traffic fatalities, compared to 2010.
While such a significant decrease is very encouraging, people are still being killed in preventable roadway tragedies.
Assessment of road safety data finds that almost half of the people who die in traffic collisions are pedestrians. Collisions are particularly unsafe for pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists who, without the protective shell of a car, are far more vulnerable.
Pedestrians should always try to cross at a controlled intersection, utilizing traffic lights where available. Since drivers are not expecting pedestrians to cross mid−block, the risk of injury is much higher. Before stepping onto the road, pedestrians should stop, look, listen and think.
There are many factors that may account for the decline in the number of traffic fatalities:
- public awareness;
- road engineering; and
- data analysis
The reduction can also be attributed to the improvements in pre−hospital medical care and hospital trauma units that are staffed 24 hours a day with doctors trained to deal with life−threatening collisions.
There are more than 100 pedestrians a year killed in Ontario by cars, trucks, buses and street cars. Toronto did a study in 2007 and, as a result, new stoplights have replaced former pedestrian crosswalks and countdown clocks have been added to pedestrian signals.
There are too many pedestrians and cyclists killed (see the breakdown from 2007-2011 below) on the streets of Toronto every year and every measure possible should be taken by the City of Toronto to invest in the health and safety to Torontonians and every visitor to avoid these preventable deaths.
There are further explanations for the decline in traffic fatalities:
− high compliance of seatbelts use
− properly installed child−safety seats
− increased enforcement of longstanding laws, such as speed limits
− police focus on impaired driving and dangerous driving
− police focus on distracted and careless driving
− improved driver−training practices
− airbags, ABS brakes, electronic stability control devices
With the continuation of traffic safety campaigns such as impaired driving, distracted driving, pedestrian safety and seat−belt use, police hope this decline will continue.
We must continually remind ourselves that safe road use is a responsibility we all share as drivers, motorcyclists, bicycle riders, pedestrians and passengers. Everyone who uses roads to drive, ride or walk has a responsibility to share the road with others. By respecting the needs of all road users, you can help make our roads safer for everyone.
Traffic Fatalities in Toronto (2007-2011)
2011 – Total = 35 (automobile – driver= 10, passenger= 3, pedestrian= 18, cyclist= 2, motorcycle driver= 2)
2010 – Total = 43 (automobile – driver= 12, passenger= 8, pedestrian= 20, cyclist= 2, motorcycle driver= 1)
2009 – Total = 48 (automobile – driver= 6, passenger= 9, pedestrian= 31, cyclist= 1, motorcycle driver= 1)
2008 – Total = 54 (automobile – driver= 15, passenger= 7, pedestrian= 27, cyclist= 2, motorcycle driver= 3)
2007 – Total = 52 (automobile – driver= 14, passenger= 8, pedestrian= 23, cyclist= 3, motorcycle driver= 4)
Update: January 17, 2012 – Traffic fatality #1/2012:
On Friday, January 13, 2012, at 9:10 p.m., police responded to a call for a personal−injury collision at Forest Grove Drive and Earlywood Court.
It is reported that:
− a man was standing on the roadway, near a driveway, on Forest Grove Drive
− the driver reversed from a parked position towards the driveway and struck the man
− the man suffered head trauma
− the driver drove the man to hospital
On Tuesday, January 17, 2012, at 6:40 a.m., the man died in hospital.
To learn more about the Toronto Police,Traffic Services Safety Program that aims to reduce pedestrian injury and death through education and awareness, click here.