Toronto’s Dangerous Streets

Update: see previous posts – November 8, 2010 Week Long Pedestrian Safety Campaign/Blitz, September 23, 2010 Back to School 2 Week Campaign – 2010 Results, August 26, 2010 Police Lay 400 Charges Against Cyclists/Pedestrians, May 11, 2010 Cell Phone Ban has Netted Thousands of Tickets in Toronto, March 29, 2010 Toronto’s Zero-Tolerance Bicycle Blitz, February 7, 2010 JayWalking Tickets, November 16, 2009 Most Dangerous Intersections for Pedestrians – Toronto (2008), October 29, 2010 Driver Reading Book Charged with Careless Driving

Be Cautious - Children Crossing Sign

Pedestrians are much more at risk between the months of November, December, January, February and March due to the shorter days and lack of sunlight (“standard time” as opposed to “daylight saving time”) and it is well known that there are more collisions and pedestrian fatalities during these five (5) deadly months.

The week ending November 14, 2010 Toronto Police conducted a safety blitz on the streets of Toronto, aimed at pedestrians, cyclists and motor vehicle operators. The campaign, “STEP (Safety Tips for Educating Pedestrians in an Urban Population) and Be Safe” concentrated on enforcement and was able to net over thirteen thousand tickets.

Results of 2010 Pedestrian Campaign Blitz

On Sunday, November 14, 2010 Toronto Police concluded their week-long “STEP (Safety Tips for Educating Pedestrians in an Urban Population) and Be Safe” Pedestrian Campaign. As a result of this week long enforcement campaign, police were able to issue 13, 126 tickets.

The breakdown of the 13, 126 tickets is as follows:

  • 7,034 tickets were issued to motorists and cyclists for “other” hazardous offences that affected pedestrians
  • 1,186 tickets were issued to pedestrians
  • 1,496 tickets were issued for disobeying stop signs
  • 1,236 tickets were issued for improper right/left turns
  • 1,047 tickets were issued for red/amber – fail to stop
  • 1,019 parking offences were issued for interfering with the safe use of pedestrian crosswalks, crossovers and school zones
  • 198 charges were laid for cyclists – ride in crosswalk/crossover
  • 51 charges were laid for disobeying School Bus signals

  • The streets of Toronto are dangerous for pedestrians, especially during shorter days with less sunlight, as are the conditions with Torontonians face between the months of November to March inclusive.

    In the last two (2) days in Toronto, there were 16 pedestrians hit by cars – see story.

    See the story in CBC News.

    According to Toronto police, six (6) to seven (7) pedestrians are struck by motor vehicles in Toronto, every single day.

    “I don’t think that people are really aware of the amount that we do [have] daily,” said Toronto Police Service Const. Hugh Smith. Part of that reason, he said, is because police only publicize the more serious collisions, like those that involve fatalities.

    His comments come one day after a woman was struck and killed by a vehicle in the city’s west end. The woman, 50, stepped from behind a hydro pole on Dundas Street West near Kenneth Avenue into the path of an oncoming truck Wednesday morning, police said. The driver of the truck tried unsuccessfully to stop. The woman was taken to hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries.

    That fatal collision brings the number of pedestrians struck by vehicles in Toronto in the past two days (Nov. 16 and 17) to 16 — a figure that made headlines in a number of local media outlets. But Smith said that’s not out of the ordinary.

    In 2009, 2,200 pedestrian-vehicle collisions were reported, said Smith.

    Meanwhile, on Nov. 16 and 17 last year, 18 pedestrians were hit, he said. In 2008, 16 pedestrians were struck on those two days.

    “We do notice a spike in November,” said Smith. He attributed the rise to shorter days due to the shift from daylight time and worsening weather.

    “They’re all preventable. it comes down to some kind of human error. Whether it’s a pedestrian taking some kind of risky behaviour or a motorist just not looking out for them,” said Smith. “We’d like to minimize that by, you know, as much education as we can. But at some times, it’s got to be due to enforcement, because there’s a lot of people out there doing risky behaviour.”

    Police concluded a week-long pedestrian safety campaign on Sunday, and handed out around 12,000 tickets to drivers and cyclists. Just under 1,200 tickets were issued to pedestrians.

    Sixteen of this year’s 34 traffic-related fatalities in Toronto are pedestrian deaths. At this point last year, 27 pedestrians were killed in Toronto, and 31 pedestrians were killed in the whole year.

    Motorists and Cyclists must Watch for Pedestrians

    CBC’s article – January 27, 2010 – How pedestrians, cyclists and drivers can get along a little better

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