It’s the simplest way to make your streets safer: slow down.
Constable Clint Stibbe urged drivers to slow down and obey speed limits as part of the #YourStreetsYourSafety safety campaign – a series of eight one-week traffic enforcement campaigns over the Summer and early Fall.
“Drivers, you hold in your hands the single easiest way to make our roads safer: reducing your speed,” Stibbe said. “Reducing your speeds is the key to making your community a safe one and making the roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians.”
Stibbe was focusing on speeding on Sheppard Ave., west of Yonge St., and found a car travelling at 96 km/h in a 60 km/h zone. Most other cars were travelling over the speed limit and Stibbe pulled over five cars over a 30-minute period travelling over 80 km/h.
“We’re seeing habitual behaviour from drivers going above the speed limits and not being concerned with the danger they present to others on the road,” said Stibbe, noting several lived in the area.
The Summer Traffic Safety Campaign will see additional enforcement of intersections, school zones and impaired driving, rotating through all areas of the city as part of efforts to support the Vision Zero action plan to reduce traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries on Toronto’s streets.
This week, from July 16 to 22, officers will be concentrating on 32 and 33 Divisions.
“The goal of this campaign is to make our roads safer. One of the things we’re looking at is the way people are driving. It breaks down essentially to four areas: aggressive driving, distracted driving, speeding and impaired driving. These factors are what are putting people at risk,” Stibbe said.
He said small increases in speed are the difference between life and death in a pedestrian collision.
“At 40km/h, that pedestrian has a 90% chance of surviving, while at 60 km/h that pedestrian has a 90% chance of dying,” said Stibbe.
Traffic Services Superintendent Scott Baptist said deaths on Toronto’s roads are preventable.
“Road collisions are inevitable but the most serious life-threatening collisions are, in fact, preventable,” he said. “Any death attributed to motor vehicle use, whether it be a driver, cyclist or pedestrian, is a tragedy. Every one is preventable. We all need to coexist on roadways in a safe way.”
He said the police role in Vision Zero is to raise awareness of how to stay safe on the streets as well as enforce the laws designed to create a safe environment on the roads.
Traffic Services will support local officers in week-long initiatives, that will run between July and October, to focus on seven areas: pedestrians, school children, older adults, cyclists, motorcyclists, aggressive driving and distraction.
“We believe strategic enforcement throughout the city shows these types of behaviours will not be tolerated,” Baptist said.
There will also be heightened RIDE (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) spot checks during the summer and fall.