Take Second Look When Turning Left

By Kevin Masterman, Toronto Police Service Published: 5 a.m. August 13, 2018

Motorists failing to yield to pedestrians is one of the bad driving behaviours being targeted during the #YourStreetsYourSafety Summer Traffic Safety Campaign that will visit 42 and 43 Divisions from August 13 to 19.

A car turning as pedestrians cross an intersection
Drivers must yield to pedestrians or face a $150 fine and three demerit points

Traffic Services will support local officers in week-long initiatives, throughout the Summer and early Fall, to focus on four key areas of road safety; distracted driving, impaired driving, aggressive driving and speeding.

“The number one type of collision we see when a pedestrian is struck or killed is a left turn at an intersection whether it is controlled by a traffic signal or not. So as part of this campaign we will be focused around driver actions around intersections where they relate to pedestrian safety,” Traffic Services Constable Clint Stibbe says.

He said the onus is on the driver to by aware of pedestrians and cyclists as well as the oncoming traffic. Drivers face a $150 fine and three demerit points for failing to yield to pedestrians.

“When you look at left-hand turn situations a driver always worries about another motor vehicle coming towards them because that’s their threat,” Stibbe says. “The reality is that drivers need to recognize they are the cyclist’s or pedestrian’s threat and they need to take extra care in making those turns but quite often a pedestrian or cyclist is lost in the noise.”

@TorontoPolice #YourStreetsYourSafety Traffic Safety Campaign

Stibbe says simply slowing down will create less potential for collisions of any kind and staying focused on driving, without the distraction of a phone call whether hands free or not.

The Traffic Services veteran says pedestrian safety is a focus of enforcement in Scarborough and the city’s suburbs because they are a more hostile environment for pedestrians.

“We have wider roads and part of that comes higher speeds. When you add the two together it becomes a very dangerous environment for pedestrians,” says Stibbe, noting that a pedestrian struck at 60 km/h has a 95% chance of being killed, whereas at 30 km/h it’s reduced to 5%. “A driver has to be patient, has to be aware and has to make sure their turn is done safely, because if it’s not someone could lose their life.”

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.

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.

 “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.

Results from 54 & 55 Divisions #YourStreetsYourSafety enforcement from July 30 to August 5:

  • Speeding: 777
  • Distracted Driving: 179
  • Impaired-Related Offences: 16
  • Aggressive Driving: 1,442
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