Choose Safety Over Convenience

By Martin Blake, Toronto Police Service Published: 6 a.m. September 12, 2018
Updated: 8:11 a.m. September 12, 2018

Drivers choosing convenience over pedestrian and transit users’ safety will be the focus of the #YourStreetsYourSafety Summer Traffic Safety Campaign this week in the downtown core from September 10 to 16.

People get on streetcar at intersection
A streetcar picks up passengers at King and Bathurst Sts. where drivers are not allowed to proceed through the intersection

Traffic Services is supporting 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.

Traffic Services Constable Clint Stibbe said the danger to pedestrians downtown is often at intersections.

“What we see in different parts of the city, different types of problems are more prominent,” said Stibbe. “The problems we see downtown are intersection related, drivers are disobeying signs, not yielding to pedestrians.”

He said drivers have a choice to keep people safe.

“Individuals are breaking the law because it’s more convenient to break them, then to follow them,” Stibbe said. “When you look at the downtown core, speed is generally not a factor in most of the situations. The intersections are where we are really seeing the injuries and the loss of life.”

#YourStreetsYourSafety Downtown Core

Stibbe said officers will be focusing their attention on King St. where a pilot project does not allow cars to proceed through intersections between Bathurst and Jarvis Sts. in order to help move streetcars faster across the city.

Read more about the King Street Transit Pilot

“Drivers that are disobeying the rules are putting people at risk,” Stibbe said. “Drivers are making mistakes, these mistakes are unacceptable and these mistakes are injuring individuals and sometimes taking lives.”

Disobeying a sign or proceeding contrary to sign at an intersection carries a $110 fine and two demerit points.

“We need to also keep in mind those actions are putting other individuals at risk,” said Stibbe, noting with a little extra time, drivers can take the risks and stress out of their drive. “It is going to take you a significant amount of time to move through the core. You’re dealing with pedestrian traffic, transit traffic and other vehicles.”

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.

Traffic Services Superintendent Scott Baptist 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.

Results from 41 Division #YourStreetsYourSafety enforcement from August 27 to September 2:

  • Speeding: 869
  • Distracted Driving: 48
  • Aggressive Driving: 551

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