Of the 66 road fatalities on city streets last year, 54 were vulnerable road users.
With the trend continuing in 2019, additional resources from Traffic Services and Parking Enforcement will be out in communities during the summer to assist frontline members.
Const. Brett Moore of the Traffic Safety Enforcement Unit said the summer plan supports the enforcement and education work that officers do daily in their communities as well as the ongoing work of the city’s Vision Zero and Congestion Management plans.
“We want people to think differently about how we use our roads and to change their daily habits and driving behavior,” said Moore. “The truth is unlike other types of social issues, road safety affects all of us. It doesn’t matter your age, what you do for a living or where you live. Traffic crimes cost society more, devastates more Ontario families and inflict more physical insult than all other crimes combined.”
Far too often, said Moore, are vulnerable road users – pedestrians, cyclists and seniors – the victims.
“The Summer Safety Plan will put more officers on the road, across the city and in the areas where they are needed the most,” he said, noting they have established through data analytics the best places to deploy officers to curb behaviours that lead to collisions.
Starting on July 2 and running into September, there will be 300 additional assignments for officers to work across the city in the identified key corridors on the ‘Big 4 offences’. Between Mondays and Fridays, officers will be deployed on days and afternoon shifts to conduct zero tolerance. On Friday and Saturday nights, officers will be out specifically looking for impaired drivers.
To date, Toronto Police have issued over 20,000 speeding tickets, 5,000 distracted driving tickets and have arrested over 500 impaired drivers.
In addition to enforcement, Moore said Toronto Police will focus on the opportunity to create conversations.
“We know that people don’t change behaviours because they are told to,” he said. “People change behaviours because they feel and think differently about an issue. This is the area that we need all of your help with. We need drivers to slow down, to put the phone down, to calm down behind the wheel, to drive sober and make the task of driving the priority.”
Moore called on community members to play their part in ensuring traffic city by calling 9-1-1 if they suspect someone is driving impaired.
“The information you provide is critical to our officers so they can respond and investigate,” he added.
The zero tolerance campaigns extends to vehicles found parked in ‘No Stopping’ Rush Hour routes.
Parking Enforcement Operations Supervisor George Johnstone said vehicles will be ticketed regardless if they are occupied or not.
“Vehicles will be removed immediately for all rush hour offences, including those in ‘No Parking’ areas,” he said.
The campaign will be focused with additional resources in 14, 51 and 52 Divisions that represent the downtown core of the city.