Toronto Police Service (TPS) has been honoured for the creation of the Vision Zero Enforcement Team (VZET) with the Canadian Association Chiefs of Police (CACP) National Police Award for Road Safety.
The award recognizes excellence, dedication and initiative to help improve road safety through education, enforcement, training and/or community-based programs.
The City of Toronto implemented theVision Zero Road Safety Plan aimed at reducing the number of individuals killed and seriously injured in traffic collisions on the roadways of Toronto.
The plan focuses on engineering, education, technology, impact evaluations, community engagement and enforcement activities.
In January 2020, the TPS Vision Zero Enforcement Team (VZET) pilot was launched with eight officers.
Nine months later, the program was expanded with a dedicated team of 16 experienced Traffic Constables and two Sergeants split into groups covering the city.
They are strategically deployed, focusing on locations and times where data analysis and intelligence show the greatest opportunity for safety improvement through enforcement.
Utilizing highly visible marked and unmarked police vehicles, the team is able to use a variety of operational tactics to detect unsafe driving.
“Vision Zero is about addressing the Big Four – speeding, distracted driving, aggressive driving and impaired driving,” said Chief James Ramer. “It’s such phenomenal and important work because it saves lives.”
At the end of 2020, the VZET had written a total of 42,372 Provincial Offence Notices of which 32,643 were for speeding, 964 for distracted driving and 2,631 for aggressive driving offences.
“Vision Zero is all about reducing collisions that injure people,” said Sergeant Brett Moore. “The Vision Zero Enforcement team does that by taking a zero-tolerance approach to hold drivers accountable to the behaviours that we see on our roads every day.”
The VZET also engaged in an academic partnership with Ryerson University in 2020-2021 to look at the relationship between spatial and temporal trends associated with Vision Zero enforcement. This research identified the ticketing-motor vehicle collision relationship and recommended where and how often VZET should conduct enforcement activities.