Safer streets now needed in Toronto after drivers hit 3 pedestrians in 3 hours: lawyer

More needs to be done now to make Toronto’s roads safer for pedestrians, a safe streets advocate says after three people were hit by drivers while walking in the city on Wednesday morning.

Dylan Reid, co-founder of the Walk Toronto organization, said lowering the speed limit, installing more zebra crossings, adding more photo radar cameras and even banning right-hand turns through red lights are important steps that could help the save the lives of vulnerable road users. .

Many of these road safety measures are outlined in Toronto’s Vision Zero Road Safety Plan, which prioritizes the safety of Toronto’s most vulnerable road users through a series of comprehensive, proactive, targeted and data-driven initiatives. Launched in July 2016, this plan aims to reduce road deaths and serious injuries on city streets.

“The city’s Vision Zero plan needs to be accelerated. It’s going too slow to move forward,” said Reid, adding that fatal accidents involving vulnerable road users receive the most attention, incidents where people are injured are just as important.

“Being hit by a moving vehicle can change a person’s life forever. It is a life-changing event, a traumatic experience, both physically and mentally.”

Wednesday’s collisions involving pedestrians all took place in less than three hours.

The first accident happened just before 7:30 a.m. near Elm Street and University Avenue. Police said the pedestrian suffered serious injuries and was taken to hospital by paramedics.

The second was just 30 minutes later at the intersection of Dufferin Street and St. Clair Avenue West. Paramedics took a victim with serious injuries to a trauma center.

Shortly before 10 a.m., Toronto police tweeted about a third pedestrian being hit by a driver near Steeles Avenue West and Martin Grove Road. Details about the victim’s injuries were not immediately available.

So far, the police have identified one of the drivers, Const. Sean Shapiro of Traffic Services told CP24.com.

He said improving road safety is a shared responsibility.

“Today’s clashes could have been avoided by being careful and making better decisions,” said Shapiro, who hosts the popular #AskATrafficCop livestream program.

“In two cases, pedestrians crossed the middle of the block. … Saving a few seconds is not worth your life.”

Shapiro said police want all road users to arrive at their destination alive and unharmed, especially pedestrians and cyclists who are the most vulnerable.

“It’s not about who’s to blame, it’s about getting home safely,” he said.

“If we all take a few minutes to plan ahead and be extra careful, maybe we can all avoid a tragedy.”

Reid underlined that three vulnerable road users who are hit by vehicles in such a short time are showing that “our streets are dangerous for pedestrians”.

“If you get three pedestrians in the morning, it reminds you that these collisions happen all the time,” he said.

So far this year, the Toronto Police Department has investigated dozens of non-fatal collisions involving personal injury and 31 fatal crashes.

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