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Toronto Police Launch Safety Campaign in Response to Pedestrian Fatalities

  • February 27, 2018
  • by Will Davidson LLP
  • car accident, car accident lawyer, pedestrian safety, personal injury, Personal Injury Lawyer, road safety, Toronto, Will Davidson LLP,

The City of Toronto is enjoying a period of success and global prominence: its arts, culture, and business scenes are all thriving; tourists are arriving from around the world; and its population is booming. However, as new arrivals flood in, the city has had difficulty ensuring the safety of its tens of thousands of road users. Pedestrians have been at particular risk, as most Toronto personal injury lawyers can attest. In 2017, 36 pedestrians were killed on the city’s streets. A year earlier, 43 pedestrians were killed, the most in well over a decade.

The situation has not improved in the New Year. According to Toronto Police, five pedestrians were killed in Toronto over the first two weeks of January, a 250 per cent increase over the same time period in 2017. The fatalities included five-year-old Camila De Almeida Torcato in North York and a 74-year-old woman who was struck by a Canada Post delivery truck on Eglinton Avenue East. On January 11, more than 10 pedestrians were struck between 5:00 and 7:00 PM alone, though no deaths were reported.

The rash of pedestrian collisions has led to concern among safety advocates and Toronto personal injury lawyers, and prompted the police to launch a ‘pedestrian safety enforcement and education campaign,’ the CBC reported.

“We’ve got to change behaviour,” said Supt. Scott Baptist, unit commander of traffic services. “We’ve got people in the city – drivers, pedestrians and cyclists – just not paying 100 per cent attention to what they’re doing and it’s resulting in people being killed. We have to get people to do the most basic things, so we can all be safe.”

Toronto Police noted that senior citizens are overrepresented in pedestrian fatalities. The safety campaign also warned motorists to use caution while turning left at intersections, and noted that pedestrians who cross mid-block are susceptible to injuries.

Some safety advocates were put off by the week-long campaign’s focus on pedestrian behaviour.

“Pedestrians have the right of way in the majority of pedestrian fatalities and injuries in Toronto,” wrote Liam Brown, Press Officer at Grand Challenges Canada, on Twitter. “Instead [of placing blame on pedestrians], please focus on the main cause of collisions – distracted and aggressive drivers – and enforce the laws against speeding, distracted driving, and running stop signs.”

Talking to the CBC, Supt. Baptist stressed that all road users can contribute to a safer city.

“It’s so important that all road users share the road safely together,” he said. “And there’s things that we can all do: slow down, pay more attention, put the device down, get the ear buds out and look both ways before crossing a road.”

If you or a member of your family has been injured in a motor vehicle collision, contact the Toronto personal injury lawyers at Will Davidson LLP today to arrange a consultation. We may be able to help you pursue compensation for your injuries.


Photo credit: City of Toronto/Wikimedia Commons

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