Toronto is a ride-sharing city. Ubers, Lyfts, and other ride-share vehicles account for up to eight per cent of traffic in the downtown core, according to conservative estimates released last year by the city’s Big Data Innovation Team. Yet, as Toronto car accident lawyers have come to understand, information about accidents involving ride-share vehicles is hard to come by, and ride-share drivers continue to avoid rigorous training and testing.
In March 2018, 28-year-old Nicholas Cameron was killed while sitting in the back of an Uber on the Gardiner Expressway. According to numerous reports, the vehicle’s driver had pulled incompletely onto the shoulder of the road in order to retrieve a dropped smartphone. When the driver merged back into traffic, the vehicle was struck from behind and Cameron was killed. His girlfriend, Monika Traikov, was also in the car. She suffered multiple injuries including a traumatic brain injury. The pair were on route to Pearson International Airport to start a vacation.
Last month, Traikov and Cameron’s mother, Cheryl Hawkes, launched a $7 million lawsuit against Uber Canada, the City of Toronto, the driver of the Uber, and the driver of the other vehicle. According to Global News, the statement of claim alleges that Uber and the city exhibited “…a wanton and outrageous disregard for the safety of the residents of the City of Toronto.”
Since Cameron’s accident, Hawkes has become an advocate for improved ride-share safety in Toronto. Among the measures she has called for is mandatory in-car training for vehicle-for-hire drivers.
At the beginning of 2020, the City of Toronto began enforcing a new set of bylaws to improve public safety as it relates to ride-share programs. In-car training was not included, much to the dismay of Toronto car accident lawyers. Instead, ride-share drivers must now complete a city-approved training program that covers safe driving, driving in an urban environment, anti-racism, and sensitivity, according to CBC News Toronto. Drivers must also have at least three years of driving experience, up from one. The bylaws also include measures specific to cyclist safety.
Ride-share drivers have until June to comply with the city’s new bylaw. While the changes are a step in the right direction – particularly the increase in minimum driving experience – assessing their impact will be difficult. They may do little to prevent another accident like Nicholas Cameron’s.
If you or a member of your family have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Toronto, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Our experienced team of Toronto car accident lawyers will explain your legal options and offer guidance and advice throughout the claims process.
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