Although issues like impaired driving and distracted driving attract more headlines, speeding remains a critical road safety issue in Canada, as most car accident lawyers can attest. According to data published by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, 27 per cent of fatalities and 19 per cent of serious injuries in 2011 involved speeding. Forty per cent of speeding drivers involved in fatal accidents were young, between the ages of 16 and 24.
Similar numbers have been recorded by the US Department of Transportation: speeding has been a contributing factor in a third of all traffic deaths in the United States over the past 20 years and contributed to 26 per cent of all traffic fatalities in 2017.
What’s more troubling is that drivers know that speeding is a major risk. According to a national study conducted for Transport Canada in 2007, 47 per cent of Canadians agree that speeding is a main cause of traffic collisions.
In Toronto, there has been renewed focus on dangerous driving in School Zones as students return to class. According to a CBC analysis of city data, approximately 21 per cent of vehicles tracked in School Zones since 2017 were caught speeding. The most dangerous stretch was Jane St. north of Bloor St. West, near Saint Pius X Catholic. In that zone, roughly 85 per cent of drivers exceeded the 60 kilometre per hour speed limit.
“People just have to change their behaviour,” said Mayor John Tory, per the CBC. “And I’m hopeful automated speed enforcement will do the trick, but it will take time to take effect.”
In July, a fleet of 50 automated photo radar ticketing devices were activated around Toronto. They have already issued thousands of tickets. However, road safety activists believe improved street design will be a more effective deterrent.
“We know that vehicle speed is a function of the design of a road, and has very little to do with the actual posted speed limit,” said Jessica Spieker of the road safety group Friends & Families for Safer Streets to the CBC.
In other words, wide, straight streets with multiple lanes of traffic encourage excess speed, while narrower roads with traffic calming measures promote safer driving.
Improved road design is a key component of the city’s Vision Zero safety plan, an initiative that is supported by many Toronto car accident lawyers. The plan makes clear that speed is a significant contributor to deaths of vulnerable road users, including pedestrians and cyclists. It proposes installing separated bike lanes, concrete bump outs, wider sidewalks, and a variety of other measures with the goal of eventually eliminating traffic fatalities in the city.
If you or a member of your family has been injured in a traffic accident in Toronto, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Our team of experienced car accident lawyers will assess your claim and provide the guidance and representation you need on your road to recovery.
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