Jul 27, 2021 in News Road Safety

Road Safety: What’s Stopping Toronto from Implementing Aggressive Road Safety Measures?

What’s Stopping Toronto from Implementing Aggressive Road Safety Measures?

Earlier this month, CBC News Toronto reported that residents of North York’s Stanley Greene neighbourhood had called upon the city to install speed bumps and stop signs after a speeding vehicle flipped and collided with a light pole on Downsview Park Boulevard. The requests echoed calls by safety activists and personal injury lawyers in Toronto and across the province: adding ‘traffic calming infrastructure’ like speed bumps, four-way stops, and traffic islands is a proven method of reducing serious injuries and fatalities. It is also a hallmark of successful Vision Zero road safety plans around the world.

Almost five years into its own Vision Zero strategy, Toronto has failed to significantly reduce fatalities. This is due in part to its reluctance to invest in infrastructure that slows vehicles down.

For the residents of Stanley Greene, unfortunately, there are unique barriers to these common sense road safety measures. The neighbourhood sits on land that was once federally owned and then sold to a private developer; much of it has since been taken over by the city, but parts, including Downsview Park Boulevard, remain under federal control, meaning the city isn’t able to change the landscape.

“We support all these measures to keep the community safe,” Coun. James Pasternak, who represents the ward, told the CBC. “There’s one problem, and that is the road itself is technically still under federal jurisdiction.”

Under current rules, however, the city would be able to lower speed limits, another critical Vision Zero initiative that Toronto has been reluctant to enact. As Toronto personal injury lawyers know, speeding is one of the most common causes of serious injuries and deaths on Ontario’s roads. Research shows that collisions at 30 km/h and under are vastly less likely to result in fatalities, even when pedestrians are involved.

More aggressive municipalities have implemented city-wide 30 km/h speed limits in residential and pedestrian-heavy areas. Toronto has not, and some road safety experts believe this failure is behind Vision Zero’s lack of success here when compared to other cities.

As Toronto personal injury lawyers, we are sensitive to the fact that policymakers must consider a myriad factors when implementing new rules of the road. Reducing speed limits across the city may be politically unpopular, but a drastic reduction in traffic deaths would more than make up for lost efficiencies.

Contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers

If you or a member of your family has been injured in a traffic accident, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Our experienced team has helped hundreds of Ontarians access the compensation they need to fund their recoveries.


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