August 24, 1999
From:Commissioner of Works and Emergency Services
Subject:Traffic Safety Bureau
The purpose of this report is to:
(1)outline a business plan and associated costs and benefits for a Traffic Safety Bureau; and
(2)seek approval for the establishment of a Traffic Safety Bureau.
Funding Sources, Financial Implications and Impact Statement:
The cost to establish and operate a Traffic Safety Bureau is estimated to be $535,000.00 per year.
The cost to establish a data coding unit to verify approximately one-third of the collision data (fatalities, personal injuries,
public property damage and high frequency locations) for traffic analysis is estimated to be $265,000.00 per year for a total
of $800,000.00 in 2000. Funds will be identified in the Department's year 2000 current budget estimates.
It is recommended that:
(1)approval in principle be granted to establish a Traffic Safety Bureau within the Transportation Services Division of the
Works and Emergency Services Department;
(2)approval in principle be granted to temporarily establish a collision data coding verification unit within the
Transportation Services Division of the Works and Emergency Services Department until such time this service is
provided by the Police Service;
(3)the Police Service be requested to submit a supplemental report by March 2000 to the Works Committee to address
the status and corrective measure regarding the accuracy of the collision information submitted to Transportation Services;
(4)a portion of the revenues generated from the recovery of public property damage claims be used to offset the cost of
the proposed Traffic Safety Bureau;
(5)the Commissioner of Works and Emergency Services be authorized to enter into discussions with the Insurance
Bureau of Canada regarding the feasibility of securing private sponsorships to offset the cost of the proposed Traffic Safety
(6)the General Manager, Transportation Services be requested to submit a supplemental report to the Works Committee
to address what measures can be taken to reduce speeding on local roads used as by-passes.
At its meeting on May 11 and 12, 1999, Toronto City Council in discussing the report titled "Speed Limit Compliance on
Major Arterial Roads - Update", approved the following motion:
WHEREAS the City of Toronto is committed to improving traffic safety within its boundaries; and
WHEREAS staff, as part of the City amalgamation and reorganization of Transportation Services, have recommended that
the role of the Traffic Data Centre be expanded to include a Traffic Safety Bureau; and
WHEREAS the proposed Traffic Safety Bureau will function as a Centre of information for traffic safety for the City and
its primary objectives to:
(a)enhance the extent of traffic analysis presently conducted;
(b)introduce, support and co-ordinate (where applicable) successful internal and external traffic safety programs;
(c)formalize the monitoring and evaluation of traffic safety programs;
(d)increase the safety awareness in the planning, design, construction, installation, maintenance and operating practices
within the Department; and
(e)provide city-wide traffic performance and safety measures; and
WHEREAS due to budget constraints, no funding has been identified in the 1999 Operating Budget for this expanded role;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the General Manager, Transportation Services, be requested to submit a
report to the Planning and Transportation Committee, prior to the 2000 budget cycle, outlining the business plan and the
associated costs and benefits for a Traffic Safety Bureau, such report to also address what measures can be taken to reduce
speeding on local roads that are used as by-passes.
The focus of this report is to address the business plan and issues related to the proposed Traffic Safety Bureau. The issue
of speeding on local roads that are being used as by-passes will be addressed in a supplemental report to the Works
Traffic safety for pedestrians, cyclists, passengers and drivers is a city-wide issue that is inherent in the roles and
responsibilities of many departments and boards; for example, Works and Emergency Services, Public Health, Police
Service, Planning, Board of Education etc. Current departmental programs are generally reactive and site specific either
after an incident occurs or when a location is under review.
As part of the City amalgamation and reorganization of the Transportation Services Division, staff have recommended that
the role of the Traffic Data Centre be expanded to include a Traffic Safety Bureau. The purpose of the Traffic Safety
Bureau will be to take traffic safety efforts to the next higher level. The focus will be to develop and execute proactive,
continuous, traffic programs to:
(a)gain a better understanding of the causes related to collisions;
(b)continually introduce new mitigating measures and improve standards;
(c)measure the effectiveness of applied mitigating measures; and
(d)support revisions to or development of new municipal-wide guidelines, policies and practices.
Transportation staff believe a Traffic Safety Bureau will provide the necessary attention and resources to help in
developing proactive city-wide traffic safety programs.
In 1997, there were 80 collision related fatalities, 16,920 personal injuries, and 52,160 property damage claims over
$1,000.00 for a total of 69,160 reported collisions within the City of Toronto. Police sources suggest that an additional
15,000 (1998) collisions are reported to the police where damage claims are less than $1,000.00 and no injuries are
involved (known as "Non-reportables).
Appendix A, highlights that in 1997, 31 percent of the provincial 220,000 collisions occurred within the City of Toronto.
This translates into approximately 190 reportable collisions per day on the streets of Toronto.
Cost of Collisions
Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) estimated the total social cost of provincial traffic collisions in 1990 to be $9.1
billion or $41,000 per collision. The MTO research is based on a "willingness to pay model to forego a collision". The
research quantifies both the indirect and direct costs of collisions. The indirect costs include "the value society would place
on the elimination of human consequences of motor vehicle crashes" or in other words, the "pain and suffering" costs
which amount to $7.3 billion province-wide. The remaining $1.8 billion is attributed to provincial direct costs associated
with the collision. These direct costs include ambulance, hospital/health care, property damage, police, fire, tow-trucks,
insurance claim expenses and other out-of-pocket expenses.
A total summary of the MTO's research is illustrated in Appendix B. In addition, Appendix B provides an estimate of the
City of Toronto Collision Costs when the MTO's averages are applied to the Toronto collision figures.
Based on the MTO research, it is estimated that collision costs total between $2.5 and $2.9 billion per year in Toronto.
It may be more appropriate to focus on the more tangible direct cost of collisions; given that relating to the indirect cost
may be difficult due to the intangible aspect of "human consequence pain and suffering". The estimated Toronto annual
direct costs, which include services such as ambulance, fire, police and public/private damage claims amount to $0.5 to
$0.6 billion per year. Each one percent collision reduction within the City of Toronto translates to a $5 million to $6
million savings to the public.
Collision Reduction Return Rate
Safety experts continue to call incidents "collisions" rather than "accidents" since many believe collisions are preventable if
the proper precautions are taken. The precautions include education, enforcement and engineering. Recently published
information from the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) states that for each dollar spent on traffic safety
road improvements, rates of return range between 1:2.4 and 1:10. They gathered these return rates from road improvement
projects from 1993 to 1996. During this period, ICBC invested approximately $960,000.00 on road improvement projects
resulting in an estimated savings of $7,980,000.00 with an overall return rate of 1:8.3.
Generally, all of the City's programs have built-in safety policies and practices that have been carefully developed and
implemented over the years. This is particularly true in the Transportation Services Division in terms of roadway design,
operation and maintenance. The fact remains that collisions continue to increase as a by-product of increased population
and economic growth. Transportation staff believe that it makes sense to enhance public safety in terms of proactive
measures for vehicle collisions since the return rate and social costs are significant.
The Business Plan
The purpose of this report is to define a business plan for the proposed Traffic Safety Bureau that will operate with the
Traffic Data Centre, and in close liaison with all Works and Emergency Services Divisions as well as other City
The business plan has been divided into the following sections:
(iii)Potential Programs and Monitoring Approach;
(v)Issues - Timely and Accurate Collision Data; and
(vi)Costs and Potential Revenues
(For detailed description see Appendix C)
Currently the Traffic Data Centre records and compiles collision data primarily as input into traffic investigations resulting
from public inquiries. The proposed Traffic Safety Bureau will analyze the causes of the collisions from a systemic view.
This initiative will provide a better understanding and lead to development and implementation of improved collision
counter measures. These measures will be developed by City staff in consultation with Councillors, police, private sector
stakeholders, insurance companies, community associations, safety coalitions and educational entities. The Traffic Safety
Bureau will function as a "Centre of Information and Analysis" for traffic safety for the City of Toronto.
The primary focus of the Traffic Safety Bureau will be to add value to the existing traffic volume and collision data
collection programmes on the municipal road network by:
(a)enhancing the extent of traffic safety analysis presently conducted;
(b)introducing, supporting and co-ordinating (where applicable) internal and external traffic safety programs and
(c)formalizing the monitoring and evaluation of traffic safety programs to ensure there is a positive return on investment;
(d)increasing the safety awareness in the planning, design, construction, installation, maintenance and operating practices
within the Department; and
(e)providing city-wide traffic performance and safety measurements
(For detailed description see Appendix D)
The following ten positions are recommended to form the proposed Traffic Safety Bureau. These positions have been
divided into two groups; namely, traffic safety programs and collision data accuracy verification.
Traffic Safety Programs:Collision Data Accuracy Verification:
- Traffic Safety Engineerd.Collision Coding Staff
- Traffic Statistician(six positions for the verification of
- Application Technologists (two positions)one-third of the collision database)
One key aspect of the Traffic Safety Bureau will be to develop and establish effective links with both internal and external
groups to heighten the traffic safety conscience within the City. These links include Councillors, Transportation Divisions,
Technical Services, City Planning Division, Police Services, Media, Health and School Boards. A brief description of the
functional links is also included in Appendix D.
(iii)POTENTIAL PROGRAMS AND MONITORING APPROACH
(For detailed description see Appendix E)
Potential programs range from publishing collision statistics, identifying problem locations, before and after evaluations to
training programs. A sample of the programs is as follows:
- Identification of problem areas both geographically and functionally, to improve the knowledge of road network
- Assist in the development of city wide mitigating measures to reduce the preventable costs to the public and City, as
well as optimizing current and capital program investment decisions.
- Perform before-after evaluation to quality the measure of effectiveness of current and proposed traffic policies and
- Assist in the review of work zone safety audits to reduce the City's liability and lawsuits.
- Publish traffic safety reports, one-page educational brochures and newsletters to increase public and political awareness.
Details of the potential programs and monitoring approach are listed in Appendix E.
In addition, the intent is to establish a monitoring plan to evaluate the potential programs to ensure each of the initiatives'
performances provide a well-founded basis for continuation, modification or replacement by other programs.
The expected benefits or effects of the proposed Traffic Safety Bureau achievements are listed in Table 3. The amount of
savings in dollars is difficult to quantify since the savings are dependent on the extent of the programs that will be
However, as previously stated, there is the potential to reduce the estimated $2.5 to $2.9 billion annual social costs of
collisions within the City at a fraction of the cost to establish a Traffic Safety Bureau. Each one percent reduction in
collisions translates into $5 million to $6 million direct savings to the public; not to mention the additional indirect cost of
pain and suffering which could increase the savings by five times. Another viewpoint would be for each collision
prevented, the public would save $41,000.00.
Proposed Traffic Safety Bureau
Potential Achievements and Resulting Effects Benefits
||Potential Effects (Benefits)|
|1.Provide a safety focus for the Division
2.Improve knowledge of the Road Network
3.Introduce training aimed at increasing
safety awareness in our practices
4.Improve assessment of capital
expenditures with respect to effect on safety.
|1.Increase public and political awareness of
the significance of our safety-related
2.Reduce the preventable costs to the public
3.Reduce the City's liability and lawsuits
against the City that are traffic related.
4.Provide police with traffic information to
assist in enforcement and educational
programs (know better where to locate and
what to target).
5.Revenue generation and sponsorship.
6.Improvements in safety to all modes of
7.Improved customer service - more
knowledgeable, more timely.
8.Optimized Capital Works Program
(v)ISSUES - TIMELY AND ACCURATE COLLISION DATA
One fundamental requirement for the Traffic Safety Bureau is the supply of continuous, timely and most important, accurate collision data from the Police.
Historically, the Toronto Police Service has provided the former municipalities, including the Traffic Data Centre, with collision information. Prior to 1992, Toronto Police Officers would interview drivers who were involved in collisions and fill out collision reports. The information such as location and cause, was filled out on one report by the investigating police officer. The information was then transcribed into an electronic database by a single central group at police headquarters. Both a copy of the collision report and the electronic database was forwarded to the Traffic Data Centre.
In 1996, the Toronto Police Service in cooperation with the private sector launched three Collision Reporting Centres (CRCs). The main premise for the CRCs is to expedite the reporting of minor collisions without having people waiting at the collision location for immediate police involvement. Instead, they drive to the closest CRC and each driver is required to fill out a collision report (result: two or more reports per collision). The CRCs provide greater public convenience, comfort, reduce extended periods of traffic congestion, reduce the requirement for on-site police resources and have allowed the police to concentrate on more serious collision investigations.
The exceptions to the CRC process are if the collision involves 1) injury or death, 2) criminal activity, 3) Federal, Provincial, TTC or Municipal vehicles, 4) vehicles transporting dangerous goods, 5) uninsured or suspended drivers and 6) damage to private, municipal or highway property. On these occasions, drivers are instructed not to leave the collision site and wait until a police officer arrives. When a police officer arrives, the police proceed to interview the parties involved and document the information on a "401" collision report. These "401" reports are forwarded to police headquarters for data entry. In 1997, there were approximately 17,000 cases that met the CRC exception criteria or approximately 25 percent of the 69,180 reported collisions.
Another exception to the CRC process is collisions involving bicycles. Cyclists are not required to report to the CRCs; but are allowed to report to police stations. This is due to the lack of accessibility for cyclists to travel to the suburban CRC locations, particularly for downtown residents without cars.
With the introduction of the CRCs and the reduction of collision records personnel at police headquarters, Transportation staff have experienced substantial delays in receiving copies of collision reports ranging from one to six months. In addition, the records transcribed into the electronic collision databases by both headquarters and CRC staff contain errors when compared with the collision reports. Transportation staff have found that at least 50 percent of the collision records contain transcription errors, therefore staff cannot rely on the Police collision database. As a result, for each request since 1996, Transportation staff have manually verified the electronic information before releasing the summarized information to the public. This additional required exercise was done at the expense of other divisional programs.
For approximately the past three years Transportation staff have discussed with the Police Service Records Bureau procedures and programs to improve the quality of the electronic database and expedite the delivery of information on a regular continuous basis. The Police Service with the help of Transportation staff continue to try to improve the quality of the data with improved training methods, procedures, and computer software and hardware upgrades. Over the past six months there has been considerable effort made by the Police Service in this regard; however, the net result remains that the electronic database requires substantial manual verification by City Transportation staff. This information is typically used to form the basis for transportation improvements including traffic control changes such as stop signs, traffic signals, pedestrian crossovers, minor road improvements, additional turn lanes, and major transportation projects.
To meet the Traffic Safety Bureau requirements for the development of systemic traffic safety programs, Transportation staff is recommending that additional resources be dedicated to the partial verification of the electronic collision database. The partial verification will encompass the fatal, personal injury and public property damage "401" reports (approximately 25 per cent) and high frequency locations (approximately 8 per cent) which represents one-third of the collision database. The interim proposal is to hire six additional staff members to check and verify the collision records until the Police Service can substantially reduce or eliminate the transcription errors.
In addition, in consultation with the Police Service, Transportation staff recommend that the Police Service report back to the Works Committee by March 2000 regarding the status and corrective measure regarding the accuracy of the collision information forwarded to Transportation Services.
(vii)COSTS AND POTENTIAL REVENUES
The annual staffing costs (including fringe benefits) are estimated to be $500,000. It is estimated that for ten people, an initial setup cost of $30,000 for computers and printers is required. An additional $20,000 for office and field survey equipment, including a digital camera-video, measuring devices, and speed guns would be needed.
The out-sourcing costs will depend on the programs adopted for the coming and subsequent years. These are listed in Appendix C.
It is recommended that for the year 2000, the budget be allocated as follows:
Equipment:$ 35,000 $15,000 $50,000
Contracts 1):$250,000 $0$250,000
Note 1): Includes possible out-sourced assignments for before-after evaluations, problem area identification, joint ventures with educational institutions, training programs, printing and distribution costs.
To offset the operating cost of the proposed Traffic Safety Bureau there currently exist two potential revenue sources.
a)Public Property Damage Claims
Revenue is generated from the collection of public property damage claims. In the past, through insurance claims and legal action, the City has collected $750,000 per year resulting from damage to public property. The recovery of public property damage claims remains uncertain since the basis for recovery requires accurate and timely collision reports. As mentioned, the Police Service is unable to provide the collision reports to the City in a timely and accurate fashion. Therefore many public property damage claims remain unrecoverable since reports cannot be found, are incomplete or "time expired" before legal action can take place. However, with the addition of collision coding staff, public property damage information could be easily captured and sent to the City's insurance group for recovery. Transportation staff recommends that with the addition of collision coding staff the additional portion of the recovered public property damage claims can be used to offset the cost of the proposed Traffic Safety Bureau.
In addition, there is the potential to explore possible revenue streams with Bell, hydro, gas companies, cable companies and other utilities by supplying them with the necessary collision documentation to enable them to recover additional property damage claims.
b)Insurance Bureau of Canada Sponsorship
Member companies of the Insurance Bureau of Canada have expressed an interest in lowering the number of collisions. Collectively, these companies may be interested in sponsoring the proposed Traffic Safety Bureau and should be formally approached. Staff are recommending that the Commissioner of Works and Emergency Services be authorized to enter into discussions with the Insurance Bureau of Canada regarding the feasibility of securing private sponsorship to offset the cost of proposed Traffic Safety Bureau.
If approved, the Traffic Safety Bureau will become an integral part of the Transportation Services Division where the focus of its operation is to lead the advancement of explicitly safety-oriented activities. The Traffic Safety Bureau will operate in a proactive and reactive manner by introducing "value added" activities which can bring benefits to a number of stakeholders, as well as responding to requests from the same "customers" regarding the analysis and evaluation of available traffic and road data. The estimated annual cost of the Traffic Safety Bureau is in two parts, specifically $535,000 for traffic safety programs and $265,000 for data accuracy verification, for a total of $800,000. Staff have recommended that a portion of the revenues generated from public property damage claims and sale of collision data be used to offset the operating costs of the Bureau. The funding for the Bureau will be included in the 2000 annual budget submission.
Steven T. KodamaLes Kelman
Manager, Traffic Data CentreDirector, Transportation Systems
Phone: 392-9633Phone: 392-5372
Fax: 397-5777Fax: 392-4940
David C. Kaufman
General Manager, Transportation Services
Barry H. Gutteridge
Commissioner, Works and Emergency Services
Toronto and Provincial
Ten Year Collision History
1990 Provincial Collision Costs (1)
Estimated 1997 City of Toronto Collision Costs
Annual Costs (2)|
Out of Pocket
|Total Annual 1990 Cost
|$0.5 to $0.6
||$2.0 to $2.3
||$2.5 to $2.9
Note1.Source: Ontario Ministry of Transportation, Road Safety Program Office Research document entitled "The Social Cost of Motor Vehicle Crashes in Ontario", March 1994.
2.Estimated Toronto 1997 Annual Cost =1990 Provincial Average Costs multiplied by 60,000 to 70,000 collisions per year.
The Traffic Data Centre is scheduled to manage the overall data collection regarding traffic volumes, road collision information and speed information for the four operational districts within the Transportation Services Division. Traffic data collection includes the validation, and computerized coding and entering of the field data for future use.
This data is typically used in a wide range of localized transportation related activities, including but not limited to:
(1)traffic control studies (i.e. signals, stop signs, pedestrian crossovers, turn restrictions, etc.);
(2)road geometric revisions;
(3)speed limit requests;
(5)ntersection collision review;
(6)developmental review; and
(7)transportation environmental assessment studies.
In addition, the centralized information has intrinsic unrealized potential to develop broader proactive traffic safety initiatives.
This could be performed by analyzing the traffic volume and collision databases to identify:
- volume and collision trends;
- operational performance indicators;
- severity indexes;
- contributing factors and casual relationships;
- mitigating measures; and
- assessment of the effectiveness of mitigating initiatives.
The results of the volume and collision analysis would assist in the development of city-wide programing and policies such as:
- traffic operational reviews (parking, truck routing, HOV operations, etc.);
- bicycle and pedestrian facility reviews;
- facility specific safety reviews for traffic investigations and corridor studies;
- capital road improvement program;
- Red Light Camera initiatives; and
- Road Classifications.
Currently the Traffic Data Centre records and compiles collision data primarily as input into traffic investigations resulting from public inquiries. The proposed Traffic Safety Bureau will analyze the causes of the collisions from a systemic view. This initiative will provide a better understanding and lead to development and implementation of improved collision counter measures. These measures will be developed by City staff in consultation with Councillors, police, private sector stakeholders, insurance companies, community associations, safety coalitions and educational entities. The Traffic Safety Bureau will function as a "Centre of Information and Analysis" for traffic safety for the City of Toronto.
The primary focus of the Traffic Safety Bureau will be to add value to the existing traffic volume and collision data collection programmes on the municipal road network by:
(a)enhancing the extent of traffic safety analysis presently conducted;
(b)introducing, supporting and co-ordinating (where applicable) internal and external traffic safety programs and mitigating measures;
(c)formalizing the monitoring and evaluation of traffic safety programs to ensure there is a positive return on investment;
(d)increasing the safety awareness in the planning, design, construction, installation, maintenance and operating practices within the Department; and
(e)providing city-wide traffic performance and safety measurements.
The following ten positions are proposed to carry out the primary functions:
(a)Traffic Safety Engineer
Traffic Safety Engineer will be reporting to the Traffic Data Centre and Safety Bureau Manager and be responsible and accountable for all required links, and the proactive and reactive activities of the Safety Bureau. This position may also support the Manager in the co-ordination with other Sections and Divisions across the City, as well as external links.
The Traffic Statistician would also report to the Manager. The job function would require computer skills would undertake and overlook the data manipulation, performance analysis, network screening, and other traffic safety studies.
(c)Application Technologists (two positions)
Reporting to the Traffic Safety Engineer, the position would support the work of the Traffic Safety Bureau and focus on data manipulation.
(d)Data Coding Staff (6 positions)
In order to provide accurate data for post-analysis, data coding staff would be required to verify and edit parts of the annual 60,000 to 70,000 collision records received from the Toronto Police Services. This topic is further discussed in the Issues Section (v) of this report.
The Bureau will also call on the following on an "as required" basis:
- the part-time support of a computer programmer to develop special software for the specific evaluation studies;
i.an accident reconstruction specialist; and
ii.consultants for out sourcing of tasks when there is a lack of internal resources or when independent/non-biased objective analyses are required.
Internal and External Links
One key aspect of the Traffic Safety Bureau will be to develop and establish effective links with both internal and external groups to heighten the traffic safety conscious within the City. These links are described below.
The Councillors would receive updated and well-based information to be used when faced with public requests. The Traffic Safety Bureau would support the development of a group of well informed and safety conscious engineers (of other Districts and Divisions) based on before/after studies and other monitoring of local and worldwide practices, and internal training programs.
(b)Traffic Data Centre
The Traffic Data Centre provides traffic volume and collision information and is the most crucial partner of the Traffic Safety Bureau. The data quality, accuracy and timing will determine the quality of analysis and evaluation that the Traffic Safety Bureau will be able to provide.
(c)Transportation Service Districts
The four Transportation Service Districts with their two Traffic Operation and Traffic Planning sub-units are the front-line users of the information. They provide the links to the general public by:
(i)disseminating the information given by the Traffic Safety Bureau within the context of the local community's individual project or programs;
(ii)providing the conduit for public complaints about traffic safety; and
(iii)implementing engineering changes and seek the Traffic Safety Bureau support in the monitoring and evaluation of the safety impact.
(d)Transportation Policy and Programming Division
The Traffic Safety Bureau will work with the Transportation Policy and Programming Division to develop:
(i)network-wide transportation operational planning and policy;
(ii)infrastructure asset management and programming;
(iii)project planning; and
(iv)pedestrian and cycling planning, policy, and programming.
(e)Technical Services Division
The Traffic Safety Bureau will work in conjunction with the Technical Services Division in evaluating current construction and inspection practices, safety performance during construction (work zones) and establish a safety audit policy (process and methodology).
(f)City Planning Division
Traffic Safety Bureau will work in conjunction with the City Planning Division in evaluating planning policies, programs and practices from a traffic safety perspective.
The Police can benefit from the analysis of the collection data, by optimizing their following programs:
(i)RIDE programs on the basis of collision mapping and involvement of "drunk" drivers;
(ii)Speed Control - on the basis of collision mapping and speed-related causes; and
(iii)Specify General Enforcement - on the basis of collision mapping for specific violations, time and exposure risk.
(h)Fire and Ambulance
The Fire and Ambulance Services can also benefit by optimizing their resources on the basis of the collision analysis and mapping of relevant details, by optimizing the positioning, type and number of their vehicles and personnel at key locations for rapid delivery of services where a higher probability of collisions was identified.
The Media can assist in disseminating reliable and informative documentation to the public at large, which would increase safety awareness.
(j)Board of Education
School area traffic safety continues to be a problematic issue in every community. The issues range from speeding to parking controls related to drop off and pick up of students, to pedestrian crossing protection. The Traffic Safety Bureau would assist the local district traffic operational groups to develop and implement school related traffic safety initiatives with the school board.
The Traffic Safety Bureau will establish on-going programs to support both the proactive and reactive operations as described in the Functional Structure above. It its first year of operation, the Traffic Safety Bureau will introduce the programs identified as high priority by the Transportation Services Division. This list may change on the basis of liaison with the other Sections of the Division, and identification of high priority programs.
Based on the definition of the operational model, described in Section (I), and the role of the Traffic Safety Bureau, the following programs are proposed.
(1)Annual Traffic Safety Report
A traffic data report was first produced in 1996. It provides a comprehensive report of the traffic and road performance within the City on the basis of the collision data and traffic volumes recorded. Complimentary to the data report, the Traffic Safety Bureau will analyse and process the collected data for the development and installation of systemic operational traffic improvements. It is envisioned that results from other activities such as, before-after evaluations of special practices and network screening process, will find this report as a possible medium of information.
The Districts and politicians have requested information from the Traffic Data Centre regarding a number of "specific safety performance" issues. These have been provided in coloured one-page brochures. The Traffic Safety Bureau will proactively produce brochures which could be identified by the "customers" in a survey, in early 2000. These brochures are a means to produce and provide a simplified way to disseminate knowledge.
The City of Toronto publishes a great number of informative pamphlets for the public, politicians and staff. The Traffic Safety Bureau, supported by editors and public relations, could provide an informative standalone newsletter or append to existing departmental newsletters, a description of special engineering projects where traffic and road safety was enhanced. With this information the Traffic Safety Bureau would strive to bring recognition of safety achievements by the Sections and other Divisions, as well as disseminate additional knowledge acquired from other evaluation projects.
The Traffic Safety Bureau, in conjunction with other Sections and Divisions will identify engineering practices to be evaluated on the basis of before-after safety performance analyses. This activity is of a great importance in updating the Districts of the scientifically correct analysis practices. This is the catalyst for performance improvement.
(5)Problem Area Identification
Identification of problem areas in conjunction with the Police and Communities. Potential unsafe locations (lack of crosswalks, lack of conspicuous intersections, crossing times at signalized intersections, etc.) identified by school children, parents and teachers, elderly members, and police patrolling. These locations coupled with the occurrence of collisions, and road and traffic infrastructure safety review, will result in a list with "sites with promise". These "sites with promise" are locations where engineering measures may improve their safety performance.
(6)Joint Ventures with Educational Institutions
The University of Toronto's Transportation group, in conjunction with the Traffic Data Centre, is developing safety performance functions which will be modelled on collision history, traffic volumes, road classes and characteristics.
This activity can be expanded and a safety software developed to provide the Traffic Safety Centre with the required tools to screen the performance of the road network. This screening will prioritize the sites with the most potential for safety improvement using the most updated statistical knowledge.
The Traffic Safety Bureau, as a catalyst, of a safety conscious agency, would develop training programs to be offered to the other Sections and Divisions. These training programs would evolve over a period of time.
It is a continuous activity where different subject areas will be identified and developed from basic to advanced levels.
In addition to the above programs, these additional programs could be considered:
(a)Work Zone - Safety Auditing Policy and Program to support the Technical Services Division and Districts. The first step will be to establish a municipal policy and process to ensure explicit traffic and road safety consideration at all implementation stages of a construction or maintenance project. The second step will be to train the staff and other consultants to put in practice the policy, as well as to designate "auditors" (independent and qualified persons) to assess the practices;
(b)Accident Reconstruction Special Projects - to increase the engineering understanding of collision causes and effects of specific types and at sites identified by the Traffic Safety Bureau;
(c)Joint partnerships with educational institutions, other municipalities, insurance companies and other private stakeholders in the development of traffic safety advancement programs. This group might also become a "think tank" for future programs;
(d)Revenue Sponsorship Program - the Traffic Safety Bureau will identify opportunities for sponsorship for specific programs;
(e)Safety Review Policy and Program - the Traffic Safety Bureau could become the independent body leading a group of independent specialists such as human factors and safety experts, road designers and others to "wear the safety hats" and assess projects, in their developmental phases, such as preliminary planning, detail design, and pre-opening; and
(f)School Zones and Programs - the Traffic Safety Bureau could participate in the safety activities in conjunction with the School Boards and the Districts.
The Traffic Safety Bureau strives to monitor all programs in terms of benefits and costs. A monitoring approach will ensure that an evaluation of the programs' performance will provide a well-founded basis for continuation, modification or replacement by other programs. At the start of the programs, a monitoring approach will be established with the framework for specifically required data collection. It is expected that each program be evaluated on the basis of two to three years of operation.
The table below is an example of the monitoring table to be completed in future years.
|Annual Safety Performance Report