Backgrounder: Vision Zero Road Safety Plan measures
March 19, 2018
The City’s Vision Zero Road Safety Plan will introduce 45 new or enhanced measures targeted at eliminating fatalities and reducing serious injuries, with an emphasis on pedestrians, school children, older adults, cyclists, aggressive and distracted driving, and motorcyclists.
The following list of actions identifies what was completed in 2017 and what is planned for 2018.
Measures Completed in 2017
Creation of Seniors Safety Zones
Seniors Safety Zones raise awareness of and curb aggressive driving in neighborhoods where there has been a history of fatal and serious injury collisions affecting older residents. Twelve locations were retrofitted in 2017 with designated Senior Safety Zone signs, “Watch Your Speed” driver signs, increased pedestrian walk times and enhanced pavement markings. In 2018, the program will be expanded to 24 Senior Safety Zones.
Red light cameras at 74 new locations
Since the inception of red-light cameras in Toronto in 2000, the number of angle collisions (those most indicative of red-light running) causing fatalities, serious injuries or property damage has been reduced by over 60 per cent. There are 74 new red-light camera sites, for a total of 139 in operation today.
Accessible pedestrian signals
The Accessible Pedestrian Signal program of the Vision Zero Road Safety Plan will result in the relocation and/or addition of pedestrian pushbutton poles in accessible locations, the addition of audible pedestrian pushbuttons and the addition of depressed curbs and tactile plates at the pedestrian crossings. These combined features at intersections will improve accessibility for people with disabilities.
Since the start of Vision Zero, 60 of the signals have been installed, with 30 additional installations planned for this year.
Geometric safety improvements at intersections
The City of Toronto has engineered safety improvements at 28 intersections in 2017. These improvements include radius reductions, realignment, reconfiguration and/or modifications to improve pedestrian safety by reducing crossing distances, making the pedestrian crossing more accessible and reducing vehicle conflicts with cyclists and pedestrians.
The City will continue working on new engineered safety improvement projects in 2018.
Road safety audits
Road safety audits were completed at six locations last year, involving in-depth investigations into locations where pedestrians have been killed or seriously injured. These investigations tried to determine the reasons for collisions and made recommendations on appropriate safety improvements such as geometric road modifications, speed reductions, street-lighting improvements, enhanced pavement markings and signage, implementation of prohibited turn movements and/or signal-timing modifications.
In 2018, the City will conduct road safety audits at seven additional locations.
Reduction of speed limits
As part of the Pedestrian Safety Corridor program, 39 pedestrian corridors where pedestrians have been killed or seriously injured were identified in 2017 for speed reduction, speed education, signal re-timing and pavement marking enhancements to improve safety for pedestrians. Since the start of Vision Zero, 837 speed-limit signs were installed where speed limits have been reduced by 10 kilometres an hour.
In 2018, the City will continue implementing similar speed reduction measures in corridors identified and prioritized through data analysis.
Expansion of the school ‘Watch Your Speed’ program
Speed radar signs aim to slow traffic on approaches to schools, making the crosswalks and routes to school safer for children. City of Toronto studies have shown that the signs have reduced the number of vehicles travelling over the speed limit by up to 34 per cent in school zones. Since the start of Vision Zero, 60 permanent Watch Your Speed signs have been installed at 39 schools.
In 2018, the City will add 80 more signs at 40 schools.
Expansion of the mobile ‘Watch Your Speed’ program
The mobile Watch Your Speed trailers serve to slow vehicle traffic on local roads, making roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists. Currently, the City has four mobile trailers that are rotated throughout the city as needed.
In 2018, the City will purchase additional pole-mounted mobile signs to make a mobile sign available for deployment in each Toronto ward.
Implementation of increased pedestrian walk times
As part of an ongoing program to increase pedestrian walk times city-wide, walk times were increased at 13 locations in 2017. This initiative gives pedestrians more time to cross streets to better accommodate older residents and pedestrians with special needs.
In 2018, the City will continue to implement this program at additional locations identified and prioritized through data analysis.
New measures in 2018
- New flex-post traffic calming signs will be piloted at 12 school locations, with signs placed in the middle of the roadway between lanes as a reminder to motorists that they are in a school zone and need to slow down.
- A speed-enforcement pilot project will use automated measures to enforce speed limits at designated locations
- A pilot project will entail installing newly designed pedestrian crossovers with flashing beacons, introduced by the province in 2016 in co-ordination with new rules requiring drivers to yield the entire roadway.
- Measures will be taken to reduce crossing distances via painted curb extensions.
Media contact: Cheryl San Juan, Strategic Communications, 416-392-4391, Cheryl.Sanjuan@toronto.ca