Jun 24, 2015
By Jane Brown
Pedestrians and cyclists are more likely to be injured or killed in Toronto than people using cars or public transit.
It’s one of the starkest facts outlined in a new Toronto Public Health report which analyzes police crash data between 2008 and 2012.
During that period, 120 pedestrians and 10 cyclists were killed, while more than 10,000 pedestrians and more than 5000 cyclists were injured.
And in most cases, it was not the fault of the pedestrians and cyclists, but instead the blame was driver error.
Toronto’s medical officer of health Doctor David McKeown is advocating for traffic calming measures across the city, including lower speed limits and alternate road design, particularly on arterial streets where the most serious crashes happen.
The new data “suggests motorists also need to be urged to take great care when driving near pedestrians and observing the rules of right-of-way,” McKeown explains.
There is some encouraging news in the report, what McKeown calls the “safety in numbers effect.”
“As more people cycle and there’s (sic) more bikes on the road, the rate of injuries and fatalities per million trips, or per time that you spend on the road, has gone down,” he said.
Earlier this week, Toronto and East York Community council voted to reduce the neighbourhood speed limits in twelve wards to 30 kilometres an hour from 40 km/h.