Making it safe for everyone using the nationâ€™s streets, roads and highways was the goal of the original Vision Zero Canada campaign under the direction of a private, nonprofit organization. The underlying premise behind the project was to achieve zero injuries and deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents. Focusing on infrastructure development, driver and pedestrian education, and law enforcement, the program has been adopted by government bodies throughout Canada, including the city of Toronto.
Vision Zero Road Safety in Toronto
The Toronto Vision Zero Road Safety Plan has as its goal the reduction of injuries and fatalities caused by motor vehicle accidents in the city over a five-year period spanning 2017 through 2021. The Toronto plan identified the following areas to address in its efforts to improve road safety:
- Children of school age
- Senior adults
- Motorcycle operators
- Aggressive and distracted driving
The most recently available statistics indicate the city might experience a record number ofÂ pedestrian deathsÂ if accidents continue at the current pace. City officials cite severe winter weather as part of the problem leading to 11 deaths so far this year.
The Vision Zero Road Safety Plan promises the following measures in an effort to reduce pedestrian injuries and deaths in Toronto:
- Reduced speed limits
- Elimination of right turns at red traffic signals
- Shorter distances required to safely cross the street
- Increased enforcement of traffic laws where pedestrians cross
The aim is to eliminate or reduce situations in which cars and other motor vehicles come in conflict with people attempting to cross city streets.
Making it safe for school children
The Toronto program seeks to identify and target locations where a school-age child has been injured or killed by a motor vehicle. Better pavement markings and signage to improve driver recognition of school crossings and other locations where children might be encountered. Whatever measures are put into place would be located along school routes and within school zones.
Protecting older pedestrians from harm
Older adults appear to be at risk as a group to be injured or killed in a confrontation with a motor vehicle. As older Canadians live more active lives, the city has made it a priority under Vision Zero to identify locations where there are large numbers of seniors residing. Lowering speed limits, increasing the duration of walk signals, improving pavement markings at crosswalks and increased police enforcement of laws against aggressive driving are some of the improvements projected under the plan.
Improving road safety for bicycle riders
By identifying and analyzing the locations and causes of collisions between motor vehicles and bicycle riders, the Vision Zero Plan hopes to implement improvements to reduce or eliminate them. Installation of advance green signals for bike riders, bike boxes and targeted enforcement of laws against improper use of bike lanes and other traffic violations affecting bicycle riders are some of the measures planned by the city.
Targeting aggressive and distracted driving benefits everyone
In addition to increasing enforcement of laws prohibiting aggressive and distracted driving behaviours, the Vision Zero Plan includes identifying the causes and locations where such behviours occur. Steps could be taken to reduce such incidents through traffic calming, reduced speed limits and other measures.
Ontario personal injury lawyers
The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have years of experience successfully pursuing claims for compensation on behalf of individuals injured due to the negligence of other parties. If you have been injured in an accident you could have a claim for compensation. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit their website to speak to someone now. They offer free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims throughout Ontario.
First published at https://diamondlaw.ca/blog/road-safety-and-vision-zero-safety-plan