The City of Toronto is urging all road users to stay alert and obey the rules of the road as daylight saving time ends at 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 7.
The return to standard time means fewer daylight hours and reduced visibility for all road users in the evening. In Toronto, pedestrian collisions increase by more than 30 per cent during the evening commute hours from November to March.
To draw attention to the increased risks facing people walking and cycling, the City has launched a city-wide public education campaign that promotes road safety, as we enter a season with reduced daylight hours. The campaign intends to remind Torontonians, especially drivers, to be aware of each other as they share the city’s roads.
The campaign, which will run throughout the month of November, is featured on billboards, at transit shelters, on radio, and in print and social media ads. The campaign will also appear in high-volume parking garages throughout the city.
When visibility is reduced, people and objects on the road are harder to see. The City is asking drivers to follow these safety tips after daylight saving time ends on November 7:
When driving, please slow down and turn slowly. Always stay alert.
Make sure vehicle headlights and signal lights are functioning properly.
Obey speed limits and approach all crosswalks, intersections and transit stops with caution.
Give yourself plenty of time to get wherever you are going and plan your route in advance.
The TTC is also continuing to communicate with operators and supervisors about weather and sunlight changes, seasonal road conditions and potential blind spots. Operators are reminded regularly about safety protocols and how to best protect themselves and their passengers. The TTC is also using social media to share safety information with customers, reminding them to be extra vigilant while boarding, exiting or approaching transit vehicles.
The City continues to implement Vision Zero programs and initiatives to improve road safety and increase healthy and equitable mobility for all road users. These include:
Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE): The City’s 50 speed cameras near schools in Community Safety Zones continue to issue tickets to vehicles travelling in excess of the speed limit. ASE aims to increase road safety, reduce speeding and raise public awareness about the need to slow down and obey posted speed limits.
Speed limit reductions: The City has begun a multi-year effort to reduce the speed limit on local roads and public lanes in Etobicoke, North York and Scarborough to 30 km/h on a systematic, ward-by-ward basis. This is a data-driven effort to bring the rest of the city in line with a consistent 30 km/h speed limit on all local roads, to curb speeding and minimize traffic-related fatalities.
School Safety Zones: The City has so far installed 348 School Safety Zones around the city and aims to install an additional 21 by year’s end. School Safety Zones include safety signs, pavement markings and stencils, flashing beacons and driver feedback signs.
The School Crossing Guards Program: 765 school crossing guards are placed at intersections across the city to help children safely cross the street and remind drivers of the presence of pedestrians at key intersections.
Pedestrian Head Start Signals: There are plans to have more than 750 Pedestrian Head Start Signals, also called Leading Pedestrian Intervals, installed by the end of this year. They provide pedestrians with the opportunity to begin crossing the street before vehicles are permitted to proceed, by delaying the green signal.
Left-Turn Calming Pilot: Rubber speed bumps are currently installed at eight intersections throughout the city, as part of a one-year pilot that aims to reduce the risk of left-turn collisions at signalized intersections. These simple infrastructure additions will “harden” the centerline and encourage drivers to approach the crosswalk at a sharper angle instead of cutting across intersections diagonally, resulting in slower turning speeds and better visibility of people walking and cycling.
Road design improvements: The City began construction of more than 50 geometric modifications to the design of the road at locations across the city. Improvements include curb extensions, corner radius reductions, lane width reductions and removal of right-turn channelizations.
The Vision Zero Road Safety Plan is a comprehensive action plan that aims to reduce traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries on Toronto’s streets. With more than 50 safety measures across seven emphasis areas, the plan prioritizes the safety of Toronto’s most vulnerable road users: schoolchildren, older adults, pedestrians and people cycling. More information on Vision Zero programs and initiatives is available at www.toronto.ca/VisionZero.
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