A Road Safety Plan for Toronto

At the beginning of the last term, one of the first things I did in my new capacity as Chair of Public Works was to call for a comprehensive, city wide road safety plan.

In 2015, we had 65 road fatalities, of which 39 were pedestrians and 4 were cyclists. In addition, over 70 percent of the pedestrians were seniors, our most vulnerable road users. So far in 2016, the numbers have not improved – 20 pedestrians have died on our streets and 80 percent of them have been over the age of 65.

It’s time to take action on road safety, and I’m pleased to share that our first-ever Road Safety Plan (RSP) is complete after over a year of extensive data collection and consultation with key advocacy and community groups.

This data-driven, made-for Toronto plan recommends 40 different programs to address five key pillars:

  • Pedestrians
  • Cyclists
  • Seniors
  • School zones
  • Aggressive and Distracted Driving

As part of the plan, we’ll be creating 25 pedestrian safety corridors in areas of the city identified through geospatial and trending analysis as “hot spots” for collisions. This will involve implementing advance green lights for pedestrians, adding or enhancing line markings and implementing turning restrictions at certain times of the day.

City staff will also be conducting 14 safety audits of intersections and corridors with high numbers of collisions to determine which countermeasures would be most effective at that specific location.

From the very beginning, my goal has been to eliminate traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries.

Earlier this year, I also put forward a motion directing staff to develop a Seniors Strategy as part of the RSP. Seniors are a growing demographic in our community, and we need a targeted strategy to tactically improve their safety on our streets.

You can read the full staff report on the RSP, along with 10 appendices, here.

Many thanks to Mayor John Tory and Stephen Buckley, General Manager of Transportation Services, for joining me for the launch of the city’s proposed Road Safety Plan.

Many thanks to Mayor John Tory and Stephen Buckley, General Manager of Transportation Services, for joining me for the launch of the city’s proposed Road Safety Plan.

Staying Safe on the Roads

Every fall and winter there is an increase in the number of pedestrian and cyclist collisions on city roads due to reduced daylight hours.

It’s key that drivers, pedestrians and cyclists become more aware of other users as they travel on our streets throughout these seasons.

One of the best ways to ensure safety is to stay focused on what you’re doing – whether you’re driving, cycling or crossing an intersection by foot. Don’t talk or text on your phone. Be aware of your surroundings.

Here are some other tips from the city’s “Stay Alert – Stay Safe” safety education campaign:


  • Always yield to pedestrians at crosswalks.

  • Note that pedestrians in dark clothing can be difficult to spot during the fall and winter months.

  • Take extra caution at nighttime and during wet or wintery weather conditions.


  • Cross streets at traffic signals, intersections and crosswalks.

  • Always look carefully before crossing and make sure all vehicles are stopped.

  • Wear bright clothing or clothing with reflective materials if possible, especially at night. Drivers often have a difficult time seeing pedestrians in dark clothes.


  • Make sure you have both front and back lights for your bike and turn them on when riding at night, dusk or dawn.

  • Wear clothing and other cycling accessories with reflective materials.

The 10-Year Cycling Network Plan

The City of Toronto is developing a new 10-year plan to enhance the city’s cycling network. This plan will add new routes and improve existing routes, all with the goal of making Toronto more connected and safer for cyclists while easing congestion.

The plan is in its second phase of public consultations. You can participate by offering your feedback on the draft cycle network map!

You can also get involved in the new 10-year plan by recording your cycling trips in the Toronto Cycling App, a free smartphone app for Android and iPhone.