It's winter. It gets dark early, and the weather is bad. At this time of year, people are vulnerable to being injured and killed on our roads. Evidence has demonstrated time and time again that safety cameras are effective at reducing speeding and reducing the risk of a collision, injury and death.
Residents of the Greater Yorkville Residents Association contacted our office recently to express concern about speeding along Avenue Road. I wholeheartedly agree with their concerns.
That is why we have developed a public sign-on letter calling on Mayor Tory and our City Councillors to expand the city's safety camera program so our streets are safer for all. This is just one of many measures that must be taken by all levels of government to reduce the number of injuries and deaths on our streets and roads to zero. That is the vision.
Please contact our office if you have questions about this letter. The option to sign is below the letter.
Jessica Bell, MPP for University Rosedale
Mayor John Tory
Office of the Mayor
City Hall, 2nd Floor
100 Queen St. W.
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
Dear Mayor Tory,
Road safety is a pressing issue across Toronto, where six people are hit by a vehicle every day. This frequency has dire consequences; in 2020, 21 pedestrians and 4 cyclists were killed by vehicles in Toronto.
Evidence shows that Toronto’s Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) program effectively changes driver behaviour. According to preliminary data from an ongoing evaluation study, the average excess speed in ASE program areas was reduced from 18 km/h to 6 km/h in 40 km/h speed limit zones, and from 12 km/h to 9 km/h in 30 km/h speed limit zones.2
Currently, the City of Toronto has limited the number of ASE program areas to just 50, with an additional 25 being brought into operation this February. The limit means that cameras are not installed permanently, they are rotated throughout the city. Avenue Road, for example, previously had an ASE camera, but lost the camera and its benefits when it was rotated to a different area. Consequently, areas of Toronto that once benefitted from the ASE program, such as Avenue Road, are again experiencing lower compliance rates and an increase in speeding vehicles.
Under the Highway Traffic Act, Toronto does not need the Government of Ontario's approval to increase the number of ASE areas. I request that you champion this much needed initiative at a future council meeting to direct Transportation Services to install more automatic speed cameras across Toronto as quickly as possible to ensure Torontonians are safer on our roads and streets.
The ASE program is just one of a comprehensive suite of measures the City and the Province should enact to reduce injuries and deaths to zero on our roads.
We look forward to your response on this important issue.
Greater Yorkville Residents’ Association
Cc-ed: Toronto City Councillors
Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney
Associate Transportation Minister Stan Cho