With the Toronto Police spokesperson saying they have no idea why it is happening, at least 22 pedestrians were struck in Toronto on Tuesday, including a “collision in North York that left one woman dead“.
In addressing yesterday’s road carnage, the police spokesman stated “This is the biggest round of pedestrians being struck that I’ve come across. I have no idea why it’s happening. It could be the weather, the darkness … anything.”
As reported in the Toronto Star 16 of the accidents were between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. The weather was reported as a “crappy and wet night”. And that number of 22 pedestrians is thought to be a low estimate for the number of people struck. Thirty-five pedestrians and one cyclist has been killed by vehicles on Toronto streets by October 30th. Several fatalities happened when vehicles went up on the sidewalk. In response to the carnage, families that have lost loved ones have formed Friends and Families for Safe Streets to address the road violence that has become part of the driving culture in Toronto. That group has had enough, and they are speaking up about the atrocious inequality-the car driver that hits a pedestrian or cyclist is not penalized by stigma, death or injury. The families demonstrate holding photos of their loved ones. They want to change the paradigm that accepts that vehicles will kill and maim.
It is clear that road violence against pedestrians and cyclists comes from four main factors: visibility, driver behaviour, speed, and road design. Those are the indicators. Toronto has a “Vision Zero” Traffic Safety plan to reduce this awful waste of human lives, but they are looking at a Mr. Milk Toast target of a 20 per cent reduction of fatalities and serious injury by 2026. Toronto City Hall needs to talk about the other 400 people who will be killed and the thousands injured by cars on Toronto streets in that time.
They also need to understand that Vision Zero as developed in Sweden since 1997 means Zero deaths, not a percentage. The crux of Vision Zero is that health and a life cannot be exchanged for any other benefit in society, and should not be a comparison of costs and benefits for road network insurance purposes. A life is a life, and should be protected.
Twenty-two vulnerable pedestrians crashed by cars in one day? Not acceptable.