Toronto city officials want to streamline the process of installing more speed bumps, traffic cameras, and other traffic calming measures designed to reduce the number of car accidents in the city, according to a recent CBC News story about the proposal.
"We are definitely not doing enough to save lives on our streets," Toronto Ward 11 City Councilor Dianne Saxe, a member of the Infrastructure Committee, said in a recent interview with the CBC. "We have the tools, we're just not doing it."
Proposed changes for speed bumps and traffic cameras
Toronto city officials and its City Council are considering changes to the approval process for installing new speed bumps since critics describe the current process as “cumbersome."
City officials also want to increase the number of traffic cameras in Toronto in areas “defined (as) ‘community safety zones’ where automated speed cameras can be installed, a move that lines up with council's plan to more than double the number of cameras currently installed around the city,” the CBC reported.
Last year, Toronto installed 185 speed bumps at a cost of $4,000 per speed bump, the CBC reported. Currently, it takes two years on average to receive approval to install a new speed bump in Toronto.
Are speed bumps and traffic cameras effective?
Installing speed bumps, traffic cameras, and other traffic calming measures consistently reduce traffic accidents, especially pedestrian accidents in downtown areas.
Such traffic calming infrastructure is "relatively inexpensive, quick to install and effectively reduce motor vehicle speed,” according to a recent report about the proposal to streamline the speed bump approval process in Toronto.
"We need more red light cameras and we need more automated speed cameras because people know the rules," Saxe said in an interview with the CBC. "They know you're supposed to drive at the speed limit and stop at a red light. And many do not."
How speeding contributes to car accidents
Numerous traffic safety studies have found that speeding drivers consistently cause accidents in Toronto, especially in cases involving pedestrians. This is why Toronto has taken a multi-faceted approach aimed at getting drivers to slow down.
"We've seen that they've proven to be effective," Toronto Ward 19 City Councilor Brad Bradford said in an interview with the CBC. "And at the end of the day, it's about behaviour change. You should not be doing 60 kilometres an hour through a neighborhood, past a school."
Earlier this year, Toronto officials approved adding 75 more automated speed enforcement cameras in Toronto on top of the 75 existing speed cameras in the city. “It's a good use of resources, and it gets us the effective result of slowing down the traffic through our neighbourhoods,” Bradford said.
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