What Raptors-mania can teach us about the escalating street safety crisis in Toronto

What Raptors-mania can teach us about the escalating street safety crisis in Toronto

'Grim statistics should be a catalyst to bring us together as a city,' writes Donna Ince

OPINION JUN 23, 2019 BY DONNA INCE   TORONTO.COM

If Raptors-mania has taught us nothing else about the city of Toronto, it’s that we’re all capable of working together to support one big goal. So why are we failing to do so when the stakes are even higher?

Last year, Toronto experienced its worst year in the number of serious injuries and fatalities on the streets.

And now, halfway through 2019, we’re not doing much better.

Road rage in the city of Toronto is also at an all-time high, with more than 85 per cent of GTA road users who walk, drive or cycle all agreeing that it’s a serious problem, according to a TruceTO survey commissioned by the insurance company RSA Canada.

The street safety issue in our city is only getting worse.

These grim statistics should be a catalyst to bring us together as a city. It’s on all of us to make our roads safer, once and for all.

Lack of education around safe practices and bad road behaviours is fuelling the issue. It’s causing more stress and anxiety on our streets – creating a vicious cycle that perpetuates a decrease in civility and an increase in preventable tragedies.

While there is important work underway at the municipal level with Vision Zero 2.0, a majority of GTA residents admit they are simply not familiar enough with what the city is doing.

In fact, 51 per cent of cyclists (up three per cent from 2018), 20 per cent of drivers and 19 per cent of pedestrians still feel unsafe on GTA streets.

There are far too many gaps when it comes to short-term solutions, but the TruceTO movement is hoping to address this.

Through TruceTO, we want to amplify understanding of the important work being carried out by the city and by independent organizations, to encourage GTA residents to make a personal commitment to play their part in making our streets safer for all.

Without action and commitment by all of us — both via design and through behaviour change — hundreds more Torontonians risk becoming seriously injured or losing their lives on our streets.

As we look toward the second half of the year, lets pledge for our brothers, sisters, partners, friends, parents, kids or anyone who matters to you – to do better, now. Here’s a good place to start.

You can also catch TruceTO at city events throughout the summer and pledge to become a better road user by visiting www.truceto.com.

 

Donna Ince is the senior vice president, personal insurance, RSA Canada.

 

People walking across sunny street