Traffic Campaign Focuses on Speeding
So far this year, 14 people have lost their lives on city streets and highways.
At the kick-off of a weeklong Speed Kills Traffic Safety Campaign, Superintendent Scott Baptist said officers from every police station in the city, members of the Traffic Services and the Vision Zero Enforcement Team will make it clear that speeding and aggressive driving will not be tolerated on city streets.
“As we emerge from the global pandemic, more of us are out of our homes and moving about the city. We are also entering the spring and summer months where we want to get outside and enjoy everything out city has to offer,” Baptist said. “Unfortunately, when vulnerable road users are struck by speeding vehicles, the outcome is far too often tragic and alters the life of not only the victim, their family and loved ones, but also the offender who lives with that guilt for the rest of the their life.”
Baptist said the City of Toronto is committed to the Vision Zero Road Safety Plan that recognizes that minor collisions in a big city are inevitable, but that the most serious collisions involving life altering serious injuries or death are entirely preventable.
“Speeding, driving aggressively and distracted driving are the leading causes of these most serious collisions and we all have a role to play in ensuring that another family does not have to suffer the devastating loss of a loved one due to someone’s reckless behavior,” he noted.
Last year, the City’s automated speed enforcement program caught 250,000 drivers speeding. During the same period, Toronto Police charged almost 104,000 people with speeding and nearly 1,000 drivers were charged with stunt driving – travelling either 40 or 50 km/h over the speed limit.
Stunt drivers receive an immediate 30-day suspension of their license at roadside and their vehicle is impounded and held by police for 14 days at their expense. They also receive a fine of between $2,000 and $10,000 and can be given a jail sentence of up to six months. Upon conviction, they receive six demerit points and their driver’s license is further suspended for a minimum of one year for a first offence and three years for a second offence.
Baptist said city streets are no place for this behavior and the potential consequences are simply too high.
“Please, slow down and obey the rules of the road,” he urged. “Every one of us wants our family and friends to get home safely at the end of the day. You can help us make our city a safer place for everyone just by slowing down and obeying the speed limit.”