September 3, 2015 6:01 pm
Updated: September 3, 2015 6:34 pm

New TTC campaign ruffles feathers in what advocate calls ‘pedestrian blame’

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WATCH ABOVE: A new TTC campaign aimed at pedestrian safety has ruffled the feathers of some Torontonians who accuse the ads of “pedestrian blaming.” Erica Vella has the story.

TORONTO — A new TTC campaign is asking pedestrians to “stay focused and stay safe” when it comes to road safety, but it’s caused some stir with one local pedestrian advocate.

The campaign launched in late August and is expected to last till the fall.

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Ads showing pedestrians jaywalking and focused on phones while crossing at intersections are posted on buses, streetcars and subways.

READ MORE: TTC streetcar driver faces charges after pedestrian killed

Dylan Reid, of pedestrian advocacy group Walk Toronto, said the ads are not balanced and unfairly  promote “pedestrian blame.”

“The problem is that it gives the impression that pedestrian behaviour is the cause of the most of the accidents with the TTC,” Reid said.

“The reasons that pedestrians are being hit is generally, most often because the drivers are not paying attention and making mistakes.

“85 per cent of the time pedestrians are hit by TTC vehicles, pedestrians were walking with the right of way.”

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TTC spokesman Brad Ross said the intention of the campaign was not to place blame on pedestrians.

“It’s the thing that the TTC sees and the city sees as concerns and things that we want pedestrians to be aware of to ensure they remain safe,” said Ross.

Const. Hugh Smith with Traffic services said road safety is a shared responsibility.

“We say cross in a controlled intersection, cross where it’s well lit, cross where you are expected to be.”

The TTC said a campaign on pedestrian safety is underway with TTC operators as well.

© 2015 Shaw Media

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