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Toronto ramps up road safety measures in effort to lower pedestrian deaths

Click to play video: 'Toronto to accelerate road safety improvements in the wake of 65 deaths on the roads' Toronto to accelerate road safety improvements in the wake of 65 deaths on the roads
WATCH ABOVE: Toronto to accelerate road safety improvements in the wake of 65 deaths on the roads – Oct 27, 2016

Toronto is ramping up its road safety measures in an effort to drastically reduce the number of traffic-related fatalities in the city.

So far this year, 35 pedestrians have been killed including one cyclist, up from 29 deaths at the same period in 2015.

“This is the time of the year when collisions go up,” Public Works and Infrastructure Committee Chair Jaye Robinson told reporters Thursday morning. “We often report these as statistics. These are not statistics. These are people’s lives.”

READ MORE: Over 1,000 pedestrians, cyclists in Toronto involved in vehicle-related crashes since June

As part of the city’s Road Safety Plan which was adopted by city council in July, transportation officials said they have accelerated safety measures in the past two months at troubled intersections including having speed limits reduced and traffic signals retimed.

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Robinson said they are taking a data driven approach to address hot spots in the city.

“One size does not fit all. Every intersection is different. That could mean intersection realignment, removal of right turn channelizations or most often, curb radius reductions,” she said.

READ MORE: Why do Toronto pedestrian accidents peak at the end of November?

The Road Safety Plan includes the following initiatives:

  • 400 speed signs installed along 14 roads where speed limits have been reduced by 10km/hr
  • installation of zebra markings at 317 intersections to enhance pedestrian safety
  • 320 signalized intersections will be enhanced with reflective material by the end of the year to improve visibility during power failures
  • activation of 56 accessible pedestrian signals to assist people with disabilities to cross at signalized intersections
  • 37 signalized intersections have been equipped with longer pedestrian crossing times to allow more time for pedestrians to safely cross the street
  • making physical changes at 14 intersections including curb radius reductions and intersection re-alignments to reduce pedestrian crossing distances and help reduce aggressive driving, and
  • installation of permanent “Watch Your Speed” signs at five additional locations to alert motorists of their speeds in school zones.

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