Four pedestrians were killed in the Greater Toronto Area in the past 24 hours, including one in Scarborough that has pushed Toronto past its 2017 for total road fatalities.
A 57-year-old man was killed after being hit by a vehicle in Scarborough at Midland and Dorcot avenues, north of Lawrence Avenue East Tuesday night.
“Each one of these is a real tragedy in the sense that somebody’s family, friend, loved one, community member passed away,” Sgt. Brett Moore of Toronto Traffic Services said on Wednesday.
The incident marked the 38th pedestrian killed, in addition to four cyclists, so far in Toronto in 2018.
In total, 63 people have lost their lives in road fatalities so far this year, which surpassed the total number of fatalities seen in 2017 — 62, according to Traffic Services data.
Road fatalities include pedestrians, cyclists, drivers and passengers.
“I’m always cautious to throw numbers around when it deals with types of tragedies because there are real people behind these and families and community members that are impacted,” Moore said.
Only minutes after the Scarborough collision, a woman was pronounced dead in the area of Erindale Station Road and Dundas Street West in Mississauga when she was struck by a vehicle.
“We see that over two-thirds of the people killed on our roads in Toronto are vulnerable road users,” Moore said.
“So those are pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists that are often on the receiving end of these instances.”
On Tuesday afternoon, an elderly woman was fatally hit by a dump truck in Mississauga near Minolta Avenue and Dorcas Street.
Finally, a woman was struck and killed by a transit bus while she was crossing the street in Brampton on Queen Street at Kennedy Road, at around 7 a.m. Wednesday.
She was pronounced dead at the scene. The age and identity of the victim have not been released.
“People have to take self-responsibility too and so our drivers, when we say constantly about watching your speed, don’t drive impaired, all those things are absolutely factors in our fatal crashes that we see,” Moore said.
VIDEO: 3 pedestrians killed in 6 hours across GTA
In a statement from Mayor John Tory’s spokesperson Don Peat on Wednesday, he said Tory is committed to reducing the number of deaths on Toronto’s roads, pointing to the city’s Vision Zero Road Safety Plan.
“He firmly believes the central message of Vision Zero that fatalities and serious injuries on our roads are preventable, and we must strive to reduce traffic-related deaths and injuries to zero,” Peat said. “That’s why he receives regular updates from city staff on the implementation of road safety initiatives to ensure the work is being done as quickly as possible.”
Vision Zero was launched two years ago with the goal of reducing preventable road deaths.
Moore said he knows it is a lofty goal and that a lot of work still needs to be done, adding this isn’t just a Toronto problem but a worldwide one.
“Over a million people die on our roads across our world. So we have lots to do and we are continuing to do the work that we need to be done.”
Newly elected Toronto Coun. Cynthia Lai (Ward 23 Scarborough North) said road safety has been a “hot issue” for residents in her ward.
“As the ward grows older, there’s going to be a lot more seniors. I’ve got requests for a lot of crosswalks,” she said.
“In my ward, there are language challenges — some of them don’t speak the language. I think we need to have education for safety.”
Lai said she wants to hold traffic-specific meetings for her residents to increase awareness about safety-related issues.
In Peel, there have been 34 fatal collisions so far in 2018 — 18 pedestrians and two cyclists.
—With files from Nick Westoll