Toronto police say their 2019 “Summer Safety Traffic Initiative” will include additional front-line enforcement officers across the city in areas that need them the most to make roads safer.
Sgt. Brett Moore, along with Insp. Warren Wilson of Traffic Services and Supervisor George Johnstone of Parking Enforcement, spoke to media at Traffic Services headquarters on Monday morning.
Police said starting July 2 until September when the school year starts up, there will be 300 additional assignments for officers to work across the city in the identified key corridors.
Sgt. Moore said there will be a zero tolerance focus to the “big four” — drivers who speed, drive distracted, drive aggressively and drive impaired.
More officers will be patrolling Monday to Friday on days and afternoons because that is when police are needed the most, according to their data, said Moore.
On Friday and Saturday nights, additional officers will patrol looking for people impaired by alcohol or drugs. These units will be driving around as opposed to traditional R.I.D.E programs that are stationary, said Moore.
So far in 2019, Toronto police have issued over 20,000 speeding tickets, over 5,000 distracted driving tickets and arrested more than 500 people for impaired driving.
“We need drivers to slow down, to put the phone down, to calm down behind the wheel, to drive sober and to really focus on the task of safe driving,” said Moore.
Police said 66 people were killed in 2018, and that 54 of those killed were vulnerable road users. They also said the same trend continues for 2019.
“Far too often these victims are our vulnerable road users,” said police.
Vulnerable road users, according to police, are pedestrians, cyclists, children and seniors.
This initiative will complement the ongoing City of Toronto road safety programs such as Vision Zero, Congestion Management Plan and Keep Moving Toronto.
“We know that we have a congestion issue in Toronto,” said Wilson about enforcing the already-existing Get Toronto Moving initiative throughout the summer months.
Police said they will be staging heavy tow trucks, adding more parking officers working on rush hour routes, enforcing no stopping and making sure bike lanes are clear.
WATCH: Toronto police kick off Summer Safety Traffic Initiative