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London motorists hit hardest in intersection safety enforcement blitz

The five-day blitz ran from Sept. 16 to Sept. 20 and focused on the importance of intersection safety.
The five-day blitz ran from Sept. 16 to Sept. 20 and focused on the importance of intersection safety. Matthew Trevithick / 980 CFPL

A five-day intersection safety enforcement blitz has drawn to a close and motorists appear to have been hit the hardest.

The blitz, held in partnership with London police and the City of London’s Vision Zero road safety campaign, handed out a total of 97 tickets and 99 written warnings to motorists over a five-day period.

Pedestrians were hit with 14 tickets and eight written warnings. Cyclists received nine tickets and twice that number of written warnings.

READ MORE: London police, city highlight intersection safety ahead of enforcement blitz

“The whole premise of it was all about education [and] road safety for everyone using the road,” said Deputy Chief Trish McIntyre.

The blitz initially received vocal criticism from local cyclists, McIntyre said, despite its goal to educate all road users.

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“The everyone piece was obviously, initially kind of perceived to be directed at cyclists,” McIntyre said.

“It was never targeted at cyclists.”

McIntyre added that the feedback from cyclists, while negative, will be helpful in helping police shape how they roll out future blitzes.

WATCH (Aug. 21, 2019): Durham Regional Police hand out nearly 20 distracted driving tickets in safety blitz

Durham Regional Police hand out nearly 20 distracted driving tickets in safety blitz
Durham Regional Police hand out nearly 20 distracted driving tickets in safety blitz

A prompt for the blitz, McIntyre said, was the amount of construction and renovation done to London’s core.

“Really alerting the public to say, ‘OK, what has changed, are the rules still the same here?’ … It really is that pause and a reset, if you will.”

The goal, McIntyre added, is to create an overall change in London’s road safety.

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“We’re focused on outcomes, not outputs — outputs is a ticket — but outcomes. Are we making a difference? Are we educating?”

According to data from the City of London, 371 pedestrian collisions and 193 cyclist collisions have been recorded at or near signalized intersections in London over the past five years.

Seventy-five per cent of the pedestrian collisions and nearly 40 per cent of the cyclist collisions involved vehicles turning left or right.