NDP Transit Critic tables bill to establish Vision Zero Strategy in Ontario
QUEEN’S PARK — Ontario NDP Transit critic Jessica Bell (University—Rosedale) has tabled a bill calling on the government to develop a Vision Zero strategy for the province. The strategy would include changes to road design, safety rules, and education, with the intent of reducing road deaths and serious injuries to zero.
“We have a road safety crisis on our streets,” said Bell. “In Toronto alone, 42 pedestrians were killed by drivers last year, and the majority of them were seniors.”
Bell announced the bill at a press conference this morning, held at the intersection of St. George and Bloor Street West, near where grandmother and cyclist Dalia Chako was fatally struck by a truck driver in 2018.
“It’s clear that our current approach isn’t working,” said Bell. “Older folks are afraid to cross the street, and parents don’t want to let their kids bike around the neighbourhood. Vision Zero approaches have been proven to save lives by making streets safer in places like Sweden, Washington State, and New York City.”
Bell was joined at the press conference by road safety groups Friends and Families for Safe Streets and Walk Toronto, as well as the Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA), which has advocated for a provincial strategy.
“While the City of Toronto has a local Vision Zero plan, Ontario doesn’t have a provincial road safety strategy – unlike B.C., Alberta, and Manitoba,” said Scott Butler, Executive Director of OGRA. “A Vision Zero plan is necessary for Ontario to make adjustments to the Highway Traffic Act, encourage the development of local plans, and protect all road users on thousands of kilometres of roads across our province.”