Police target pedestrians in latest safety blitz
Published Thursday, September 27, 2012 10:04AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, September 27, 2012 1:54PM EDT
Toronto Police launched a crackdown on distracted pedestrians during a city-wide smart walk initiative on Thursday.
Police were present at 13 intersections across the city through the morning, speaking to pedestrians that appeared distracted by texting, talking on cellphones and listening to music with headphones.
“We’ve had 18 pedestrian fatalities in Toronto this year,” Sgt. Jack West told CTV News on Thursday.
Police stopped pedestrians on the street asking them to stop reading, listening to music or using their cellphones so they were more aware of traffic around them.
The safety blitz kicked off at Danforth Avenue and Coxwell Avenue at 8:30 a.m. Bloor Street and Islington Avenue, Jane Street and Finch Avenue and Bay Street and Front Street were among the listed intersections.
Nearly half the reported pedestrian fatalities this year were a result of vehicles turning at intersections. Pedestrian fatalities have already increased to 18 from 12 last year.
Another pedestrian was reportedly hit on Thursday morning. The 60-year-old female pedestrian was on Royal York Road in South Etobicoke when a car struck her. Police reports indicated the woman was taken to hospital but sustained no life threatening injuries.
Police launched a similar safety blitz near Danforth and Broadview Avenues in August to warn the public of the dangers of distracted walking.
A review into pedestrian fatalities was released by Ontario’s chief coroner on Sept. 18, 2012 in response to a spate of deaths that occurred across the province in 2010. Dr. Bert Lauwers, the province’s chief coroner, suggested the province consider lower speed limits.
-With files from Tamara Cherry