How John Tory’s Six-Point Plan Could Reduce Automobile Accidents

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How John Tory’s Six-Point Plan Could Reduce Automobile Accidents

The Blue Jays, the CN Tower, Drake, the Exhibition, Rob Ford: all things Toronto is famous for. Toronto is a proud, unique metropolis, with diverse neighbourhoods that represent Canada’s heterogeneity on a whole. It sounds like a fun place to be until you have to drive through it. Unfortunately, Toronto is also known for creating the type of congestion that some might liken to Hell on Earth. The traffic in Toronto is so bad that when John Tory was elected as mayor he not only promised to address the issue, but he actually made good on his word.


Our mayor’s six-point plan to whip Toronto’s roads into shape will not only help reduce gridlock, mid-day bumper-to-bumper traffic, and the low hum of road rage that blends into the din of screeching tires and honking horns, but it will also reduce the risk of automobile accidents.


Point 1: Stricter Enforcement of “No Stopping” Rules


It’s 2:58 pm. You park your car on King Street, turn on your four ways and dash into Starbucks to grab a much-needed coffee. By the time you come back outside, it’s 3:02 and you witness the worst thing ever: a tow truck driver chaining your car. You race to the driver, explain that it’s okay, you’re here now, but it’s too late. When it comes to parking your car in a bus-only lane during peak traffic hours, the city has zero tolerance. And this time, the city has the muscle to enforce it. If your car has been impounded, it’s not only horribly inconvenient but it’s very costly. (Read this link if your car’s been impounded and you don’t know what to do.) You’ll likely never leave your car illegally parked again.


Parking illegally obstructs the flow of traffic but it also increases driver frustration, which we know leads to aggressive decision making and automobile accidents.


Point 2: Intelligent Road Closure Scheduling


We’ve all been trapped in the car trying to make our way home through endless packed detours that drag us further from our destination all because a major road is closed without warning and for no apparent reason. If that’s not bad enough, sometimes we’re caught in a vortex of multiple closures and detours while fifty-three thousand Jays fans are trying to get in or out of the stadium, which turns the entire downtown core into a driving nightmare.


How will this help reduce potential automobile accidents? The city’s commitment to schedule road closures when it makes sense and to implement better reporting will lead to less congestion and improved road safety.


Point 3: A “Robust” Traffic-Enforcement Team


The best defense is a good offense. To combat the evil forces of rush hour, Mayor Tory plans to unite traffic enforcement, parking enforcement, and public transportation in an effort to devise a strategy to deal with the problem. To bolster this effort, there will be a major deployment of traffic cams throughout the city, especially in problem areas.


While this may not directly have an effect on the potential to reduce automobile accidents, the more cooperation between the separate entities that regulate and monitor transportation the more likely we’ll be able to anticipate traffic issues in the future.


Point 4: Expedite Traffic Signal Retiming Program


The city is moving quickly to retime signals and plans to install smart technology that will allow traffic lights to adjust to traffic flow in real time. Poorly timed traffic lights can cause a slew of issues, especially at big intersections. Crossing an intersection during a peak traffic period can sometimes feel like a giant leap of faith. Although the pedestrian timer light can make it seem like there’s plenty of time to cross the box, many of us have been trapped there through seemingly no fault of our own, forced to take the brunt of persistent honking and vicious glares.


It’s no secret that retiming traffic signals will better reflect the changing flow of cars and therefore reduce common intersection accidents, such as fender-benders and accidents involving pedestrians.


Point 5: Make Lane Closures for Private Construction More Difficult


Construction is a major gripe for drivers, especially when it’s caused by condo developers that create the mess then take the profit (cue shaking fist). The GTA seems to be in a constant state of development. If all or even some of these construction projects require lane closures, it will greatly affect how people working in the GTA will be able to move. The mayor’s plan includes higher fees and more criteria for lane closures in the hopes to weed out the unnecessary use of lanes. The less interaction between drivers and constructions zones, the safer everyone on the road will be.


Point 6: Speed Up Public Sector Construction


As drivers just trying to get home after a long day, we have the tendency to favour aggression. After all, sometimes we have to fight to move ahead. It can mean that we aren’t always nice to each other. But if there’s anything that can unite us frustrated drivers caught in an inescapable highway trap, it’s the seemingly endless presence of road construction. While we appreciate the fixing of potholes and such, nothing is worse than a bright orange sea of pylons. When we see orange we see red.


The only solution is to reduce the amount of time drivers have to endure lane closures by extending work hours to speed up project completion. The fewer obstructions on the road, the safer the journey.


Automobile Accidents Won’t Ever Go Away Completely


With all these changes underway, you might have already noticed a slight improvement in your travels to and from work. Unfortunately, no matter how well traffic improves, there is always a chance an automobile accident can occur. If you’ve been involved in an accident, it may be worthwhile to book a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer at Sokoloff Lawyers to find out if you’re eligible for compensation.




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