Senior pedestrian fatalities on the rise in Toronto
By Kerrisa Wilson
Pedestrian fatality rates for people over the age of 65 are rising in Toronto, Toronto police have told Humber News.
So far this year, 17 people over 65 have been killed in Toronto, said Const. Clint Stibbe of Toronto Police’s Traffic Services
There have been 47 traffic related fatalities in the city this year and 29 of those deaths were pedestrians, said Stibbe in an interview earlier this week with At Humber reporter Charlotte Anketell.
Young people in comparison to seniors had a very low rate, he said.
“Although we haven’t had as many collisions that involves an age group of 19 and under, it seems that — if anything — that age group is the least likely to be involved in an collision,” said Stibbe.
Stibbe told Humber News, children usually learn at a young age to look both ways before crossing the streets, something that adults may be forgetting.
So far this year, the city has reached a three year high in the amount of traffic fatalities which includes motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians, according to 680News.
Seniors have always had a disproportionate number of traffic fatalities, said Dylan Reid co-founder of Walk Toronto a pedestrian advocacy group.
“The last two years were relatively low compared to previous years so what we’re kind of getting this year is the return to higher levels which is disappointing,” said Reid.
With the increase of pedestrian deaths on the rise the city is looking to find answers and methods to make the roads a safer place, said Reid.
“Toronto is doing a few things like they’ve given more people more time to cross the street- the walk signal lasts longer now in some places. What Toronto could do is accelerate that program so that you get that in more places.”
“Another thing Toronto can do is a safety campaign, one that says watch out for pedestrians, they’re the most vulnerable,” said Reid.
To prevent traffic fatalities, awareness along with caution are key factors in ending this three year rise, said Stibbe.
“It’s going to be enforcement along with education. That is going to help us get the message through to all road users that everyone needs to be responsible and careful.”