The City of Toronto launched a city-wide public education campaign today to remind all road users – pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and drivers – to exercise caution, stay alert and obey the rules of the road as traffic volumes continue to rise and as many students have now returned to school.
The Be Safe campaign, which advances the education component of the City’s Vision Zero Road Safety Plan, features a series of messages that promote awareness of the rules of the road, especially as they relate to cycling infrastructure, and remind residents to take extra safety precautions.
As part of the City’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 40 kilometres of new on-street cycling infrastructure has been installed as cycling continues to increase in popularity. The campaign aims to educate the public on how to safely interact with the different types of cycling infrastructure and encourages all road users to share the road safely.
The campaign also aims to remind people driving or cycling to stay vigilant, slow down and obey traffic and speed signs, especially that schools are now back in session. The campaign includes messages on how to be safe around school buses, pedestrian crossovers, school zones and intersections and encourages residents to consider active transportation modes wherever possible.
The campaign will run until October 31. It is currently being featured on bus backs, transit shelters, billboards, in addition to radio, print and social media ads. More information about the campaign is available at https://www.toronto.ca/services-payments/streets-parking-transportation/road-safety/vision-zero/educational-campaigns/be-safe-campaign/.
In addition, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is reminding everyone of the importance of safety while travelling on and alongside transit vehicles. Through messaging online, on social media and station platform video screens, the TTC encourages customers to take extra safety precautions while boarding, exiting or approaching transit vehicles. The TTC also communicates internally with operators and supervisors about the importance of road safety and potential blind spots.
The Vision Zero Road Safety Plan is a comprehensive action plan that aims to reduce traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries on Toronto’s streets. With more than 50 safety measures across seven emphasis areas, the plan prioritizes the safety of Toronto’s most vulnerable road users: pedestrians, schoolchildren, seniors and cyclists. More information is available at https://www.toronto.ca/VisionZero.
“Now more than ever, it is important for all road users to share the road, stay alert and exercise extra caution. It’s crucial that we keep our streets safe and accessible. In the wake of COVID-19, we are seeing more and more cyclists on our roads and we have greatly expanded cycling infrastructure. While road safety is everyone’s responsibility, I’m urging all drivers in Toronto to please slow down, pay full attention and watch out for cyclists and schoolchildren. Reducing traffic-related injuries and fatalities remains a top priority for the City, and I am confident this education campaign will contribute to that aim.”
-Mayor John Tory
“Speeding, ignoring traffic laws and reckless driving behaviours endanger lives and needlessly burden our first responders and healthcare system. Public education and awareness campaigns like this one are critical to the success of the City’s Vision Zero Road Safety Plan because we’re building a culture where everyone can travel safely on our roads, especially our most vulnerable populations.”
-Councillor James Pasternak (Ward 6 York Centre), Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee