Last year, approximately 46 pedestrians were killed in Toronto as a result of automobile collisions. Even a single avoidable death is too many, which is why the City of Toronto has moved into action with the Vision Zero Safety Plan. But is it enough?
What is Vision Zero?
Vision Zero started in Sweden in 1997. The plan rejects the notion of applying monetary cost-value analysis when human safety is on the line. Vision Zero is based on the principle that “it can never be ethically acceptable that people are killed or seriously injured when moving within the road transport system.”
In practical terms, this means “roads in Sweden are built with safety prioritized over speed or convenience. Low urban speed-limits, pedestrian zones and barriers that separate cars from bikes and oncoming traffic have helped.”
The result of this approach? Sweden has one of the lowest road death rates anywhere in the world, and in a climate that is colder with larger quantities of snow and ice during the winter. But, can Canada achieve the same safety statistics as Sweden?
Vision Zero Toronto
In light of all of the high-profile pedestrian deaths in Toronto over the last two years the City of Toronto recently announced The Vision Zero Road Safety Plan, which will be implemented over the next five years.
The plan will use “a data-driven and targeted approach” to focus improvements on the locations where they are needed most. It will also place extra emphasis on improving safety for vulnerable groups who are more at risk of being struck by a motor vehicle.
Ultimately the goal of Vision Zero Toronto is to “strive to reduce traffic-related deaths and injuries to ZERO.”
Vision Zero’s international organizers recently questioned Toronto’s commitment to the plan amid suggestions from the city that the safety measures be funded in part by donations.
“Treating safety as a nice-to-have amenity rather than a need-to-have priority is just not acceptable,” the group’s spokesperson Kathleen Ferrier told the Toronto Star. “These are life and death decisions and cannot be shortchanged.”
What Happens If You Are Hit By a Vehicle?
If you are hit by a vehicle, you have the merit to exercise your legal rights. This includes the right to be reimbursed for medical expenses, rehab costs, missed work, and income replacement.
No matter how many safety measures are taken and implemented, pedestrian will always be a risk of being hit by a vehicle in a major city like Toronto.
If you are struck by a vehicle:
- Receive medical attention immediately, if required. Explain all details and injuries to first responders – small inflications can grow into debilitating issues later.
- File a police report at the scene.
- Follow-up with your doctor and report everything – even if it seems small or you are not sure whether or not it is connected to the accident.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer.
It is vital that you document everything in as much detail as possible, and file official reports with the police and your family doctor. The more documents you can provide to your lawyer, the higher the probability of your success in court.
Have you or a loved one been injured by a motor vehicle? Contact Zayouna Law Firm for a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers.