Chief Coroner Releases Pedestrian Death Review
Recommendations Aim to Prevent Pedestrian Deaths in Ontario
Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Dr. Andrew McCallum, Chief Coroner for Ontario, today released the Office of the Chief Coroner's Pedestrian Death Review.
The Pedestrian Death Review was undertaken as a result of concern surrounding the issue of pedestrian safety after a spate of deaths in January 2010. The purpose of the review was to examine the circumstances of 95 deaths that occurred from Jan. 1, 2010 to Dec. 31, 2010 and make recommendations to help prevent future deaths.
The review was led by Dr. Bert Lauwers, Deputy Chief Coroner, Inquests with help from stakeholders and members of the public, who contributed their comments. It resulted in 26 recommendations in the areas of leadership, legislation, education, engineering and enforcement. These include:
- Creating a Walking Strategy for Ontarians
- Adopting a 'complete streets' approach to guide the development of new communities and the re-development of existing communities in Ontario
- Installing side guards on heavy trucks
- Providing municipalities greater flexibility to adjust speed limits and create more pedestrian crossings
- Educating drivers on the scenarios that can lead to a pedestrian collision
- Increasing enforcement.
- 67 per cent of the deaths occurred on roads with a posted speed limit beyond 50 km/hr and only 5 per cent on roads below 50 km/hr.
- 75 per cent of the fatalities occurred on wide arterial roads.
- Pedestrians over the age of 65 accounted for 36 per cent of the fatalities but account for only 13.2 per cent of the population of Ontario.
- Children accounted for 3 per cent of the fatalities.
- Peak hours for pedestrian collisions were between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m.
- Approximately 20 per cent of pedestrians may have had some form of distraction such as a mobile device.
- January was the peak month for pedestrian collisions.
This review highlights that pedestrian deaths are preventable. Speed, distraction and inattention are only some of the contributing factors to these deadly encounters. Everyone has a responsibility to follow the rules of the road as well as a responsibility to one another so we can all stay safe."
Dr. Andrew McCallum
If even one family can be spared the terrible grief of losing a loved one in a death on our roads this review will be worthwhile. We know these recommendations will actually save far more lives, as long as our leaders listen carefully and act promptly."