News / Toronto

Toronto to launch public education campaign as part of road safety plan

Coun. Jaye Robinson, who spoke at a Vision Zero summit Tuesday says a powerful campaign is needed to get the message out.

Kasia Briegmann-Samson, David Stark and Yu Li, holding photos of loved ones killed on Toronto's streets, are seen in this Metro file photo. The city's Road Safety Plan aims to get road deaths and serious injuries to zero.

Eduardo Lima / Metro Order this photo

Kasia Briegmann-Samson, David Stark and Yu Li, holding photos of loved ones killed on Toronto's streets, are seen in this Metro file photo. The city's Road Safety Plan aims to get road deaths and serious injuries to zero.

Toronto will develop an ambitious public education campaign as part its road safety plan, with a roll-out as early as spring 2017, says Coun. Jaye Robinson.

Robinson spoke Tuesday at a summit on Vision Zero road safety strategies that brought leaders from around the globe to Toronto to share their experiences working towards zero road deaths.

She told Metro she will work on “an educational campaign that’s very powerful, that will get the message out to all road users that this is a priority issue for Toronto.”

The chair of the public works committee said details of the campaign still need to be flushed out, with input from stakeholders, but there is some funding for it under the city’s $80 million five-year road safety plan.

She’d also like to find some money from other sources that deal with the issue, such as hospitals.

Calling vision zero “a global movement,” Robinson said it’s important to get the road safety plan rolled out “in memory of all the people who have died” on Toronto’s streets.

“We call these stats, these are real people and real families,” she said.

New York City moved forward with a bold public education campaign around its Vision Zero program in 2014, with images like a pedestrian’s bloody arm with the slogan “She watched for the signal. The driver didn’t.”

Dylan Reid of Walk Toronto said the city would be wise to look at it’s own 2005 campaign on pedestrian safety that took the message “we are all pedestrians,” to transit shelters for an example of how to get the message out.

“I think it has to be something very direct that emphasizes the need for drivers to take responsibility for pedestrians and is very visible around the city,” he said of the upcoming public education campaign.

Reid also criticizes the road safety plan for being too “timid.”

“Toronto has a road safety plan and that’s fine but we can’t be branding it as Vision Zero because the vision’s not there yet,” he said.

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