Marit Stiles MPP, Davenport

Government of Ontario

Killing of cyclists triggers demand for Vision Zero, road safety measures

Published on December 4, 2020

I was also heartbroken to hear of the death of a young woman on Dufferin Street this Wednesday, killed after she was clipped by a vehicle and knocked into traffic. I know that Dufferin is an extremely hazardous street for cyclists and pedestrians alike. 

This also marks the third cyclist death in the city in just a few months. Today, our NDP caucus joined road safety advocates to call on all levels of government to implement tougher road safety rules to save lives, including a provincial Vision Zero strategy. 

QUEEN’S PARK — In response to three recent horrific deaths of people riding bikes in Toronto, Ontario NDP Transit critic Jessica Bell (University—Rosedale) and road safety groups are calling for all levels of government to implement tougher road safety rules to save lives.

On Wednesday night, a woman in her 20s was killed on Dufferin Street opposite Dufferin Grove. On Nov. 20, retired teacher John Offutt was killed by a cement truck driver on Royal York Road. On Sept. 24, a man in his 30s was killed cycling on Dundas Street.

“We need immediate action to stop people from being killed on our streets by reckless drivers. People have a right to make it home on their bike without being killed or injured,” said Bell.

Bell is calling for the Ford government to introduce tougher safety regulations on trucks and implement a Vision Zero provincial road safety strategy to reduce deaths and injuries on Ontario’s roads to zero.

“Our current approach is failing. People are being killed biking home. Older adults are afraid to cross the street, and parents don’t want to let their kids walk or ride their bikes around their own neighbourhoods. We must be a better and safer city than this,” said Bell.

A ghost bike ride for the young woman who was killed on Dufferin Street is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020 at 6 p.m., starting at Bloor Street and Spadina Avenue.

Quotes

Michael Longfield, Cycle Toronto interim executive director:

“A Vision Zero approach that prioritizes infrastructure improvements has been proven to save lives by making streets safer. Ontario doesn’t have a Vision Zero provincial road safety strategy, unlike B.C., Alberta, and Manitoba. These tragic deaths in our city show us it’s time we did.”

Friends and Families for Safe Streets:

“This ongoing yet preventable violent death and carnage is a life sentence for families - the grief and anguish never, ever end. The solutions to build streets safe for everyone are well-known, straightforward, and inexpensive to build. Adopting a Vision Zero strategy and re-designing our streets is the only way to make them safe, and we have the resources and expertise to do it easily. The only missing ingredient both in Toronto and more widely throughout Ontario to save lives and stop this life-shattering, devastating road violence is political will.”