TORONTO – Toronto police are warning drivers and pedestrians to stay alert, as the number of traffic fatalities in the city reaches a three-year high.
Const. Clint Stibbe, with Traffic Services, told 680News 46 people were killed in traffic-related crashes in Toronto so far this year — 28 of them being pedestrians.
In 2012, there were 44 traffic fatalities in the city, with 33 at this time last year.
The traffic fatalities include people in vehicles, motorcycles, cyclists, and pedestrians.
Const. Stibbe said pedestrians have to consider their own safety, and drivers have to take a second or even a third look.
“Drivers with motor vehicles … they’re distracted either by the signage, things that are happening in car, perhaps texting, whatever the case may be,” Const. Stibbe said.
“They’re not focusing on the environment that they’re in, and as a result, they are maybe focusing on the incoming traffic, but they’re not looking to the right to check for those pedestrians that may be standing at the corner.”
In terms of the 28 pedestrian deaths, Const. Stibbe said that number will rise.
“We on average have approximately 10 fatalities between now and the end of the year,” he said.
At this time last year, there were 18 pedestrian fatalities.
Const. Stibbe said generally the blame is evenly split between the pedestrian and the driver.
“Primarily, our collisions mainly occur intersection-related, where a pedestrian has the right of way — whether it’s on a left or right-hand turn. Those are probably the most common. The second most common is the mid-block crossing,” he said.
Const. Stibbe said the bottom line is that everyone needs to pay more attention — whether behind the wheel, on foot, or on a bicycle.