Nunziata blames distracted pedestrians for getting killed

City Council voted unanimously this week to adopt the Vision Zero 2.0 program, which aims to end pedestrian deaths in Toronto. Version 1.0 was, at best, only partially successful: 47 pedestrians and cyclists were killed in Toronto in 2018, two more than in 2017.

The 2.0 plan will “reduce speed limits on dozens of arterial roads across Toronto, install more sidewalks and implement more pedestrian head-start signals, among other measures”.

Frances Nunziata acknowledged the challenges councillors face: “it’s just constantly people wanting traffic calming, speed humps, they want stop signs, they want lights, because it’s really an issue throughout this city.” And Nunziata has been very good about getting speed humps and slowing traffic. Her office has also been working on a cycling plan for the ward.

However, in discussion, she blamed distracted cyclists and pedestrians for their own deaths.

I think it’s important that pedestrians are educated as well, when they’re crossing the street and cyclists as well. You see so many pedestrians crossing the street at an intersection, texting on their phone, talking on their phone, with their earphones, and they’re walking across the street, red light, or they’re not even crossing at an intersection, and that’s very dangerous  as well. And you know, continues to happen, and you know, I know a few years ago, I put a motion through that they should be fined. The province did not support that at that time, but if you… a lot more of them are not paying attention to the roads, the pedestrians, and I think there’s a lot of fatalities as well because there’s no education and they’re not paying attention and the cyclists as well, when they’ve got the earphones, and they’re not hearing, and  they’re not paying attention the road safety. So I think it’s not just for the motorists, it’s for the pedestrians, the cyclists, all of us have to share in making our streets safer.


In 2016, Nunziata asked the province to ticket distracted pedestrians, an idea that was quickly shot down.  She has also called for cyclists to be licensed, an idea proven to be terrible.

Author: Adam Norman

I am raising my two children in Weston.

3 thoughts on “Nunziata blames distracted pedestrians for getting killed”

  1. This is one area where I tend to agree with the Councillor. As someone who frequently both drives and walks, I find the pedestrians are far more likely to ignore traffic lights, step off the curb AGAINST A DO NOT WALK SIGNAL while vehicles are turning, cross mid-block on major arteries, where black clothing at night while walking on the roadway. Vehicles now have running lights 7/24.

    I recently had three close calls with cyclists who had no lights at night or were riding the wrong way on a street that has bike lanes in both directions. It is difficult enough to drive when you assume that vehicles will stay in their lane and obey traffic signals. It is impossible to avoid vehicles and pedestrians that ignore the rules of the road.

    I have in decades of driving had one collision with a cyclist. It happened when I was STOPPED at a stop sign, waiting to turn right. The cyclist was driving on the wrong side of the road and came around the corner and crashed head-on into my stopped vehicle.

    I would agree that the average skill of drivers has diminished over the years, and far too many are on the road who should not be. So I would ask that photo radar be used frequently, but ONLY on roads where speed limits are 40kph or lower. Then we can replace half the stop signs with YEILDS because all the stops and starts just pollute and annoy.

    Also that trucks be forced to install European style rear wheel guards.

    Lots can be done, but given so many fatalities involve seniors crossing arterial roads at night, that would seem to indicate that one area demanding attention is to prevent pedestrians from crossing arterial roads at night wearing camouflage!

  2. Good points.

    In addition, the ever present and persistent problem of “distraction” – most lethal while driving, but no less dangerous while carelessly cycling or walking with your head down & zoned out.

    And, regarding those diminished & questionable driving skills – probably be a good idea for all of us to be retested – every 10 years – even though it would be annoying to go through it.

    Hit the refresh button on our skills – no matter how we get about. (But really, it won’t much matter if we insist on multi-tasking everywhere we go.)

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