Mississauga Tackling Road Safety Issues
With Mississauga growing and welcoming more developments—and by extension, more people—road safety has been top of mind for residents and city officials alike.
For that reason, city council recently passed a resolution to adopt Vision Zero, a framework that focuses on the prevention of fatalities and injuries caused by vehicle collisions.
“Safety on Mississauga’s roads is the responsibility of the city,” said Pat Saito, councillor, Ward 9 and chair of the Road Safety Advisory Committee. “Vision Zero came about from the belief that no loss of life is an acceptable price for travelling on our roads.”
Vision Zero is a concept based on shared responsibilities among partners involved in the road system including politicians, planners, police, community organizations, vehicle manufacturing companies, companies and organizations that purchase transport services and all road users.
Some areas of focus include reducing impaired driving, implementing safer speed limits, improving road infrastructure, enhancing pedestrian and cyclist safety and road infrastructure changes.
The move to address road safety is timely. A recent Allstate Safe Driving Study revealed that Mississauga is in the top (perhaps bottom is a better descriptor) 20 when it comes to the frequency of collision claims.
It comes in right at number 20, boasting a collision claim rate of 6.76 per cent—up seven per cent from 2015.
The city says support for Vision Zero was initially brought forward by the recently reinstated Road Safety Committee which approved adopting the framework to make Mississauga roads “safer to drive, walk and cycle on.”
Mississauga isn’t the first to adopt the program. Other cities, including Toronto, Hamilton, and Edmonton utilize it. It was also adopted by the Region of Peel in December 2017.
Saito says the difference between the city’s motion and Peel’s recently approved framework is the timing to determine the program’s ultimate goals.
“Mississauga roads are different than those in other municipalities so it makes sense that we give ourselves time to evaluate the program instead of choosing an arbitrary number of fatality and injury reductions that we hope to see in coming years,” she said.
Saito says staff will start to look at major arterial roadways as part of the program, with a focus on eliminating some drivers’ ability to “zip through a community without any consideration for pedestrians or cyclists.”
“Road safety is our primary concern,” said Geoff Wright, commissioner, Transportation and Works. “In addition to our recently developed Road Safety Program, we will begin developing a work plan that will lay out how we will achieve Vision Zero through education, enforcement and engineering and what resources will be required to do so.”
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