Toronto pedestrians being urged to Do the Bright Thing

News Mar 04, 2013 by Rahul Gupta York Guardian

Toronto police and GO Transit have launched a safety campaign encouraging pedestrians to wear bright clothing in an effort to reduce collisions with motorists.

Police spokesperson Const. Hugh Smith said he and his team distributed brochures and reflective key tags to approximately 4,000 GO Transit commuters as part of the Do the Bright Thing awareness campaign which launched Monday, March 4 at Union Station.

The one-week campaign encourages pedestrians to wear bright or reflective clothing to increase their visibility in busy traffic areas.

According to Smith, a four-year veteran of the police traffic services department, 100 people die annually in the province due to collisions with motorists – 25 per cent of them in Toronto. He believes the vast majority of such accidents are preventable if pedestrians are more visible to cars and refrain from distractions in heavy traffic areas.

“We don’t want to be told we’re doing something wrong,” said Smith late Monday morning from Union Station. “But from my side of it we get a lot of pedestrians who don’t adhere to the rules. So we’re just saying to be alert, be aware and be responsible for your movement.”

He said the campaign is directed at pedestrians and motorists alike and people should not feel they are being unfairly blamed for accidents involving cars – six to seven of which are reported daily in Toronto, according to Smith.

“We carry out ongoing enforcement and there’s never a time we stop doing education and awareness,” he said.

Walking advocate Josh Fullan welcomed the campaign but said it should be combined with more definitive measures such as reducing speed limits, as recommended by a 2012 pedestrian safety report authored by the province’s chief coroner.

“When speed goes down, the seriousness of crashes and injury to pedestrians also drops quite a bit,” said Fullan, a high school teacher and creator of the Maximum Cities program which educates students about urban mobility. “Telling people to wear bright clothing is one thing but you have to couple that with other more effective strategies.”

Even if the idea of pedestrians wearing reflective clothing may seem ludicrous and even offensive to walking advocates, Fullan said the campaign succeeds if only in getting more people to consider pedestrian safety.

“You can’t get bogged down in the blame game. That’s not helpful to the conversation,” he said.

“It’s a small strategy and it may not be the best, but it’s still helpful because it raises the level of awareness in the city.”

Toronto pedestrians being urged to Do the Bright Thing

News Mar 04, 2013 by Rahul Gupta York Guardian

Toronto police and GO Transit have launched a safety campaign encouraging pedestrians to wear bright clothing in an effort to reduce collisions with motorists.

Police spokesperson Const. Hugh Smith said he and his team distributed brochures and reflective key tags to approximately 4,000 GO Transit commuters as part of the Do the Bright Thing awareness campaign which launched Monday, March 4 at Union Station.

The one-week campaign encourages pedestrians to wear bright or reflective clothing to increase their visibility in busy traffic areas.

According to Smith, a four-year veteran of the police traffic services department, 100 people die annually in the province due to collisions with motorists – 25 per cent of them in Toronto. He believes the vast majority of such accidents are preventable if pedestrians are more visible to cars and refrain from distractions in heavy traffic areas.

“We don’t want to be told we’re doing something wrong,” said Smith late Monday morning from Union Station. “But from my side of it we get a lot of pedestrians who don’t adhere to the rules. So we’re just saying to be alert, be aware and be responsible for your movement.”

He said the campaign is directed at pedestrians and motorists alike and people should not feel they are being unfairly blamed for accidents involving cars – six to seven of which are reported daily in Toronto, according to Smith.

“We carry out ongoing enforcement and there’s never a time we stop doing education and awareness,” he said.

Walking advocate Josh Fullan welcomed the campaign but said it should be combined with more definitive measures such as reducing speed limits, as recommended by a 2012 pedestrian safety report authored by the province’s chief coroner.

“When speed goes down, the seriousness of crashes and injury to pedestrians also drops quite a bit,” said Fullan, a high school teacher and creator of the Maximum Cities program which educates students about urban mobility. “Telling people to wear bright clothing is one thing but you have to couple that with other more effective strategies.”

Even if the idea of pedestrians wearing reflective clothing may seem ludicrous and even offensive to walking advocates, Fullan said the campaign succeeds if only in getting more people to consider pedestrian safety.

“You can’t get bogged down in the blame game. That’s not helpful to the conversation,” he said.

“It’s a small strategy and it may not be the best, but it’s still helpful because it raises the level of awareness in the city.”

Toronto pedestrians being urged to Do the Bright Thing

News Mar 04, 2013 by Rahul Gupta York Guardian

Toronto police and GO Transit have launched a safety campaign encouraging pedestrians to wear bright clothing in an effort to reduce collisions with motorists.

Police spokesperson Const. Hugh Smith said he and his team distributed brochures and reflective key tags to approximately 4,000 GO Transit commuters as part of the Do the Bright Thing awareness campaign which launched Monday, March 4 at Union Station.

The one-week campaign encourages pedestrians to wear bright or reflective clothing to increase their visibility in busy traffic areas.

According to Smith, a four-year veteran of the police traffic services department, 100 people die annually in the province due to collisions with motorists – 25 per cent of them in Toronto. He believes the vast majority of such accidents are preventable if pedestrians are more visible to cars and refrain from distractions in heavy traffic areas.

“We don’t want to be told we’re doing something wrong,” said Smith late Monday morning from Union Station. “But from my side of it we get a lot of pedestrians who don’t adhere to the rules. So we’re just saying to be alert, be aware and be responsible for your movement.”

He said the campaign is directed at pedestrians and motorists alike and people should not feel they are being unfairly blamed for accidents involving cars – six to seven of which are reported daily in Toronto, according to Smith.

“We carry out ongoing enforcement and there’s never a time we stop doing education and awareness,” he said.

Walking advocate Josh Fullan welcomed the campaign but said it should be combined with more definitive measures such as reducing speed limits, as recommended by a 2012 pedestrian safety report authored by the province’s chief coroner.

“When speed goes down, the seriousness of crashes and injury to pedestrians also drops quite a bit,” said Fullan, a high school teacher and creator of the Maximum Cities program which educates students about urban mobility. “Telling people to wear bright clothing is one thing but you have to couple that with other more effective strategies.”

Even if the idea of pedestrians wearing reflective clothing may seem ludicrous and even offensive to walking advocates, Fullan said the campaign succeeds if only in getting more people to consider pedestrian safety.

“You can’t get bogged down in the blame game. That’s not helpful to the conversation,” he said.

“It’s a small strategy and it may not be the best, but it’s still helpful because it raises the level of awareness in the city.”