Toronto traffic fatalities at highest level in 5 years

Toronto police say 64 people, most of whom were pedestrians, died this year in traffic fatalities across the city.

Police say aging population may have something to do with uptick in fatalities

A pedestrian was struck and killed in Etobicoke in early October. This year, 38 pedestrians died on city streets, Toronto police said. (Mehrdad Nazarahari/CBC)

Toronto police say 64 people, most of whom were pedestrians, died this year in traffic fatalities across the city.

Police released this year's numbers on Thursday, hours after a 63-year-old male pedestrian was struck and killed in the Monarch Park and Danforth area by a driver who fled the scene.

Here's a look at the breakdown of the fatalities:

  • Pedestrian — 38
  • Automobile driver — 9
  • Automobile passenger — 6
  • Motorcycle driver — 6
  • Motorcycle passenger — 1
  • Cyclist — 4

Const. Clint Stibbe said the city's aging population might have something to do with the number of pedestrian fatalities, as over 60 per cent of the pedestrians killed this year were seniors.  

"The older you are the less likely you are to recover from a collision," said Const. Clint Stibbe, noting about 2,000 pedestrians are struck every year.

"In some cases the injury that the individual suffered was very minor but complications have set in causing that individual to succumb to those injuries."

The 64 fatalities was higher than last year's total and just above 2013's total of 63. In 2011, however, just 35 people died in traffic-related incidents. Here's a breakdown of total fatalities in recent years.

  • 2011 — 35
  • 2012 — 44
  • 2013 — 63
  • 2014 — 51
  • 2015 — 64

Stibbe said the main issue with Toronto drivers isn't that they're aggressive, but instead that they're not doing enough to improve despite driving in a city where busy roadways are changing all the time.

"We are becoming worse drivers," he said.

"We are not doing anything to make ourselves better drivers."

Stibbe said drivers need to adhere to road rules more closely in the coming year if they want the number of fatalities to drop.

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