More pedestrians struck and killed in 2018 than last year

Toronto police say more pedestrians have been killed in tragic, preventable incidents in 2018 than last year.

'These numbers are intolerable,' police sergeant says as pedestrians continue to die on Toronto's roads

Toronto police are confirming 38 pedestrians have been struck and killed in 2018, surpassing last year's total. (John Rieti/CBC)

Toronto police say more pedestrians have been killed in tragic, preventable incidents in 2018 than last year.

"I think everybody would agree, these numbers are intolerable," Sgt. Brett Moore, of police's traffic services division, told CBC Toronto on Wednesday.

The city recorded its 38th pedestrian death last night in Scarborough, when a 57-year-old man was knocked to the ground and killed near Midland and Dorcot avenues.

The victim was one of three pedestrians killed in the span of just hours across the GTA.

"These are all tragedies … these are all preventable crimes," Moore said.

The City of Toronto has ramped up spending on its Vision Zero plan, which aims to eliminate all traffic-related deaths, but it's done little to slow the rate of deadly collisions so far.

Pedestrians account for more than half of all the deaths on city-controlled roads, according to police statistics, while four cyclists have also been killed. The grim 2018 numbers do not count the 10 people killed in April's van attack on Yonge Street.

'Each one of these statistics is a real person'

While not an all-time high at this point, Moore remains concerned about the numbers. He said the statistics also fail to convey the human suffering that's the result of every deadly crash.

"Each one of these statistics is a real person, whose family, loved ones, communities are heavily impacted by this," he said.

Moore said police are working hard to humanize the issue with hopes of driving home the serious danger road users are facing. Moore said pedestrians need to realize they too could be hit, while drivers need to stop driving while impaired or distracted, while also avoiding speeding or aggressive driving.

When asked about the latest pedestrian death numbers during the first council meeting of the new term, in which governance and office budgets were the topic of the day, Coun. Mike Layton said Vision Zero "will certainly be back on the agenda" down the line because the city is "not doing enough."

"We need to adapt our city's processes so we're able to move faster on pedestrian and road safety initiatives across the board," he added, citing the need for more educational campaigns as well.


John Rieti is the senior producer of digital at CBC Toronto. Born and raised in Newfoundland, John has worked in CBC newsrooms across the country. In Toronto, he's covered everything from the Blue Jays to Toronto city hall. Outside of work, catch him cycling in search of the city's best coffee.

With files from Lauren Pelley


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