Designing for safety
Safety is a priority at every step of the planning, design and construction stage of new road and intersection projects. The City follows the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) guidelines, and routinely works with external safety consultants and experts.
We also review and recommend changes and improvements to existing infrastructure in an effort to improve road safety. For example, in 2016 Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) were introduced at crosswalks to improve pedestrian safety. By the end of 2017, they will be installed at 29 locations in the city, with more planned for 2018.
In 2016, safety audits were conducted at 13 intersections, identified through collision data and feedback collected from citizens. Based on the results of these audits, improvements, such as the changing light signal timing, new signage, altering lane markings and installing RRFBs, were made to improve safety.
Enforcing the traffic laws
The RCMP oversees a traffic enforcement safety strategy that includes automated traffic enforcement, traffic duty, and safety campaigns.
Specifically at intersections, automated traffic enforcement, including red light cameras and intersection speed cameras, is used to encourage safe driving.
Intersection speed cameras use the same cameras and technology as red light cameras, but tickets are issued to drivers who speed through the intersection regardless of the colour of the signal. The intent is to encourage drivers to slow down and follow the posted speed limits without taking away from other priorities and enforcement efforts of police officers in our city.
Intersection speed camera warning tickets start September 11, 2017, and tickets with fines will start November 1, 2017. For more information about intersection speed cameras, including the locations, click here.
What you can do
Everyone has a role to play in road safety. Here’s what you can do to keep yourself safe at intersections:
As a driver:
- Slow down, follow the posted speed limit
- Leave space between you and the car in front of you
- Signal your intent
- Watch for pedestrians when turning
- Only enter the intersection when you know you can safely exit
As a pedestrian:
- When crossing at an intersection, always use the crosswalks and pedestrian-activated signals when they're available.
- If crossing where a crosswalk to pedestrian signal is not available, use the Point, Pause, and Proceed method:
- Point: Extend your arm and point in the direction you want to go and make eye contact with the closest driver.
- Pause: Look all four ways: left, right, ahead and behind. Make sure that there are no cars coming and that the traffic safety light indicates you can cross safely.
- Proceed: Stay focused on crossing the road with no distractions.