The most effective solution to improving road safety is to build streets that are safe by design, not by relying on police enforcement. The Toronto Police Service has acknowledged they have engaged in racist practices and violence toward Black, Indigenous, and other racialized communities. The safety of some road users should not come at the expense of the safety of others.
Cities across North America such as Berkeley, New York City, Minneapolis and Chicago, have been increasingly moving toward replacing on-the-ground police enforcement with community led alternatives and automated speed enforcement (ASE). While evidence in the US has shown that ASE has been effective in traffic speed enforcement and reaching more people with fewer resources than traditional on-the-ground police, it can have disproportionate impacts on racialized communities if not properly planned and executed. Improving the safety of all users equitably includes reducing the harm inflicted on racialized people who receive the disproportionate majority of traffic stops.
We would like to see the City further its commitment to improving road safety equitably by:
- Having a fully operational civilian Traffic Agent Program that manages traffic in place of Paid Duty Police Officers for all public events and road closures
- Championing transparent public reporting tools for traffic safety concerns (e.g. parking in bike lanes, unsafe construction zones, snow clearance concerns), and using data collected to inform policy solutions
- Developing a strategy and plan for the use of ASE cameras that is used in conjunction with Vision Zero and Complete Streets goals, with equity goals such as setting a sliding fee structure for fines, not concentrating ASE cameras in low income communities, and regular public reporting on ASE data