By JOSH TUDELA
With daylight savings time reaching an end this Sunday morning, Toronto police are warning road users to be extra cautious.
“As the clocks turn back, road users will encounter diminished visibility due to the reduction in daylight hours,” said police in a Friday, Nov. 3, news release.
The clocks will officially ‘fall back” to standard time at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 5.
The return to standard time means all road users will have to deal with fewer daylight hours and reduced visibility in the evening. With visibility reduced, people and objects on the road are harder to see, said the City of Toronto in a news release.
The news release said the city sees a 30 per cent increase in the number of pedestrians struck by the drivers of vehicles during the evening commute hours from November to March.
Toronto police said that year-to-date, 32 fatalities have occurred on Toronto’s roads and 20 of them were pedestrians. “Historically, motor vehicle collisions rise in the month following DST (daylight savings time), with police responding to over 70 per cent more pedestrian-involved collisions,” said the police news release.
Here are some safety tips, provided by the Toronto Police Service, for road users to follow now that the days are getting shorter:
- Remain vigilant of your surroundings and be aware of other road users.
- Use extra caution at crosswalks and turning in signalized and non-signalized intersections.
- Drive within the speed limit and adjust according to the conditions.
- Ensure vehicles are in good working order and remember to activate the full lighting system.
- Plan ahead. Give extra time to travel to and from destinations.
To remind road users and pedestrians of the city about the increased risks as we return to standard time, the city has launched a public education campaign promoting road safety called the Vision Zero Campaign.
“Toronto’s Vision Zero Road Safety Plan acknowledges that collisions are inevitable but that killed and seriously injured (KSI) collisions are preventable and unacceptable. Zero injuries and deaths on our roads is the number that we all should be working towards,” said the police news release.
The Vision Zero Campaign is a thorough action plan aiming to reduce traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries, with its seven emphasis areas including a total of 50 safety measures among them. The plan prioritizes the safety of Toronto’s most vulnerable road users: schoolchildren, older adults, pedestrians and people cycling. For more information about Vision Zero programs and initiatives at. https://www.toronto.ca/services-payments/streets-parking-transportation/road-safety/vision-zero/