Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Red light running possible cause of collision

Apr 28, 2009 02:37 PM
Alex Cooper Staff Reporter - The Star (Edited by Traffic Services)

In Scarborough, at around 12:30 a.m., an armoured truck heading southbound on Kennedy Rd. was struck by a pickup heading eastbound on Ellesmere Rd.
"As a result of the impact the vehicle flipped over," said Sgt. Gary McBratney of Traffic Services. "It was not a low speed impact."
The passenger of the truck, a 24-year-old woman, was rushed to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre with life-threatening injuries. The driver, a 34-year-old man, was also taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The two people in the pickup truck were not injured.
McBratney said alcohol is not being considered a factor, but are looking at the possibility of someone running a red light.
"Someone entered the intersection when they shouldn't have," he said.
The intersection was closed for police investigation for several hours. It reopened around 10 a.m. "We will determine if charges are warranted," said McBratney.

A blow to drunks

Having one for the road will soon get you off the road a lot longer

Drivers caught with .05% alcohol in their blood face stiffer penalties starting Friday.
Drivers who fall in the "warn zone" -- between .05 and less than .08 -- currently face a 12-hour licence suspension, but the new changes call for a graduated increase in penalties, including the notification of insurance companies.
A first offence will see drivers lose their licence for three days with a $150 fee to reinstate it. The second time, their licence is suspended for seven days and they must take an alcohol education program.
The third time, drivers are suspended for 30 days, get an ignition interlock -- requiring a breath test on turning the key -- and must undergo another alcohol education program.
A fourth offence means a repeat of the 30-day suspension, and a doctor's note is required showing the driver is capable of getting behind the wheel.
On the eve of the changes, the Ontario Community Council on Impaired Driving kicked off its annual "Arrive Alive, Drive Sober" campaign yesterday at Queen's Park.
"People need to be reminded they have alternatives to drinking and driving," Ontario Transport Minister Jim Bradley said against a backdrop of a hearse, an ambulance, police cruiser and a cab.
About a quarter of all fatal accidents in Ontario are impaired-related, Bradley said. Drivers in the "warn zone" are seven times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than a driver who didn't drink, he said.
Other changes to be implemented this summer will include zero blood-alcohol tolerance for all drivers under the age of 21, Bradley said.
OPP Sgt. Dave Woodford said the changes focus on people who think they're still able to drive despite having a drink or two, he said.
"What we've been trying to tell you ... there's no amount of alcohol that is (considered) safe consumption in relation to a vehicle and this is a great response to that," Toronto Sgt. Tim Burrows said.
The 12-hour suspension was a good tool against impaired drivers, but it failed to keep track of how many times someone was stopped, he said.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

April 19 to 26 Poll Results

In a non-scientific poll posted on this site, you were asked...
On May 1, 2009 Sanctions for drinking and driving are you think the new sanctions are:
Long Overdue - 60%
Too harsh - 7%
Don't go far enough - 33%
Go too far - 0%

Wow...according to my math 93% of respondents agree that governments, courts and the public need to be very tough on dealing with people who choose to compromise all our safety by not paying enough heed to the drinking and driving laws. I am looking forward to May 1. Keep an eye on this blog on April 30th for a complete break down on the new suspensions coming into effect for warn range driving!

New poll question:
The provincial seatbelt campaign finishes April 26th. Since the campaign commenced are you:
(Vote on the right side of this blog.)

West-end cyclist escapes serious injury in crash

Apr 25, 2009 05:10 PM
Jesse McLean Staff Reporter - The Star

A cyclist has been taken to hospital with arm and leg injuries after she collided with a dump truck in High Park, mangling her bike.
The 20-year-old woman was riding near Roncesvalles Ave. and Dundas St. W. around 2:30 p.m. when the crash occurred.
The woman was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital where she is being treated for minor injuries.
There is no word whether any charges will be laid.

~~Editors Note~~
I have no information on this collision at this time...I will say that all our road users need to very aware of each other and the limitations we bring to the table of road use. Cyclists and pedestrians are not nearly visible enough to the drivers of larger vehicles. You need to do everything you can to ensure being seen....and sometimes that means staying away from the road beasts!
Right of way sometimes means = right to choose safest move!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Girl, 2, hit by van

Tamara Cherry - Toronto Sun

A toddler was taken to hospital after she was struck by a van near the waterfront this morning.
The two-year-old girl was walking south on York St. across Queens Quay W. with a group of kids from the YMCA when she was struck by an eastbound van turning south onto York around 10:30 a.m., Toronto Police Const. Mig Roberts said.
The group of kids had the right-of-way when the little girl was struck at the south end of the intersection, Roberts said.
"The kid was rushed to hospital with a broken femur and other serious injuries," Roberts said.
Charges against the driver are pending, he said.
"It's nice weather out now and there's going to be more pedestrians out," he said. "We urge motorists to pay more attention to the road."

Road Closure Advisory, The Don Valley Parkway

Friday, April 24, 2009

Traffic Services

The Don Valley Parkway will be closed from Highway 401 to The Gardiner Expressway. The closure will commence 2 a.m. Saturday morning, until 5 a.m. Monday morning.

Here are some tips to cope with the closure:

- plan ahead, and make extra time to get to your destination,

- be patient and courteous to other motorists,

- take alternate modes of transportation, for example public transit,

- going well out of your way may actually save time, go beyond the normal routes of alternative use,

- car pool if possible,

- avoid road rage.

We urge all motorists to drive safely during the closure, and maintain a level of calm.

Traffic Services is dedicated to ensuring the safe and orderly movement of traffic within the City of Toronto. Stay informed with what’s happening at Traffic Services by following us on Twitter (TrafficServices), and Facebook (Toronto Police – Traffic Services).

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Child Seat Information

Toronto Police assist Global Television with child seat information.

Distracted Driving Law Passes At Queen's Park

Wednesday April 22, 2009 Staff

Hold the phone - especially if you're driving. A law banning the use of handheld devices behind the wheel passed at Queen's Park on Wednesday. And while there's no immediate word on when the ban will go into effect, it will change the way many of us work and drive in this province.
Under the regulations, you won't be allowed to talk on a cell phone handset while you're driving a car. Sending email or texting is also off limits, along with playing video games or using an MP3 or DVD player.
Hands-free Bluetooth devices are O.K., and you'll be allowed to use any phone in the event of an emergency to call 911. Your GPS unit will still be able to direct you, as long as its properly secured to your dashboard.
Those caught disobeying the law will be liable for a fine of up to $500. You won't get points off your licence if you're found gabbing illegally, but you could be charged under existing careless driving laws.
Groups like police and paramedics will be exempt from the new rules, and the government is prepared to make exceptions where necessary. Many concerned drivers - like cabbies - have already written wondering if they'll be included. But the Transport Minister warns getting that free pass won't be easy.
"We are prepared to listen to all representations," Jim Bradley makes clear. "The thrust of the bill, of course, is to avoid distractions caused by electronic devices that are handheld, and that remains to be the bedrock of the legislation. So people would have to make a pretty compelling argument to be exempt."
But the Ministry says those taxi drivers may be out of luck. In an email to, a government spokesperson confirms the cabbies likely won't get a pass.
"The bill does not contain an exemption from the handheld ban for cab drivers," it reads. "The only exemptions in the legislation are for police, fire and ambulance. We will consider other requests for exemptions as we develop the regulations."
They may, however, be allowed to still use their radios. Another viewer wondered what it means for those who use devices like CB radios. "Communication devices such as CBs that are hard-wired into the vehicle are not covered by the ban," the official states.
The new rules were first proposed last October, several months after Premier Dalton McGuinty indicated he had no interest in such a ban.
Safety advocates welcome the new law, predicting it will cut down on the number of distracted drivers on the roads, leading to fewer accidents.
But critics contend it's almost unenforceable and that it's the act of talking on the phone that's the problem - so the exemption for wireless chatting won't improve anything.
"In our research we found that it wasn't so much a matter of keeping your hands on the wheel as it was a matter of keeping your mind on the road," complained Dr. Donald Redelmeier of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre when the law was first proposed last year.
But Jessica Michaels begged to differ. Seven years ago, she was hit by a driver yakking on a cell phone. Her life hasn't been the same since, undergoing six operations on her injured knees.
"I wouldn't be in the situation I'm in right now," she noted when asked how things might have changed had the law been in effect back then. "I spent time in a wheelchair, on crutches. It was devastating. All because of a cell phone."
Transport Canada estimates drivers who talk or text behind the wheel are four times more likely to crash than those who are paying attention.
"Put the phone down," Michaels pleaded as the government contemplated the law. "Don't take it with you. Better yet, put it in the back of the car. Put it in the trunk. You don't need to answer that phone."
Ontario is the fourth province in Canada to institute some form of a cell phone driving ban. Similar rules are in place in Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec and Nova Scotia.
It's not immediately clear when the law will go into effect, although Transport Minister Jim Bradley hinted strongly that it will be enforced here starting sometime in the fall.
For a list of what you can and can't use when it begins, click here.
Your reaction

New Law Q&A
Can I use my hand-held cell phone to call for help in an emergency?
Yes. Drivers may place emergency calls to the police, fire department and emergency medical services. If possible, drivers should pull off the road before making an emergency call.

Can I use my hand-held cell phone or other device while I'm stopped in traffic or at a red traffic light?
No. Drivers will only be permitted to use their hand-held device when safely pulled off the roadway.

Will the law apply to all drivers?
No. Police, fire department and emergency medical services personnel will be permitted to use hand-held wireless communications devices in the normal performance of their duties.The Ministry of Transportation is also considering additional exemptions for certain communications devices used to dispatch, track and monitor commercial drivers and include these in supporting regulations.
The ministry is working with stakeholders to ensure that the legislation does not place unintended restrictions on industry.

When will the new law come into effect?
It is anticipated that the ban on hand-held devices will take effect as early as fall 2009 to allow for the development of supporting regulations.
Source Ministry of Transportation

Pedestrian hit by Car

Apr 22, 2009 12:43 PM
Sunny Freeman Staff Reporter - Toronto Star

A pedestrian was hit by a car while crossing against a red light early this morning.
The 58-year-old man was walking southbound on Kipling Ave. across Finch Ave W. around 5:45 a.m., when he was struck by a westbound vehicle on Finch Ave.
The man was taken to hospital with a broken leg and other non-life threatening injuries.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Toronto police Traffic Services Unit at 416-808-1900.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

Need to drive your car...can't give it up for Earth Day?
Then use these tips to drive cleaner...
  • Make sure tire pressure is correct and that your tires are in good condition
  • Group small trips into a big one
  • Park and walk or use transit instead of driving to multiple stops
  • Go easy on the accelerator and brakes...smooth and steady
  • Make sure you keep your engine tuned and well maintained
  • Car pool / share a ride

Nothing beats using foot or pedal power for going green on Earth Day. Public Transit is a great alternative for those who need to get around. If you can't live a day without your car, make it as green as possible.

Go green for travel!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Driving Basics 101 - Part IV

Last week we covered the ABC's of driving in short is what all of that meant and how it makes you a safer road user when applied.

The 3 Co-Operative Driving Concepts (ABC’s of Driving) Expanded
1. Awareness - Plan and Identify critical path - predict potential hazards
This is accomplished by:
(a) Scanning; Perception of time zones
Look curb to curb, use your side, and rear-view mirrors to see what is happening around you in all directions, your past can become your present and future. Never focus too long in any one spot. Your eyes should always be moving building a picture in your mind of everything around you. Your brain will alert your eyes to move back to something that needs more attention. The dominant view though, should be where you are going.
(b) 4 – 8 – 12 – 20 second eye lead
Look 4 seconds in the future (the direction you are travelling) for city driving and heavy traffic; 8 seconds for suburban driving; 12-20 seconds for highway travel all the time scanning store front to store front, curb to curb, fence line to fence line. Look through any vehicles that are in front of you…if you can’t ‘offset’. (See d for offset)
(c) 2 – 3 second following distance
Maintain this as a minimum distance to the vehicle ahead of you. In inclement weather increase this distance to 4- 5 seconds. If someone takes this space simply taking your foot off the gas pedal will quickly correct your following distance.
(d) Offset lane position; Open lane; Lane of least resistance, Curb lane when possible.
Position your vehicle slightly to the left of the vehicle ahead so you can see past it, failing that move to another lane with less traffic. If there is a lane without traffic, or less traffic in it, move there. This also comes in handy if there are large vehicles in front of you that you can’t see past or look through.
(e) Traffic controls; Scan intersection, (left centre, and right).
Prior to arriving at an intersection, while on your approach, look to the left, centre, then right to build a picture of what your are driving towards. You should know what all road traffic (motor vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles) are doing at and within your view of that intersection before you get there. You should also know what the light cycles are doing and be clear on your travel path in case a potential hazard presents itself.

2. Be Seen - Achieve visibility
This is accomplished by:
(a) Horn
This is NOT a reactionary device…it is a warning device. Use it to warn pedestrians or other vehicles that are about to interfere with your lawful movement. Use it to let others know you are there if you think that they don’t see you. If someone uses it on you, say thank you…they may have just saved you a collision…never be offended, be thankful.
(b) Offset lane position, lights, signals.
Position your vehicle slightly to the left of the vehicle ahead of you. If the person in front of you has read this and now knows to do the same, offset slightly to the right and look through their vehicle while allowing others to see you outside of the vehicle in front of you. Always have your full exterior lighting system on. Always signal in advance of a turn or lane change.
(c) Hand signals
Acknowledgements of courtesy…not the one finger kind, use the whole bouquet!! When someone lets you in a line of traffic, warns you they are there or even cut you off…wave and say thanks.

3. Create Escape Routes
This is accomplished by:
(a) 2 - 3 Second following distance
Leave plenty of space between you and the vehicle ahead of you.
(b) Check mirrors every 4 – 5 seconds
In heavy traffic or congested areas, you may want to do this more often. Highways and suburbs a little less, but always before making any turns or lane changes!! Shoulder checks (turning your head to see in your blind spot) must be done before lateral movements or turns. This is also very important before exiting your vehicle…bicycles and children can sneak up beside you.
(c) Maintain one free side
Maintain free space to the left or right of your vehicle. Don’t travel in someone’s blind spot.
(d) Keep blind spots clear
Adjust your speed to keep your own blind spot clear. If this doesn’t work, activate you turn signal…the other driver might just back off if they think you are going to come over…but don’t forget to cancel it.
(e) Cover the brake
When approaching a green light that you didn’t see turn green or has been green for some time take your foot off the gas and hover your foot over your brake pedal…be ready for the light to change to amber. Also a good practice if you think someone may turn or change lanes in front of you…you can quickly apply your brake to avoid a collision.
(f) Stationary escape route
When stopped ensure you can see the rear tires of the vehicle ahead of you. Position your vehicle slightly to the left of the car in front of you. You need to be able to see past that car.
(g) When possible, reverse into parking spaces
When you reverse in, you have the ability to drive out. You have a much better field of vision in drive than you do in reverse.

Next Week - Part V -"Your vehicle is a balancing act"
Part I
Part II
Part III

Man dies after being hit by school bus

Apr 20, 2009 07:26 PM
Alex Cooper Precious Yutangco Staff Reporters - Toronto Star

An 85-year-old man is dead after being struck by a school bus near High Park this afternoon.
The minibus was heading east on High Park Blvd. and was making a left turn onto Roncesvalles Ave. when it struck the pedestrian, who was at a crosswalk and had the right of way, according to Sgt. Tim Burrows of Toronto police traffic services.
Emergency crews arrived at the scene at around 1:30 p.m., where they found the victim unconscious but breathing, he said.
Sgt. Allan Finlay of traffic services said the victim suffered "massive head injuries" and was pronounced dead at around 6 p.m.
There were no children in the vehicle.
Roncesvalles was closed for the afternoon while police investigated but has since re-opened.
"The investigation is still really early. There's no word on any charges at this point in time," Burrows said.
Witnesses are asked to contact traffic services at (416) 808-1900.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Baby Boy In Critical Condition, Toddler Now Stable After Downtown Crash

Sunday April 19, 2009 Staff
A baby boy remains in critical condition in hospital after a three-car collision on Saturday.
His three-year-old sister is now in stable condition. The three-month-old boy suffered head injuries and a broken leg, and the girl had severe cuts to her head and face.
Investigators contend that neither child was properly restrained. Four children were inside the white Dodge Caravan but there were only two car seats.
"We know for a fact only two kids in that car could have been properly restrained," outlined Sgt. Tim Burrows of Traffic Services. "Children at that age [should not] be in a normal seatbelt."
The crash happened just after 3:30pm at the intersection of Yonge St. and Lake Shore Blvd.
Officers allege that the northbound Caravan ran a red light and was T-boned by a westbound Chevrolet. The Chevrolet then crashed into a BMW which had stopped for the red light.
A total of nine people were injured.
It's believed that the infant was being held in his mother's arms at the time of the impact. They were sitting in the back seat and he may have hit a side window.
"If you knowingly don't put your child in a safety seat and then something happens, you 'd have a hard time living with yourself," stated Alison McColl, a GTA resident.
Police across Ontario are currently in the middle of a car seat campaign designed to educate parents and guardians. The campaign runs from April 15 to April 26.
"Ontario has a 93 per cent compliance rate. For every one per cent we can increase that number, we can save five lives annually in [the province]," Sgt. Burrows revealed.
Officers are investigating. If you saw anything, call police 416-808-1900 or Crime Stoppers to remain anonymous 416-222-TIPS (8477). You can also text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637).
Ontario Spring Seatbelt Campaign Focuses On Children
Choose The Right Safety Seat For Your Child

Four kids from same family injured in Lake Shore crash


Nine people - including four children -- were injured in a Saturday afternoon crash at Yonge Street and Lake Shore Boulevard.
Police say the injured kids are all under the age of four and all from the same family. A three-month-old boy may have a broken leg and serious head injuries and a three-year-old girl also suffered head injuries after slamming into their vehicle's windshield.
Police say had not been properly restrained.
Two other girls, aged two and four, were treated and released from the hospital.
Both were rushed to Sick Kids Hospital with head injuries just after 3:30 p.m.
Police are appealing for witnesses who saw the crash. Anyone with information is asked to call 416-808-1900.
There have been significant traffic delays in the area since the crash. The intersection was closed for several hours.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

April 1-18 Poll Results

In a very non-scientific poll posted on this site you were asked:
What has the most serious impact on opearting a motor vehicle?
Well, the results are in and here's what you said...
Excessive speed - 26%
Social distractions - 31%
Alcohol - 36%
Fatigue - 5%
Inexperience - 0%
Not sure what happened to the other 2%...remember 'non-scientific'.

For your chance to voice an opinion, scroll down the right side of this blog for this weeks poll question.

Top 10 forgotten rules of the road

Once many drivers get their licences, these road scholars forget to play by the rules
Apr 17, 2009

Special to the Star
Traffic deaths in this country are on the decline, according to Statistics Canada. Want to make them decline even quicker? Read the rule book!
Except we don't – not unless we're about to take the test for a driver's licence. Pass the test and the 228 sections of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act get forgotten more quickly than last year's Canadian Idol winner.
Which rules are the most forgotten?
How about:
1. Failing to properly signal turns and lane changes
Section 142 of the Highway Traffic Act consists of two directives: each driver shall see if the movement can be made safely before performing the act, and then shall give a "signal plainly visible" to other drivers.
Simply activating your turn signal does not give you the right of way to complete the task. Many drivers feel they have the right to make a lane change or turn simply because they've signalled, and then with just a solitary, symbolic flash. Or most likely in the GTA, they just move over with no signal, expecting other drivers to mind-read their intentions.
Newsflash! We're not all psychics. Letting other drivers know your intentions is not only the law, it's also common sense. Why surprise others when you can give them a clear indication as to your next move?
2. Running amber and red traffic lights
Section 144 (16): Every driver must stop for an amber traffic signal if it can be done safely, not speed up to make it through in time. The duration of each amber light is timed so that vehicles travelling at the correct speed will have plenty of time to stop before the light turns to red.
Newsflash! It clearly does not say every driver except you. There is no excuse for running stale amber or red lights. Some truckers have argued that their load will not permit them to stop in time, but if so, those truckers are driving too fast.
3. Committing improper turns at signalized intersections
Every driver must turn right from the rightmost lane into the right lane of the cross road, or left from the left-turn lane into the left lane of the intersecting road.
Newsflash! Lane wandering is bad driving, even if it does save having to pull so hard on the wheel.
4. Failing to drive in the rightmost lane
The most debated, yet least understood rule: "Any vehicle travelling upon a roadway at less than normal speed shall, where practicable, be driven in the right-hand lane unless passing." What's so difficult about this?
If conditions are poor, traffic will slow and if you are travelling slower than the adjusted "normal" speed, keep to the right lane. If conditions permit travelling faster than the posted limit, if you are not passing others, keep to the right lane.
The right lane is not the middle lane. On multi-lane roads, the middle lane is a truck passing lane and not a cruising lane. If a motorist or trucker finds they are being passed by vehicles in both the left and right lanes, then they should move over to the right lane.
Newsflash! If drivers obey this section, traffic will flow more smoothly and safely.
5. Driving is a privilege and not a right
Section 31(a) of the Act states: "The privilege of driving on a highway is granted to, and retained by, only those persons who demonstrate that they are likely to drive safely."
Newsflash! This must be the most forgotten rule. If we all drive like we wish others around us would drive, our roads would be much safer and a lot less stressful.
6. Following too closely
At a speed of 100 km/h, a vehicle will travel about 28 metres each second. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration studies, the average "perception and reaction time" to an emergency driving situation is 1.47 seconds, or about 42 metres of travel at that speed. The average vehicle length is less than six metres.
So following a vehicle at anything less than eight car lengths will not give you enough time to react – never mind stop – should the leading vehicle collide with something and come to a rapid halt. That's why most driving safety experts advocate the "two-second rule" when following any vehicle.
Newsflash! Traffic will not travel faster because you tailgate the vehicle in front. It will always move at a speed dictated by traffic volume and road conditions.
If you find yourself being tailgated, simply slow down gradually in a safe passing zone and the tailgater will eventually pass you and go off to be someone else's problem.
Do not slam on your brakes to teach them a lesson. If they happen to be distracted when you try that, you will both end up as traffic statistics.
7. Driving while distracted
This must be the most ignored common sense rule of driving, be it talking on a cellphone, text messaging, conversing with passengers, changing CDs or radio stations or just daydreaming.
If your brain is processing a conversation or which song you want next, it is not processing driving information that can save your life.
Newsflash! The most important thing you should do while driving is drive the vehicle. Nothing else matters.
8. Being a traffic parent
Many motorists will speed up to prevent another vehicle from merging into their lane in an attempt to make a traffic statement. That space in front of their vehicle is theirs and the invading vehicle should not even attempt to enter that zone.
Newsflash! The other driver will never learn how to be a courteous, safer driver from traffic parents in another vehicle. This, however, can easily turn into road rage.
9. Knowing when not to drive
There are times when drivers should not be driving. If anyone is impaired by drugs, alcohol or fatigue they obviously should not be behind the wheel. This includes a lot of over-the-counter drugs for colds, etc., that can make you drowsy.
When weather or road conditions are dangerous, stay put and off the roads. Many drivers put themselves and others in jeopardy by venturing out into treacherous conditions.
Newsflash! Stay put. There's no reason to risk your life on unsafe roads.
10. Impatience
In a typical rush-hour commute of 30 kilometres, if a driver averages 60 km/h it would take 30 minutes to reach a destination. In heavy traffic, even if the driver averaged an extra 5 km/h by changing lanes and rushing, only two minutes of commuting time would be saved.
Newsflash! Do the math. You may save two minutes of travel time, but the stress will likely take years off your life.

Ian Law is Wheels' Better Driving columnist. He can be reached at
Toronto Star

Editors Note: There will be more on this subject during the Basic Driving 101 Series that is in this blog.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Toronto Police Stop Driver Doing 186 in a 100 zone

Driver charged with driving 186 km/hr on highway
Updated: Thu Apr. 16 2009 11:12:35 AM

A 34-year-old man has had his car towed and his licence suspended after a police officer clocked a car travelling 186 kilometres an hour on the Gardiner Expressway.
Police say an officer was driving west on the highway near Kipling Avenue when he noticed a car speeding by at around 10 a.m. Wednesday morning.
A speed radar clocked the car driving at a speed of 186 km/h in a 100 km/h zone.
The officer also noted the car was making multiple lane changes as it headed west toward Mississauga.
Police were able to pull over a vehicle, a 2006 Audi A3, when heavy traffic slowed traffic along the highway.
The male suspect has been charged under Ontario's stunt driving laws, which mandates that all drivers suspected of going 50 kilometres over the posted speed limit have their driver's licence suspended for seven days and their car towed for a week.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Driving Basics 101 - Part III

“Get Your Keys”

As I said at in Part I of this series, I am taking the liberty of assuming that I am writing this for the benefit of drivers who have a licence and have met the provincial minimum for driving privileges in Ontario.

So, you have checked your vehicle in terms of apparent safety and maintenance issues, you have all the required documents with you, you know where your controls are, what warning lights mean, your mirrors are adjusted, you are seated properly and your seatbelt is secured.

Since you have attained your driver’s licence you are well versed in all aspects of the rules and regulations that govern driving a car. I mean, if you are going to use the privilege of travelling on our roads, you have naturally made yourself acutely aware of the laws that are in place to protect you and everyone else on the roads.

On the right hand side of this blog is a section “Great Information for Safer Roads”. City of Toronto By-Laws, Municipal Code and most importantly, The Highway Traffic Act are all linked here. If you need a refresher on the laws, rules and regulations, I strongly suggest you go to those sites and study!!

Driving requires your full attention – NO DISTRACTIONS
Driving is a skill and like any skill it requires attention to details. What are distractions? Distracted driving can occur any time a driver's attention is taken away from where they should be focusing their concentration — the driving task.

Driver distractions include cell phones, eating, drinking, changing a CD, fiddling with radio dials, talking to a passenger, experiencing emotional distress, minding children, personal grooming, looking at billboards or even other vehicles on the road.

The CAA believes that distracted driver education on the full range of distractions leading to a crash, as well as measures to manage those distractions effectively and safely, should be required for all motorists.

There are many different types of distractions
Physical: Distractions that cause a driver to take his/her hands off the wheel, such as eating a sandwich.
Cognitive: Activities that take the driver's mind away from the road, such as carrying on a conversation with another passenger, talking on a cell phone, re-living an argument in your mind or even daydreaming.
Combination: Activities that take your hands, eyes and mind off the road, such as reading a map or programming the radio.
"It's only for a second or two"
Even a moment's distraction can be dangerous. A second or two may not seem like much, but at 50 km/hr, you will travel 14 metres in one second.

A lot can happen in a second or two. Being distracted causes drivers to react more slowly to traffic conditions or events, such as another vehicle stopping to make a left turn, or pulling out from a side road. Distracted drivers fail more often to notice or recognize potential hazards, including pedestrians, bicycles or debris on the road. When drivers allow distractions to take their focus away from the seriousness of the driving task, they decrease their margin of safety and are more likely to take risks even without knowing it.

On The Road – It’s more than just D for drive
There are two skills that are learned, that will assist you to become a professional driver:
This style of driving is where the operator of a vehicle scans their environment, identifies potential hazards and takes the necessary measures to prevent potential conflicts.
This skill is used when co-operative driving fails. The driver must make an
evasive manoeuvre to avoid contact with the hazard. To accomplish this, the
driver must react with a split second decision.

Both of these skills will be explained in detail next week, but for now, here they
are…do some homework and research these.

The 3 Co-Operative Driving Concepts (ABC’s of Driving)
1. Awareness - Plan and Identify critical path - predict potential hazards
This is accomplished by:
(a) Scanning; Perception of time zones
(b) 4 – 8 – 12 – 20 Second eye lead
(c) 2 – 3 Second following distance
(d) Offset lane position; Open lane; Lane of least resistance, Curb lane when possible
(e) Traffic controls; Scan intersection, (left centre, right)

2. Be Seen - Achieve visibility
This is accomplished by:
(a) Horn
(b) Offset lane position, daytime running lights, signals
(c) Hand signals, acknowledgements of courtesy

3. Create Escape Routes -
This is accomplished by:
(a) 2 - 3 Second following distance
(b) Check mirrors every 4 – 5 seconds
(c) Maintain one free side
(d) Keep blind spots clear
(e) Cover brake
(f) Stationary escape route
(g) When possible, reverse into parking spaces

Next Week, Part IV - "ABC's of driving in detail"
Part I
Part II

Special thanks to the CAA for providing information on distracted driving.

Ontario Spring Seatbelt Campaign Focuses On Children

Ontario Spring Seatbelt Campaign Focuses On Children
Wednesday April 15, 2009 Staff

Ontario's spring seatbelt campaign began on Wednesday and the focus this year is on children.
Whether it's a booster seat or a baby carrier, youngsters need to be properly buckled in.
Both local and provincial officers will be monitoring the roads and checking your vehicle to see if everyone is safely secured.
"The reality is, what we are going to see is drivers and passengers alike not wearing their seatbelts and worse yet, we're going to see children that are not properly restrained," outlined Sgt. Tim Burrows of Toronto Police.
Burrows went on to explain how children of different ages and weights should be secured.
"When you're dealing with an infant under 20 pounds, they need to be in a rear-facing infant seat. After the 20-pound mark, they can go to a forward-facing seat and stay there until they're about 40 pounds.
"Between the 40 and 80 pound mark, until the age of eight, they need to be in a booster seat."
At a clinic, Burrows demonstrated how necessary it is to have a well-fitted car seat.
"It's vitally important. It's a child's best protection in the case of a collision...when children are buckled in, injuries are minimized and deaths are reduced."
"The biggest mistake people make is that they're not doing it tight enough. Not tight enough to the car and not tight enough to the child herself," he added.
In 2008, a quarter of the people killed in highway crashes were not wearing their seatbelts, according to the OPP. Province-wide, 78 of those who died in collisions hadn't buckled up.
"What I expect to see is that we have 100 per cent compliance with our seat belt laws in the province," Burrows hoped.
"Thy save lives; it's been proven. They're there for a purpose and we need everybody to use them."
The fine is $110 and you could also receive two demerit points. The campaign will run until April 26.
Canada Safety Council on car seats.
Some of the offences police officers will be looking for are:
Driver with seat belt removed/inoperative/modified
Driver -- fail to properly wear seat belt
Drive while passenger under 16 fails to occupy position with seat belt
Passenger -- fail to properly wear seat belt
Drive while passenger under 16 fails to properly wear seat belt
Fail to ensure infant properly secured
Fail to ensure toddler properly secured
Fail to ensure child properly secured

Monday, April 13, 2009

Drive's on for trials

Don't count on dodging your $30 parking ticket fine by taking it to trial anymore.
And for those who want their day in court, the wait may be over.
It was the case, as recently as last summer, that most $30 parking tickets never saw the inside of a courtroom because of a massive backlog of tickets and limited resources.
This year, though, the city is spending $2.3 million to build six new courtrooms -- the first of which may be completed by the end of this month. Two new justices of the peace, who serve as judges for parking tickets and other minor offences, were also appointed to Toronto at the end of February.
The parking ticket backlog was City Hall's dirty little secret.
In 2006 and 2007, Torontonians requested trials for 250,000 tickets but only 4,300 were ever scheduled.
In 2008 alone, 220,000 tickets were asked to go to trial, and 27,000 have already been scheduled, with more to come, said Barry Randell, director of the city's court services.
The requests for trials rose, he said, once the media began publicizing the lack of resources.
"The statistics are, when the media reported that there was a backlog in the court system, the trial rate went up," he told the Sun. "People were asking for trials more frequently ... at one point, one in every 15 parking tickets was being requested for trial, which is pretty high. Normally, it's somewhere around 4% to 5%.
"We said, 'realistically, we need to open up some more courtrooms.' "
The six new courtrooms, which can each process 30 to 40 minor traffic tickets four times a day, could add about 180,000 trials a year.
And that will "go a long way," Randell added, to scheduling more trials, about 600,000 are already heard annually in the city's 24 currently operating courtrooms.
But, the city's court services still triages -- or prioritizes -- the cases that go to trial. After all, the courtrooms aren't just for parking tickets.
"It runs the gamut from the $30 parking tickets through to fatalities under Occupational Health and Safety legislation," Randell said.
"Obviously more serious cases require more court time ...We still operate under that."
Randell acknowledges the new courtrooms and the additional justices of the peace likely won't be enough to completely cover the parking ticket problem, but it's a start.
The city's court services is also hopeful the province's attorney general will streamline the system and take some minor infractions out of the court system -- what Randell called an onerous process for tickets -- entirely.
He said the province is looking at that now.

Dramatic Crash Sees Vehicle End Up On Its Side In Parking Lot

StreetBeat - Apr. 13 -

Monday April 13, 2009 Staff

A woman's car ended up on its side following a dramatic crash in a parking lot Monday.
It appears the driver may have hit the gas instead of the brake, and her vehicle became wedged in between two other cars in the Dufferin and Sheppard area.
Firefighters had to cut their way in through the back window to get her out. The driver managed to walk to a stretcher and was talking with paramedics about what occurred, but there's no word yet on what exactly went wrong.

Crash on Steeles sends 4 to hospital

Apr 12, 2009 08:59 PM
Precious Yutangco Staff Reporter - Toronto Star

Three children and one adult were taken to hospital following a three-vehicle crash in Scarborough that closed a stretch of Steeles Ave. E. for over five hours today.
One of the vehicles was turning left at the intersection of Steeles and Kelvingrove Aves. at around 1:30 p.m. when it was struck by oncoming traffic, said Toronto police.
A van carrying five people flipped on its side. Three children, between the ages of 5 and 9, and one adult were taken to North York General Hospital with minor injuries.
One child suffered a laceration to the head and was treated for minor injuries after experiencing dizziness and nausea.
An eight-month-old infant was also in the van but was unhurt.
They were visiting from Quebec, police said.
Details remain scarce but investigators from traffic services are at the scene trying to piece together what happened.
The accident shut down Steeles between Birchmount and Kennedy Rds.
It re-opened just before 7 p.m.

**Editor's Note**
Information from the scene was that the chidren's injuries were a direct result of improper use of child restraints. Witnesses are requested to call Traffic Services @ 416-808-1900

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Senior dies a week after being hit by car

Apr 11, 2009 04:30 AM
Adrian Morrow STAFF REPORTER - Toronto Star

A 91-year-old woman has died a week after being hit by a car while driving a motorized scooter.
Shortly before 2:30 p.m. April 3, a Mazda was trying to turn from Wellesley St. E. to head south on Jarvis St. and pulled into the intersection. As the light turned red, the car turned left to clear the intersection.
The car hit the woman, who was crossing Jarvis St. in the crosswalk.
She was taken to hospital and treated for what were at first thought to be minor injuries. However, her condition deteriorated and she died yesterday.
Police are still investigating the crash and are asking anyone who can help them to call 416-808-1900 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS (8477).
The woman is Toronto's 11th traffic death of 2009.

Editors Note - This is the second serious collision involving motorized mobility id scooters this week. All road users need to be more aware and alert to non conventional modes of transportation.

Left turns are leading to a series of serious collisions this year. There is no reason for this othere than drivers not looking and scanning properly before commencing turn. Pay attention!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Scooter rider critical after falling into garbage truck's path

Apr 09, 2009 05:13 PM
Jesse McLean Staff Reporter - Toronto Star

A 65-year-old woman is still in critical condition after her motorized scooter crashed into some landscaping rocks in Etobicoke Wednesday, tipping her vehicle into the street where he was struck by a garbage truck.
The woman was driving her scooter northbound on Prince Edward Dr. near Government Rd., in the Kingsway neighbourhood, around 2:20 p.m. when she clipped some rocks bordering the sidewalk.
Her scooter fell over and she was hit by a passing garbage truck.
"At this point, I don't know if the driver could have avoided it. The investigation is ongoing," said Sgt. Tim Burrows.
She was taken to St. Joseph's hospital with life-threatening injuries. She has since been transferred to Sunnybrook.
Burrows said as residents age, the city's going to see more people using scooters and other motorized personal vehicles.
"For safety reasons ... it's something drivers, pedestrians, everybody will have to keep our eyes open for," he said.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Two Lanes Reopen As Toppled Crane Disrupts Lake Shore At Ellis

A section of one of the busiest exit routes in the city has partially reopened, after a crane toppled onto the Lake Shore near Ellis Ave. around 11:30am Tuesday. Part of the huge device hung ominously over the road, blocking all westbound traffic for hours.
Officials say the crane was lifting an item at a construction site when the soil beneath it gave way, possibly weakened by days of heavy rain. It toppled over, leaving a mess in its wake.
"A boom truck with a crane attached to it was in the process of moving an elevator box through the construction site and ended up toppling over with the boom coming to rest across the westbound lanes of Lake Shore Blvd. W.," explains Sgt. Tim Burrows.
The crane hit several power lines, knocking out power to the lamposts but not the traffic lights.
Police had originally warned drivers it might be closed right through the afternoon rush, but the clean-up went better than hoped and cops were able to open two of the westbound lanes by about 3pm to allow some traffic to get through.
Fortunately, no one was hurt in the incident, something Burrows admits is a lucky break. "It's amazing that nobody was injured as there always is traffic flow across this section," he concludes.

Passed-out driver free on two drug charges

Peter Small Courts Bureau

Jerry Junior Hewitt sat unconscious at the wheel of his mother's Jeep Cherokee with the engine running at a busy intersection.
On a summer Sunday morning, it was enough to spark concern from passersby. A woman tried to wake Hewitt. Someone called 911.
After police arrived at Dufferin St. and Davenport Rd. to check on the deejay events planner, one officer found crack cocaine in the Jeep.
Yesterday, however, Superior Court Justice Arthur Pattillo threw out the drug charges against Hewitt, ruling police had breached the 27-year-old's constitutional rights.
"I find that the search constituted an unreasonable search and seizure," Pattillo said.
"The actions of the police in searching Mr. Hewitt's vehicle in the manner in which they did on June 18, 2006, were not a lawful exercise of either the police's statutory or common-law duties," Pattillo ruled.
He ordered Hewitt acquitted of cocaine possession and trafficking charges.
Hewitt's lawyer, Ari Goldkind, said outside court that the officers had no more right to look through Hewitt's vehicle than they had to rifle through his pockets.
When Const. Irwin Correa arrived at 9:41 a.m. to find Hewitt sitting unconscious in his vehicle, he tried to wake him up but got no response.
He saw the keys were in the ignition, the Jeep was running and the gear shift was in drive – although Hewitt's foot was on the brake.
Correa reached in to turn off the ignition and put the Jeep in park.
Hewitt then woke up and Correa asked him if he was okay.
He noted that Hewitt's eyes were red, and he was disoriented and confused.
When Hewitt tried to turn the car back on, Correa grabbed the keys, told him not to move and asked if he had consumed alcohol. Hewitt said no but agreed to have paramedics check him out, the judge said.
Hewitt then got out to walk to the ambulance, escorted by Correa.
Minutes later, Const. Eliana Santos, who had arrived after Correa, said she located several bags of crack cocaine and drug paraphernalia in the Jeep.
Thirteen grams of crack were found after a search of the accused and his car.
Santos testified she found the drugs while looking for medication at the paramedics' request.
But the judge rejected the explanation.
"He could have easily been asked directly if he was on any medication," Pattillo said.

Editor's note -

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Driving Basics 101

Part II
“Now You’re in The Car”

You have successfully done a circle check of your vehicle, ensured your tires, body, engine and glass are all in place and proper. Now you are one step closer to being a safe road user…almost ready to drive. The next few steps in the process are actually simple and won’t take very long, but they all have to be done.

Documents – Don’t leave home without them
There are three things you absolutely have to have with you when you are on the road. A valid driver’s licence, the permit (ownership) of the vehicle you are operating and proof of valid insurance.
I can hear it now, “But the car isn’t mine!!” Doesn’t matter; If you are driving it, you are responsible for it. That includes the expiration on the permit and the validation sticker on the licence plate. If you are operating it, you have to ensure that it can be operated within the law and that your licence is proper to do so.

Owners Manual – Has lots of hidden secrets
Are you 100% certain you know what each and every control in the vehicle you are about to drive is for? If your answer is no; grab the owners manual, get out of the car and go back in the house to study.
How do you know what to do if a warning light comes on, or what that light even means? Can you operate the windows, wipers, transmission gear selector or turn signals without looking? You have to be able to identify and operate all the controls and know what each warning light means before you move.

Storage/Garbage/Stuff – Clutter causes problems
Before you sit down make sure that there isn’t anything that is loose that could roll under your feet, across the dashboard or fall onto your lap. Any thing that is loose should be secured safely in a compartment or in the trunk. Anything that is heavy or has sharp edges should also be secured. You wouldn’t want grandma’s sterling silver picture frame flying loose inside the vehicle if you were in a collision. If you wouldn’t want it to hit you, then you don’t want it with you.

Seating Position – Sitting right for the road
To control the vehicle you need to sit properly. Sit up straight! You’re not driving a Lazyboy recliner, so don’t sit like it. Laying back makes the seatbelt ineffective and only provides a launch pad through the rear window if you are hit from behind. The higher your head is without being in the roof line the more you can see.
Your feet should be able to press the brake pedal to the floor leaving a slight bend at the knees. You can plant your left foot into the firewall or floor and push yourself back into the seat.
Place your hands on the steering wheel with your left hand at the 9 o’clock position and your right hand at the 3 o’clock position. This conveniently allows you to use your fingers to operate the turn signals, wipers, lights, etc with minimal movement. Your arms when holding the steering wheel should have a slight bend at the elbows.

Mirrors – How to see around you
According to Doug Annett of Skid Control School, “One way to describe setting the inside rear-view mirror is to “frame the rear window” If the sides, top and bottom of the mirror frame the rear window, the middle will likely be correct.”
Hopefully you have power mirrors for the sides, otherwise get someone to help you with this part. Each mirror should be set so that when using only your eyes you can see just the edge of the rear sides of your car. Anymore than that, you will be losing valuable information in the rest of the field of view. The majority of what you need to see is what is beside you in the “blind spots”.
This will minimize the size of your blind spots, and when done properly, what is not in your mirrors will be in your peripheral view.

Seatbelt – What its purpose really is
A seatbelt is designed to keep you in your seated position within the motor vehicle. As a driver, this is very important because it allows you to stay behind the controls. For passengers the importance lies in keeping you away from the driver and other occupants.
A seatbelt is not intended to save your life or prevent injuries. Those are just excellent benefits from using it.
The seatbelt should be worn in such a manner that the lap portion is across your pelvis (hip bones) and the shoulder portion should rest firmly against your chest.

Note: Special thanks to Doug Annett for his technical assistance with this part.
For more information about Doug and the “Skid Control School – Traffic safety solutions for business”, check out the website:

Next Week, Part III
"Get out your keys!!"

Previous Parts
Part I - "Kicking the tires"

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Don't put away your winter driving skills yet!!

Environment Canada's prediction for Toronto over the next 72 hours is not what you might call 'ideal' for safe roads. But, with preparation and information, you can still be a safe driver even if the roads aren't perfect.

1.) Leave yourself extra time by heading to where you need to be earlier than normal. A great rule of thumb is 1.5X the normal travel time.

2.) Leave extra space around you by increasing your following distance. 3-4 seconds is a great choice. Notice it was time...not feet.

3.) Gas, brake and steering need to be applied gently. Change lanes slowly and only when necessary. If you find your tires have lost traction remove the input that you are using and reapply gently. If you can not regain control full braking...stop your vehicle. (Basic driving)

4.) When stopping at intersections begin the process well away from the your intended stop position. Be prepared to stop well away from the intersection and slowly roll to where you need to stop.

5.) Scan for, identify and predict potential problems. There should be no surprises when using our roads.

6.) SLOW DOWN !!!!!!!!!!

Big Move is on

Toronto Sun

Toronto's highways are among the busiest and most congested in the world.
Decades of inadequate funding, exacerbated by political squabbling, have resulted in chronic traffic delays that drain $6 billion annually from the GTA economy, wastes energy and pollutes the environment.
For drivers stuck in interminable, bumper-to-bumper traffic jams along the 400-series highways, the price is also needless stress, wasted time and exposure to accidents and mayhem on our roads.
And our transit system suffers from the same ills plaguing truckers and motorists, an aging, crowded and patchwork network of trains, subways, streetcars and buses that is driving potential transit users into their cars.
"It's really frustrating to have to travel an hour and a half just to get to work on time," says Marilyn Lee, a hospital health care worker who commutes daily into Toronto from Richmond Hill. "I'm tired of waiting for something better to happen, I hope this means we can finally get moving."
The something better is $9 billion in new transit projects announced this week by Premier Dalton McGuinty.
The projects include:
- A new rapid transit line on Eglinton Ave. from Kennedy Station to Pearson Airport;
- Upgrading and extending the Scarborough Rapid Transit Line;
- A new rapid transit line along Finch Ave. from the Yonge Subway Line to Hwy. 27 and Humber College, and east to Don Mills Station;
- More buses and stations and dedicated bus lanes for York VIVA Bus Rapid Transit.
But as significant as the cash and the scope of the projects was a decision by the province to overhaul transit governance for the region.
Municipal politicians, including Toronto Mayor David Miller, have been axed from the board of the GTA's powerful, regional transportation authority -- Metrolinx -- and replaced with 15 private-sector experts.
The province also merged Metrolinx with GO Transit, which carries almost 55 million passengers annually on its rail and bus routes.
Critics said the old board paralyzed effective planning for the mass transit system from Hamilton to Peterborough with political infighting, turf wars over funding disputes, resident opposition and parochial decision-making.
The Ontario government's plan is to quicken the pace of GTA rapid transit construction, and job creation, by taking politicians out of the picture.
Dr. Eric Miller, director of the University of Toronto's cities centre, told the Sunday Sun political squabbling for competing transportation priorities within different jurisdictions has thwarted objective decisions.
"It's important to maintain connections with the municipalities because to a large extent they're going to implement a great part of this," Miller said. "But having something which is objective and focused and regional is a step in the right direction."
Rob MacIsaac remains as chairman of Metrolinx and Robert Prichard, the outgoing president and CEO of Torstar Corporation, was named Metrolinx's new transition advisor.
"It's important to say a different board brings different strengths," MacIsaac said. "Metrolinx had an important role in planning for one and a half years, but the role has changed from focus planning to an implementation role."
Metrolinx's $50-billion regional transportation plan, The Big Move, which is 20 years overdue, is being billed as the largest infrastructure plan implemented in Ontario in years. It calls for the takeover of the province's commuter bus and rail service for a mass transit system and the building of 1,200 km of new rapid transit lines involving 50 transit projects.
"My view is the legislation for our plan will be a very important step forward which will allow the regional transportation plan to move more effectively and quickly," MacIsaac said.
The provincial government also introduced legislation this week to merge Metrolinx with GO Transit.
"The coming together with Go Transit and Metrolinx results in a single organization which is better than its predecessors. It brings good policy and program expertise which Go Transit didn't previously have, and GO Transit has operation and project management expertise, which Metrolinx didn't possess," MacIsaac said.
Metrolinx has gained more money and legal status and has become a larger organization with a new private sector board. "We grew from 50 people to 1,300 people. It's a much stronger organization with a lot more bench strength and depth of talent. Metrolinx now has the wherewithal to make regional transportation into a reality," MacIsaac said, adding that Metrolinx's new budget is yet to be determined.
The first projects to tackle include VIVA Hwy. 7 and Yonge St. projects in York Region, the upgrade and extension of the Scarborough rapid transit line, and the Sheppard/Finch rapid transit line, which are scheduled to begin this year and create thousands of jobs to stimulate Ontario's dwindling economy.
The U of T's Miller says the best way to relieve congestion is to build integrated regional transit because unless you live in downtown Toronto, there is no viable option.
"We desperately need to have better transit so people have options. Not everyone needs to be on the QEW and 401 every day," he said.
"We can start to control our land use better, orientate our growth and transit corridors. We also need jobs and stores set up so urban sprawl can be well served by transit. If the destination and the population is too thinly spread, there's not enough density on the top ends to make transit cost effective."
He says Metrolinx's Big Move is a good blueprint that takes a broad approach to the problem, but there are still a lot of details to iron out. "I hope it works. If it doesn't, Metrolinx will have failed and we will all fail. It's critical to maintain the region as a viable place to live and for workers to relocate.
"Cities aren't built overnight. To solve the problem of transit we need a lot of stamina to see this through. The technical objective board doesn't have to justify their existence for the next election and can have a longer term prospective," he said, adding it will take decades to build new the infrastructure.
Miller likens Metrolinx to a big ocean liner.
"We're turning in mid-ocean and it's going to take awhile to turn it around."

~Editor's Note~
The 401 through Dixie Road/Pearson Int'l Airport is the most travelled highway in the North America in terms of volume and lanes.
The 400 series higways continually see increases in volumes and capacities. That means more cars throughout more of the day.
Next time you want to use them as a comparison against the autobahns consider the major differences. Less cars on autobahns, less volumes, less lanes, higher speedsmore deaths???
HMMM....doesn't take rocket science.

Alcohol / Speed factors in 2 Deaths

Toronto Sun

Impaired driving and speed are believed to be behind two separate accidents that claimed two young lives early yesterday.
The first fatality occurred near Bloor and Bathurst. Sts. around 2:30 a.m. when a woman, 25, out celebrating a friend's birthday was struck and killed by an alleged drunk driver, Toronto Police say.
"It was just bad timing," Sgt. Tim Burrows of Traffic Services said yesterday of the city's 10th traffic fatality of the year.
A woman, 24, who was driving a Chevy Uplander pulled out of a parking lot on Lippincott St. and drove north toward the victim and her friends, who were standing on the sidewalk just south of Bloor St., police said.
"As the Chevy Uplander was passing by, the pedestrian tripped and fell backward onto the road," Burrows said, adding the minivan allegedly "ran over" the young woman.
Burrows said some among the group had definitely been drinking. But he was unable to say if the victim, whose name was not released, had consumed alcohol.
The driver, Sin Jung Cho, was arrested at the scene and charged with impaired operation of a motor vehicle causing death and driving over 80 mg causing death. She was later released on bail.
About half an hour after the woman was killed, crews responded to another accident on Hwy. 403 near Eglinton Ave. just west of Toronto.
A Mississauga man driving a Mazda 626 drifted across three southbound lanes and smashed into a steel guardrail, OPP Sgt. Dave Woodford said, adding speed was likely a factor in the deadly crash.
Woodford said investigators are looking into other possible factors, such as mechanical problems or fatigue. But alcohol is not believed to have been involved.
The victim, 24, whose name was not released, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Fast and Furious Movie Release - 09.04.03

Michael Serapio of CityTV interviews Anna HE, a Toronto racing entusiast. Anna gave a great quote..."Any type of driving and racing especially is not simple."

I truly wish more people would understand that...driving is not simple. It is a skill that takes a great deal of attention, awareness and consideration for other people's safety.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Operation Safe Delivery - Commercial Motor Vehicle Enforcement Blitz

Media advisory,Thursday, April 2, 2009, 8 a.m.,
Woodbine Entertainment Complex, 555 Rexdale Boulevard,Operation Safe Delivery,23

DivisionBroadcast time: 05:00
Thursday, April 2, 2009
23 Division

On Thursday, April 2, 2009, at 8 a.m, at the Woodbine Entertainment Complex, 555 RexdaleBoulevard, northwest parking lot, 23 Division officers will conduct a heavy truck andcommercial vehicle enforcement blitz, entitled “Operation Safe Delivery,” that will end onFriday, April 3, 2009.

This enforcement initiative will be a joint venture involving the Ontario Provincial Police, PeelRegional Police, York Regional Police, and the Ontario Ministries of Transportation,Environment and Revenue.The primary goal is public safety, through the removal of unsafe and potentially dangerousvehicles from our highways.

Constable Tony Vella, Public Information, for Sergeant Jeff Alderdice, 23 Division

Results of "Operation Safe Delivery"
Toronto Police News Release

During the blitz, 116 vehicles were inspected by police; 71 had safety defects and 96 charges
were laid.

Commercial motor vehicle inspections are an integral part of highway safety. These vehicles
move large amounts of commercial and industrial items throughout our city and their
roadworthiness is of paramount importance.

When commercial motor vehicles, or their loads, cause or are involved in an event such as a
collision, the results are often a substantial loss of productivity and a severe interruption to the
free, safe and efficient flow of traffic.

The Toronto Police Service will continue with a wide variety of programs, designed to protect
public safety and promote the smooth, safe flow of traffic.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Basic Driving Series

Driving 101

During the next several weeks, we will take an in-depth look at the basics of driving. The hope is that at the end of each part you will be a better driver and a safer road user. Topics will cover as much “know how and how to” as possible to work towards the goal of making the urban traffic environment in Toronto as safe as possible. I will take one liberty…I will assume that I am writing this for drivers who have a licence and have met the provincial minimum for driving privileges in Ontario.

Part I
“Kicking the Tires”

Before you get into any motor vehicle, you need to know that your mode of transportation will get you where you need to go, safely. Avoiding a mechanical break down through simple prevention is a very good first step to safer road use. The following should be done once a month minimum, once a week is better.

TiresThe most over looked safety feature of transportation!
Have you ever considered that the 2-3 thousand pounds of machine you are operating rides on the road on four points that is roughly the size of an open hand. Every control and input you apply relies on those four contact points being in excellent condition. Air pressure, tread depth and tread wear all need to be monitored and adjusted. The sidewall of the tire will tell you the correct air pressure that is recommended for your tire and will be in PSI or kPa. Buy a good air pressure gauge; don’t trust the ones on the air machine at the gas station. There should be uniform even wear on the face (tread) of the tire. A ‘Wear Bar’ is a small bridge of rubber inside a longitudinal groove going around the tire and connects two tread blocks. Once those are apparent, the tire is done.
Gilles Paquette of the Rubber Association of Canada recommends the website, for more great information, including the, “Bluenose Tire Test.”

LightsStraight forward and simple
Make sure every light on the exterior of your car works properly. Low beam / high beam headlights, (legally you need two); turn signals, parking lights, brake lights. Get a friend, neighbour or family member to help you with this.

BodyKnow your vehicle
It’s a great idea to walk around your vehicle to examine if there is any body damage that wasn’t there the last time you looked. This can be a great indicator if your ride has been in a collision while it was out of your control, ie – parked, lent to a friend. Any loose or hanging parts should be removed and or fixed. The walk around is also a great time to look for any children or their toys, bicycles, etc around your vehicle before you move it. While walking around, look at your lights for any damage, the tires for obvious trouble, wiper blades for cracks, frays or metal and below your engine area for evidence of leaking fluids. Also, ensure that your gas cap is secure and tight.

EngineBig noisy thing under the hood
There are a lot of things to look for here…but only computers now-a-days know what they are, so I will tell you about six things.
Engine oil is the blood of your car…no oil, no life. There is a dipstick that you pull out to which will show you where the level is. Not enough add as required. If there is too much – uh oh. Never add past the ‘full’ line on the dipstick.
The belt needs to be checked for frays, cracks and damage. If there are any of those, get it replaced.
Washer fluid tank should be re-filled every time you check your engine. When you need it most is not the time to find out that it’s empty.
Radiator fluid is best looked at via the overflow jug. If there is no fluid there, you may have a problem. If you don’t have a visible overflow, then remove the rad-cap, but only if the engine is cold.
Transmission fluid also has a dip-stick. Check in the same manner as you did for the oil.
Brake fluid should not be checked by you, unless you are comfortable with possibly damaging the primary component for stopping your vehicle. Leave this to an expert.

WindowsAll that glass
Your windows should be cleaned regularly, both inside and outside. Clean glass reduces the reflection of the sun or headlight glare at night. While cleaning them, look for cracks and chips in the windshield. A proper windshield makes up a great deal of the strength of the top portion of your car. Might not mean much now, but if you park on your roof, you’ll be happy you had a good windshield.
Next Week, Part II
“Now You’re in The Car”