Friday, November 27, 2009

Media advisory,
Thursday, November 26, 2009, 10:30 a.m.,
Humber College, North Campus, 205 Humber College Boulevard,
2009 Holiday R.I.D.E. Campaign launch

Broadcast time: 05:00
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Traffic Services

On Thursday, November 26, 2009, at 10:30 a.m., the 2009 Holiday R.I.D.E. (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) campaign launch will take place at Humber College, North Campus, 205 Humber College Boulevard.

“It’s important to get the message out to youth and members of our community that drinking and driving is not acceptable,” said Humber College President John Davies. “We’re delighted to put our efforts toward public safety in our community.”

Mr. Davies will be present, along with representatives from the following police services:
Toronto Police Service, Durham Regional Police Service, Halton Regional Police Service, Peel Regional Police, York Regional Police, Ontario Provincial Police, Hamilton Police Service and South Simcoe Police Service.

All participating police agencies will be conducting a R.I.D.E spotcheck on Humber College Boulevard immediately following the kick off ceremony. Officers will be available to speak with the media.

Original Toronto Police Press Release

~~Editor's Note~~

Impaired driving remains the number one criminal cause of death in Canada. In today's day and age there is no excuse for this offence occurring. There has never been more availability of information to access that begs everyone to never drive impaired. But this offence still does occur which is a testament to why the efforts of police everywhere are welcomed.

There are so many options available to the public that impaired driving should never happen.
Designated drivers, limo services, taxi's, public transit, hotels are all options that are cheaper than facing the consequences that come with getting arrested, charged and convicted of impaired driving.

Impaired Driving Penalties and Consequences/Costs
The $ and ¢ of it

Have you ever questioned the true value of a cab ride or a designated driver? Here's an example of minimum costs to a first time convicted impaired driver:

Criminal Code Fine........................$1000Payable to the Government of Canada
Remedial Measures Program.....$578Payable to Back on Track + GST
Licence Reinstatement Fee.........$150Payable to the Ministry of Finance + GST
Increase in Insurance Costs.......$15,000*Payable to your insurance company in $5,000 increments each of the next 3 years*minimum increase based on a perfect 6-star driving record
Ignition Interlock...........................$1,350+installation. Pay to interlock provider
Court Costs...................................$2,000 - $10,000 Payable to your legal counsel
TOTAL.............................................$20,078 - $28,078

These numbers, provided by, don't include the possibilities of injuries or death that you may have to live with.

The Toronto Police Service is dedicated to the safety of all Toronto residents and visitors and takes a zero tolerance approach to those people who choose to endanger the lives of everyone with their poor decisions.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Toronto's Pet Peeves for Driving

A couple of weeks ago, I asked Toronto via Twitter and Facebook, "Hey Toronto. What's your biggest pet peeve about other road users? Let me know. I'll be writing about it."

Well, here is the writing about it and the results. I'm not surprised by any of the responses. Hey, I'm a driver too and what upsets me, are the same things that upset you. What did surprise me were the order of popularity of the responses.

Here are honourable mentions that didn't make the top ten. Fail to clear intersections, quick stoppers, late mergers, left on amber/red, fail to assist in passing, fail to lower high beams.

# 10 - Slow drivers.
I don't agree but it is your list. This wasn't laid out as drivers who are in the passing lanes too slow, but just slow drivers in general. Maybe it's not that they are too slow - maybe you are too fast.

# 9 - Slower moving vehicles that pull into your lane while you are travelling faster.
Often the driver looks only at the immediate space around them and not at the big picture of time zones and space.

# 8 - Late left turn signals.
Argh!! Drives me nuts too. Inconsiderate and by not communicating soon enough can really destroy traffic flow. If you would have let me know what you were doing, I wouldn't be stuck behind you now.

# 7 - Distracted Drivers.
Quickly becoming the norm for serious risks to public safety. 27 X increased risk in collision. By the way...hands free does not mean you are minimizing the distraction. It only means you are complying with the law. You are still distracted.

# 6 - Cyclists who disobey the HTA.
Only because this is your list did I include it. All of the responses have a degree of lawlessness to them but there were enough responses that specifically said cyclists, I had to include it here.

# 5 - Left lane bandits.
Most people think this is reserved for the expressways and freeways, but anytime there are multiple lanes you can see this happen. The order of populating lanes is from the right to the left and you only use the left lane for passing...pass over, return to the right.

# 4 - Unsafe lane changes.
These are horrible for so many reasons. The actions of unsafe lane changes can have a domino affect with other drivers over reacting and causing further problems.

#3 - Follow too closely.
Who doesn't get this? You are too close, vehicle in front stops, you can't stop in the space you left...problem. This is the laws of physics explained so simply anyone can get it.

# 2 - Lane cue cutters / Use lanes that end to ram themselves to the front.
This came in most described as the drivers who leave curb lane on an expressway jump on an entrance ramp and pass cars just to cram themselves back into the curb lane again. Illegal, rude, inconsiderate and for pass four or five you got so much further ahead.

# 1 - No signals,
By a land slide! No wonder, take a look and see how many people don't use their signals. What is very disturbing about this offence is that you can't fail to use your signal and not be causing a potential problem. Turn? Need to tell people about it. Lane change? Have to communicate with everyone.

So that's the way you responded. Watch for another question coming soon. In the meantime, here is my top 5...

# 5 - Amber and red light runners.
# 4 - Distracted drivers.
# 3 - Drivers who don't move over, slow down or get out of the way of emergency vehicles.
# 2 - Speeding / aggressive drivers
# 1 - Impaired Drivers.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Cops hunt hit & run driver

Don Peat of Sun Media, Toronto Sun, Friday November 20, 2009

Toronto Police are hunting a chronic hit-and-run driver who went on a drug-fuelled car ride that ended with three separate car crashes in five minutes.

The Nov. 11 triple smash up sent three women to hospital with serious injuries, but when cops caught up to the last crash scene around Kingston Rd. and Midland Ave., the suspect's vehicle was there but he was long gone.

Although the unlicensed driver's Nissan Pathfinder was too damaged to keep going, he wasn't, and he ran away.

Richard Atanasoff, 45, of Whitby, is wanted on warrants on charges including dangerous operation of a vehicle causing bodily harm, break and enter, three counts of failing to stop at the scene of an accident and four counts of failing to comply with probation. He is described as white, 6 feet tall, 180 pounds and has brown hair.

Const. Tony Vella said the man broke into a house just before 6 p.m. where a child was home alone. He asked if the mother was home and when the child said no, he waited there. "The child was uninjured and he ran off," Vella said.

The three women, aged 55, 36 and 37, that were injured in the crashes weren't as lucky. They were treated in hospital for serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

Police hope they can track him down before he gets behind the wheel again.

"... We're afraid that something may occur again to the point where someone gets killed," Vella said.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

November 18th, 2009 National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims

National Day of Rememberance of Road Crash Victims

The National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims in Canada is a day set aside to remember those killed or seriously injured on Canadian roads, often in avoidable collisions, and those left to deal with the sudden and unexpected loss of people they love.

This year's theme is "Raising awareness of the number of deaths on Canadian roads."

The good news is that we can save lives. In 2008, one life was saved every day because Canada is:

  • Increasing enforcement
  • Introducing new policies
  • Building safer vehicles
  • Changing road user behaviours
  • Improving our roads

But, even though the number of deaths on our roads is going down, there is still a great deal of work to do.

November 18 is your opportunity to remember the victims, and to express your support.

Come back soon for more information on events and tools to help you observe the day in your region!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Top 10 Pedestrian Collision Intersections

In an attempt to continue to raise awareness for pedestrian safety, here are the top 10 Toronto intersections where collisions have occurred as a result of vehicles making right turns making contact with pedestrians crossing with and without the right of way, resulting in serious injury.

1.) Bathurst St / Finch Ave W
2.) Birchmount Rd / Sheppard Ave E
3.) Bathurst St / King St W
4.) McCowan Rd / Sheppard Ave E
5.) Yonge St / Finch Ave E
6.) Sheppard Ave E / Parkway Forrest Dr
7.) Dundas St W / Spadina Ave
8.) Weston Rd / Finch Ave W
9.) Gerrard St E / Main St
10.) Bloor St W / Lansdowne Ave

A few tips for pedestrians to help protect yourself.
- Before stepping onto the road ensure that there is no traffic in the process of commencing a turn.
- Cross only with the right of way.
- Even if you have the right of way, try to get eye contact to ensure you are being seen.
- Continually asses your safety as you cross.
- Wear light coloured or reflective clothing.
- Cross the street as if your life depends on it.

A few tips for drivers to help protect pedestrians.
- When you do not have the right of way, come to a complete stop before turning.
- If you see a pedestrian near the corner, assume first that they will be crossing and proceed cautiously being ready to stop.
- Tap your horn to alert pedestrians to your presence.
- Never try to 'beat' a light or squeeze past a pedestrian.

Click here for more pedestrian safety information.
or go to

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Updated Toronto Road Fatality Board

Click the image to increase the size.

As you can see, the only two ares that Toronto Fatals have increased over 2008 are Automobile Passengers and Pedestrians as a percentage of the total.
Pedestrians represent almost 65% of the total of road deaths.
A few words of advice for all pedestrians:
Be Bright, Be Seen, Wait for the walking person to appear, Cross the street like your life depends on it.
Child Safety Tips

- Be aware of traffic signals, but never completely rely on them.
- Always ask for help in retrieving toys and/or pets which go out into the road to avoid risk of injury.
-Children should not play close to parked and/or moving vehicles.
- Children are small, unpredictable and have difficulties judging vehicle distances and speeds accurately.
- Crossing guards are there to assist pedestrians across the road, obey their signals
- Always use crosswalks to cross the road. Drivers are more likely to see you when you cross at designated crosswalks.
- Look all ways before crossing the street. Be alert and pay attention to on-coming traffic at all times.
- Make eye contact.
- Be bright. Wear bright colours or reflective clothing at night to make yourself more visible to drivers.
- Play in a safe place and keep away from parked cars. Drivers cannot see you in between cars.

Senior Safety Tips
- Be Watchful. Watch your step when getting on or off an escalator. And if your vision is impaired, take the elevator.
- Be Attentive. Use proper escalator posture -- stand at the center of the step facing forward, always holding the handrail. Watch out for loose clothing which may catch.
- Be Refreshed. Avoid leaning on the handrail or resting your foot on the escalator's side. If you're tired and feel unstable, use the elevator.
- Be Sensible. If you're holding too many packages, use the elevator. Anyone balancing packages can lose their balance. Your packages will fall and so might you.
- Be Wise. Escalators are for people on foot, unaided. People who need cane or walker assistance or those pushing a carriage or wheelchair should always use the elevator.
- Be Considerate. Quickly step away from an escalator at the end of your ride. Remember there are people behind you waiting to get off. They'll bump into you and possibly knock you down if there is no where else to go.
For more safety tips visit;

Friday, November 13, 2009

Santa Claus Parade - Road Closures

Santa Claus Parade,
Sunday, November 15, 2009,
Road closures

The 105th annual Santa Claus Parade will take place on Sunday, November 15, 2009, at
12:30 p.m.

Starting at 8:15 a.m., the parade will form up on Bloor Street West at Christie Street.

The following roads will be closed for the parade:
− Bloor Street West, Christie Street to Ossington Avenue, 8:15 a.m.,
− Christie Street, Bloor Street West to Barton Street, 10:30 a.m.,
− Bloor Street West, Christie Street to Bathurst Street, 10:30 a.m.,
− Bloor Street West, Bathurst Street to Avenue Road, 11:30 a.m.,
− Queen's Park, Bloor Street West to College Street, 11:25 a.m.,
− University Avenue, College Street to Dundas Street West, 12 p.m.,
− University Avenue, Dundas Street West to Queen Street West, 12:30 p.m.,
− Dundas Street West, University Avenue to Yonge Street, 1 p.m.,
− Yonge Street, Dundas Street to Front Street, 1:15 p.m.,
− Wellington Street East, Yonge Street to Jarvis Street, 1:30 p.m.:

At 12:30 p.m., the parade will begin and will proceed along the following route:
− Bloor Street, between Ossington Avenue and Christie Street,
− Eastbound on Bloor Street West,
− Southbound on Queen’s Park,
− Southbound on Queen’s Park Crescent East,
− Southbound on University Avenue,
− Eastbound on Dundas Street West,
− Southbound on Yonge Street,
− Eastbound on Front Street East,
− Dispersal Area: Front Street East, between Church Street and Jarvis Street.

Towing of vehicles parked along the parade route will start at 6 a.m., on Sunday, November
15, 2009.

Motorists travelling in the area can expect delays and should attempt to avoid the parade

Spectators attending the parade are advised to use public transportation.

The duration of the parade is approximately 2.5 hours.

This event will take place regardless of weather conditions.

Original Toronto Police Service News Release

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Do you have the need for speed?

Are you competitive? I play sports and love to compete. I teach my kids to play fair and follow the rules. It’s about good sportsmanship, not always about winning. Is driving more like a competitive game for you, or is it a necessity? What would you call “winning” for a driver?

The reason I ask this question is because a lot of drivers feel it’s okay to surpass the speed limit in such a way that it appears there’s no speed limit at all. Why drive well over the speed limit? Is it a thrill for you, or a need? These types of drivers will do 60 km/h or more in a school zone and 100 km/h or more on secondary highways. Drivers who feel they can do this, without regard for public safety, haven’t thought this all the way through. Have they thought about “what if?” What if they lost control of their vehicle? They haven’t taken a professional course on how to handle the vehicle at that speed, so why are they?

What if another driver pulled out suddenly because they weren’t expecting someone to drive so fast? This would cause the speeding driver to suddenly brake or swerve out of the way. A sudden swerve will almost always cause panic, plus a loss of control.

The truth of the matter is that street racing belongs on a controlled track. There’s no place for it on public roads. Innocent people are taken from us because of someone’s need for thrilling activities. This includes passengers, not just drivers. There’s always a place for thrills. If you have the ‘need for speed’, why not join a carting club? If you truly understood speed and inertia, you would need to understand how and when to steer around corners. On a track, there are no pedestrians or drivers in your way who are driving much slower than you. You would be taught to do it properly.

Ken Wilden, who raced in a variety series in Canada and the US, including Formula Atlantic, Indy Lights and the Trans Am series to name a few, has always said to learn your craft from a professional. Racing is a fun sport, but it’s a sport. “If guys want to race, they should go to one of many racing schools available”, says Ken. Once you learn how to do it properly, you’ll have more respect for other road users. One of the participants on Canada’s Worst Driver, season 2, had the need for speed. He took his needs to the go-cart track. He now understands there’s a place for it.

The only race you have on public roads is the human race. Other road users aren’t expecting you to be driving so fast on public roads. Your excessive speed affects their choices as well. So, let’s keep our speed down and keep the racing on the track where it belongs!
~~Editor's Note~~
Thanks again to my good friend, Scott Marshall a.k.a. @safedriver and his blog for providing this article.
Also, re-visit one of my older posts about speeding and the difference you can make by slowing down, click here.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Toronto Fatal Collision Count

Click on image.


No matter how long I have done this job, I am still amazed at how many people can't take responsibility for their actions. How many people just can't step up and say, "Yep, I did it, I made a mistake."

I could go on at great length giving example after example, but a recent event is what made me decide to talk about this.

Last night I was leaving a local mall with my children after some shopping. We were walking along the sidewalk towards our car when I saw two ladies walking across the road and get into a van.

The driver reversed out of her parking space and hit a car that was parked on the opposite side of the isle.

This lady then put her van in drive and left. She didn't stop to look at the damage, didn't leave her name, didn't bat an eye at her total incompetence to reverse a vehicle. Bang...

"Well that's far enough, drive by feel, that's my motto!"

Without even getting into the legal issue here, which is obvious, what about the moral responsibility or the ethical issue? It wasn't a tap and go; she hit the other car hard. Hard enough to do damage. There is no doubt in my mind, nor her passengers mind, that she hit the car and decided her next action should be just to drive away.
I hope that is not what you are teaching your children to do. I trust that isn't what your mother taught you to do...unless that was her that was with you.
According to the picture, this driver went right to denial by her actions.

I left my information for the person, who no doubt came out to see a very nice car with a remodelled front end and took some notes in case they are needed down the road.

This lady could be your neighbour, co-worker, friend. Isn't it comforting to know that she is willing to damage your property and have no shame? Just move on with her life like nothing ever happened. What if there had been a child walking between those cars when she was reversing. I wonder if she would have just driven away in the same brazen manner?

Road safety is everyone's responsibility, do your part. The golden rule is also very applicable unto others as you would have them do to you.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Updated Toronto Fatal Board

Click on the image to see the latest data for fatal collisions in Toronto.

Pedestrian Safety

On Novemeber 1st, 2009 the clocks went back allowing us a well deserved extra hour of sleep. The return to Daylight Satandard Time is welcomed by many for different, I like the sleep. But, there is a cost to a society...pedestrian collisions increase around this time of year.

Safety experts in North America recognize that starting around this time and continuing until February pedestrians are at a higher risk for being injured at the hands of motor vehicles. Those experts site the reduced afternoon daylight hours as a major cause of the increase in collisions.

Toronto Transportation data sites the time of the day most frequently to have collisions is the hour between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. That hour on the last work week day before Daylight Standard Time was daylight. On Novemebr 2nd, the next commuter day since the return will be much darker, with sunset happening at 4:45 p.m.

Pedestrians can take a few precautions to help themselves out to avoid becomming injured.

1.) Be bright about it
Wear light coloured clothing, reflective safety wear and pick appropriate spots to cross the street.

2.) Be seen
Don't walk from between parked cars or cross where there is poor lighting. Choose intersections and again, the use of light coloured clothing will help.

3.) Use your eyes before your feet
Get eye contact with drivers and cyclists. Look all directions beofre stepping into traffic flow routes and continue to look ensuring that each step can be followed safely by the next.

4.) Cross the street as if your life depends on it
Quite franklly, it does. The argument of 'right of way' is not a good one to be making from a hospital bed.

The Toronto Police Service is a proud partner with the Toronto Area Safety Coalition and together with Sunnybrook Hospital a new pedestrian safety awarness program has been launched. iNAVIGAIT has valuable information for all ages to and abilities. For more safety tips go to