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City stresses importance of intersection safety

This month, the City of London in partnership with the London Middlesex Road Safety Committee (LMRSC) launched a new Vision Zero initiative to reinforce the important role that making eye contact and scanning the intersection can play in helping keep intersections safe.

“London is a community that offers a number of options for people who want to travel throughout our city,” says Mayor Ed Holder. “Raising awareness about safety from all perspectives at our intersections is one way we can help create safer communities for people living and travelling through them.”

Over the last five years, 371 pedestrian collisions and 193 cyclist collisions have been recorded at or near signalized intersections in London. Data shows that 75% of the pedestrian collisions and 38% of the cyclist collisions involve left and/or right turning vehicles.

“Our collision data points to an opportunity to educate the public on ways that can help increase safety and confidence at our intersections,” says Doug MacRae, Director of Roads & Transportation at the City of London. “Infrastructure will continue to change and evolve, but developing safe habits will always be a powerful tool for us all.”

The new Vision Zero campaign highlights the importance being aware of your surroundings. When taking time to scan the intersection, road users can pick up on oncoming traffic, intersecting bike lanes, nearby transit stops, pedestrian crossovers, signals identifying turn movements and more.

“It may sound simple, but taking a minute to make eye contact before making a move can be highly effective,” says Superintendent Bill Merrylees, Uniformed Division Commander, London Police Service. “There are plenty of distractions at an intersection, so mutual acknowledgement can be critical.”

Additional initiatives that support intersection safety include:

  • Red light cameras: Almost 280 collisions per year can be tied to running a red light. As part of an ongoing effort to encourage drivers to slow down and discourage red light running at intersections, the City continues to use its red light cameras as an enforcement mechanism, and to promote its “Embrace the Red” campaign.
  • Advance Street Name Signs: Similar to what’s been done at the intersection of Wonderland and Fanshawe Park Roads, the City plans to add advance street name signs which are known to help reduce way-finding related crashes at or near intersections. These signs provide drivers with additional time to make lane changes and route decisions. Signs will be installed in advance of nine more signalized intersection locations in 2019.        
  • Intersection Infrastructure Improvements: The City is working on improving the design of intersections experiencing a higher than expected number of collisions. A total of 17 intersection improvements have been scheduled for 2019.

Intersection improvements and education campaigns help improve safety for all road users in the city. The London Police will be complimenting the new Vision Zero campaign with an enforcement blitz to address some of the most common motorist, pedestrian and cyclist violations with an emphasis on intersections from September 16-20, 2019. For more tips on how to safely navigate an intersection, visit the City's Vision Zero web page.

Vision Zero London, our road safety strategy, aims to reduce the number and severity of collisions on our roads and to increase road safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists alike.