Councillors Wong-Tam and Layton will move a motion at the May 7, 2013 meeting of City Council that will create measures to improve cycling safety.
The Office Chief Coroner of Ontario’s (OCCO) in his report Cycling Death Review (2012) points out that two-thirds of fatal cycling collisions occurred in urban centres. The Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario identified that attempts by motorists to pass cyclists with insufficient passing room was responsible for the majority of cycling deaths reviewed between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2010. The Chief Coroner of Ontario’s recommendation is that an effective safe passing guideline of 1 metre between vehicles and cyclists be implemented.
Toronto should not wait for the Province to amend the HTA, since as the OCCO’s report points out – the cost of delay is more road fatalities. Toronto City Council has the opportunity to enhance road safety by taking the important step of amending the Municipal Code to include the safe passing guidelines recommended by the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario.
Councillors Wong-Tam and Layton recommend that City Council adopt the following:
1. City Council requests that the Province implement the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario’s recommendation and amend the Highway Traffic Act to include a one (1) metre/three (3) foot passing rule for vehicles when passing cyclists and that such a change in legislation be reflected in the Ontario Drivers Handbook, Beginning Driver Education curricula and the driver’s licence examination process.
2. City Council direct the General Manager of Transportation Services in consultation with the City Solicitor to report to the July, 2013 Public Works and Infrastructure Committee meeting on an amendment to the Municipal Code to include a one (1) metre/three (3) foot passing rule for vehicles when passing cyclists; and that such an amendment be repealed when a corresponding Provincial action has been taken.