Way back in November 2016, Mayor Tory and I were at Northlea School attending Premier Wynne’s press conference for the announcement of the province’s intent to allow municipalities to use automated speed measuring equipment as an enforcement tool to slow down drivers and make communities safer. In the ensuing 15 months, many have asked: How will this impact Leaside and Bennington Heights? Why haven’t we seen anything yet?
Unfortunately, the time between any government’s announcement and realization can be excruciatingly long. Although the Safer Schools Act was officially passed by the legislature last May, the myriad of decisions regarding implementation are ongoing.
Of primary importance is deciding exactly where this technology can be used. With an emphasis on pedestrian safety, the province has stipulated that this type of enforcement can only be used in either a School Safety Zone (SSZ) or a Community Safety Zone (CSZ). A SSZ is defined as a linear measurement of 150 metres from school property, which is very restrictive. However, there are no current guidelines for a CSZ and that will likely be up to each municipality to decide.
While many will want their street to be a CSZ, it is likely that Toronto will work closely with local schools as well as vulnerable groups such as seniors to determine “pedestrian safety corridors” and other areas that might need special attention based on speed data collected. The good news is that with six schools and two retirement residences (with a third soon to be built) many streets in Leaside will be eligible. I have strongly suggested that mobile units be employed over fixed ones to give maximum coverage.
Although Toronto is working closely with the province to move the process along as quickly as possible, it appears that automated speed enforcement won’t be coming to the community before September 2019.
In the meantime, I encourage you to continue reaching out to 53 Division’s Community Response Unit (416-808-5300) and my office with any driving safety concerns you have.
Leaside Town Hall meeting. February 5, 7pm at Leaside Gardens.