Credits: CHAD GIBSON/QMI AGENCY
TORONTO - An Ontario coroner's review of pedestrian deaths recommends road speeds on residential streets be lowered from 50 km/h to 40 km/h.
Dr. Bert Lauwers told a news conference Wednesday morning that lowering the speed limit is one of the key recommendations after reviewing an alarming 95 pedestrian deaths in Ontario during 2010.
"The higher the rate of speed that the pedestrian is struck, the greater the chance of death," said Lauwers, chairman of the pedestrian death review.
The study was announced after 14 people were killed in 14 days in Toronto during the first month of 2010. The panel found seniors accounted for 36% of the Ontario pedestrian fatalities that year but only 13.2% of the population; children made up 3% of the pedestrian deaths; peak collision times were weekdays between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m.; and almost a third of the pedestrians died after jaywalking mid-block while 11% were killed crossing against the light.
The review also found 20% of those struck and killed might have been distracted by a cellphone, MP3 player or other mobile device.
"This review highlights that pedestrian deaths are preventable," said Dr. Andrew McCallum, Ontario's chief coroner. "Speed, distraction and inattention are only some of the contributing factors to these deadly encounters."