Older Adults is one of seven emphasis areas in the City of Toronto Vision Zero Road Safety Plan. Older adults are over-represented when it comes to traffic-related serious injuries and deaths. Although they make up only 16% of the population of Toronto, they account for 46% of all traffic-related serious injuries and deaths. When injuries do occur, they tend to be more serious and recover more slowly.
In 2017 and 2018, 65 Senior Safety Zones were established across the city. These Zones are areas close to seniors’ residences or locations where there have been collisions involving older adults that resulted in people being killed or seriously injured.
Existing and planned safety improvements for these Zones include enhanced signage and pavement markings and extended pedestrian walk times at traffic signals. Additional improvements will be identified through detailed neighbourhood safety studies and consultations with community stakeholders.
In 2020, The Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT) at Clean Air Partnership was commissioned to assist the City in this initiative by reviewing ten Senior Safety Zones. This work will involve holding neighbourhood “walkabouts”, workshops and pop-up kiosks to better understand the safety issues and barriers to active transportation older adults face in the area and to identify safety improvement opportunities. TCAT will also develop communications materials focused on road safety issues of particular relevance to older adults.