In February, Mississauga council passed a resolution to adopt Vision Zero, a framework focused on the prevention of fatalities and injuries due to motor vehicle collisions.
“Safety on Mississauga’s roads is the responsibility of the city,” said Pat Saito, Ward 9 councillor and Road Safety Advisory Committee chair. “Vision Zero came about from the belief that no loss of life is an acceptable price for travelling on our roads.”
Vision Zero is a concept based on shared responsibilities among partners involved in the road system including politicians, planners, police, community organizations, vehicle manufacturing companies, companies and organizations that purchase transport services and all road users.
Support for the program was initially brought forward by the recently reinstated Road Safety Committee which approved adopting the framework to make Mississauga roads safer to drive, walk and cycle on. Many Canadian municipalities have adopted Vision Zero including Toronto, Hamilton, Edmonton and, most recently, the Region of Peel. According to Saito, the difference between the city’s motion and Peel’s framework is the timing to determine the program’s ultimate goals.
“Mississauga roads are different than those in other municipalities so it makes sense that we give ourselves time to evaluate the program instead of choosing an arbitrary number of fatality and injury reductions that we hope to see in coming years,” explained Saito.
By adopting Vision Zero, staff will start to look at major arterial roadways. Those potential changes may not be popular with people that want to zip through a community without any consideration for pedestrians or cyclists. Some areas of focus may include reducing impaired driving, implementing safer speed limits, improving road infrastructure and enhancing pedestrian and cyclist safety.
“Road safety is our primary concern,” said Geoff Wright, transportation and works commissioner. “In addition to our recently developed Road Safety Program, we will begin developing a work plan that will lay out how we will achieve Vision Zero through education, enforcement and engineering and what resources will be required to do so.”