Oct 31, 2017
There has been a staggering increase in the number of car collisions in Hamilton involving cyclists and pedestrians. In 2016, Hamilton police recorded 279 pedestrian collisions including 257 with injuries and four fatalities; an alarming number that is bringing the incidents of car collisions to nearly the highest it’s been in almost a decade. While 2016 also reported the lowest pedestrian deaths, these figures are still cause for concern.
These numbers have City officials making it their mandate to reduce the number of collisions overall and taking a closer look at the factors contributing to these stats. City traffic head, Martin White has advised that the rollout of new software will allow his staff to look at collision trends and better understand their cause.
Population and growth and new development have been known to prompt an increase in collisions as road capacities are exceeded with an increased volume in the number of vehicles which has been the case in Hamilton, particularly in the area of Waterdown.
In addition, the growing number of cyclists increases the opportunities for accidents and current roadways are not equipped with the right infrastructure to account for this increase. According to Mr. White, the City of Hamilton is rolling out improvements like a pedestrian mobility plan and a revamped road safety strategy that will contribute to protective features like crosswalks, knock-down sticks and speed bumps, more cycling lanes and safe place to bike, as well as reducing the residential speed limit to 40km/h. Hamilton police however do warn that these improvements are often the cause of accidents resulting from driver confusion as they learn to adjust.
Hamilton will most certainly do its part to protect vulnerable road users and increase road safety measures to bring down those numbers, but drivers, cyclists and pedestrians alike must all consolidate their efforts. Best practices for road safety should be practiced by all to ensure the safety of everyone using our roadways.