The Halton Regional Police Service and the Town of Milton are partnering for a month-long campaign in February entitled Project Safe Crossing to improve safety at pedestrian crossovers in Milton.
In accordance with new provincial law and the Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act, the Town installed seven pedestrian crossovers in Milton in the fall of 2016. The locations for the crossovers were determined through pedestrian and vehicle volume counts. Town staff have been fielding calls from residents concerned about drivers not always stopping at these crossovers since their installation. Near misses with pedestrians that could have resulted in serious injury have also been reported.
A recent monitoring study, completed by the Town, indicates that compliance is considered to be low, especially at the crossings without pedestrian-activated flashing lights, which also serve as school routes. The lowest level of compliance was observed for the crossover at Maple Avenue and Book Drive, with only 57% of cars stopping for pedestrians at certain times of the day. At the same intersection, when cars did stop, as few as 35% remained stopped until the pedestrian completely crossed the intersection. Another compliance study will be completed in the spring. New warning signs, positioned between the lanes for high visibility, will be installed at the crosswalks in the spring as another important visual clue to bolster compliance.
“There is nothing more important than the safety of our residents,” said Milton Mayor Gord Krantz. “All motorists in Milton need to be extremely vigilant in watching for pedestrians at crossovers and complying with the law.”
Beginning February 1, officers with Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) will be stationed during peak hours at rotating pedestrian crossover locations. For the first week, drivers and cyclists who fail to remain stopped until pedestrians have completely crossed the road will be cautioned and given literature about how to lawfully navigate crossovers. After that, and for the balance of the month, traffic citations will be issued. Drivers will be fined $150 to $500 and 3 demerit points for offences at pedestrian crossings, school crossings and at crosswalks where there are traffic signals. Pedestrians who fail to properly negotiate the crossovers will be warned and/or ticketed. Citations will be issued for non-compliance during the education phase of the campaign, if warranted.
“Halton Police recognize that pedestrians are the most vulnerable of road users,” said Sergeant Paul Rudall, District Response Team. “As such, we are pleased to partner with the Town of Milton to not only improve the safety of those crossing our roadways but to make all aspects of commuting as safe as possible.”
Project Safe Crossing and others are part of the Service’s broader Community First policing philosophy that focuses on four principles of (community) safety and well-being: Emergency Response, Risk Intervention, Prevention, and Social Development. More information can be found at http://www.haltonpolice.ca/ under Community or by following @HaltonPolice on Twitter or Facebook.