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Toronto May Restrict Right Turns on a Red Light at Some Intersections

Dec. 16, 20
2 mins
A hand is seen gripping the steering wheel while the car sits in traffic

As part of its ongoing road safety initiatives, the City of Toronto is considering restricting drivers from making a right turn on a red light at select intersections.

The recommendation made in a report by Toronto’s Transportation Services is in response to a number of city council’s requests under the Vision Zero 2.0 Road Safety Plan. About 2% of serious injuries or fatal collisions with pedestrians and 4% of serious injuries or fatal collisions with cyclists have been with right-turning vehicles on a red signal, according to the report.

Referred to as the “Right Turn on Red Prohibition (RTOR) Strategy”, if adopted by city council at its December 16 meeting, the restriction will be applied to 15 intersections across Toronto. Which intersections will be included in the strategy are under evaluation, with the exception of Keele Street at York Boulevard/Canarctic Drive for southbound traffic. It is the first intersection proposed by Transportation Services to implement the RTOR prohibition.

Montreal is the only major city in Canada that prohibits turning right on a red light. Although Toronto considered the possibility of introducing the measure citywide, the report does not advise it, stating, “there would be a potential safety benefit at some locations, but that at other locations, introducing RTOR prohibitions may result in less safe conditions for people walking and cycling.”

In recent months, T.O. has implemented a few measures aimed at calming traffic, reducing collisions, and improving safety for pedestrians and cyclists such as installing automated speed enforcement cameras, introducing traffic agents, and establishing transit-only lanes on some streets.

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