Toronto’s chief medical officer recently recommended that the city reduce speed limits on Toronto’s streets. I haven’t read the report containing that proposal, but my understanding is that it suggested that lower speed limits would reduce the number and severity of car-versus-pedestrian accidents. And, in turn, that would reduce the number of deaths from such accidents.
I read about this in a newspaper article that cited lower accident and death rates in cities where speed limits are lower than in Toronto. It also mentioned a study that showed a correlation between lower speed limits and a reduced severity of injuries when car-versus-pedestrian accidents occur.
I have not read any rigorous studies that show, not just a correlation, but also causation between lower speed limits and improved pedestrian safety. Nor have I read any studies providing evidence for an opposing hypothesis. To be honest, I haven’t read any studies on the issue, period. Consequently, I’m not in a position to either support the recommendation or denounce it.
In response to the chief medical officer’s proposal, the Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, called the recommendation, “nuts, nuts, nuts, nuts.” I’m not certain, but I seriously doubt that Mayor Ford has carefully reviewed any studies that examine this issue, so I don’t know why he as so adamantly opposed as to launch such a juvenile ad hominem attack on the proposal. I assume it is part of his war on pedestrians.
In the interest of full disclosure I must state that I’ve never been a fan of Mr. Ford. In the last municipal election, I voted for one of Rob Ford’s opponents for the mayor’s job. That was the only opportunity I’ve ever had to cast a vote for Mr. Ford, and I used it to resolutely vote against him. In fact, I was so opposed to him that I was afraid that, due to my ire, when I voted my hand would push so hard that the pencil would puncture the paper ballot.
In the next municipal election, if the only two candidates standing in the mayoralty race are Mr. Ford and an endlessly inebriated gecko, I’ll vote for the soused salamander-wannabe as the most prudent choice.
Nonetheless, in this instance, I am somewhat tempted to side with Mayor Ford. According to the it-takes-one-to-know-one principle, no one is better placed to judge what is nuts than Mr. Ford.
Categorised as: Toronto