Two years after city council approved a plan to end traffic deaths, Toronto appears to have matched a recent one-year high for pedestrian and cyclist fatalities.
The latest death occurred on Tuesday, when Toronto police Const. David Hopkinson said a man in his 60s died after being struck by a vehicle at Midland and Dorcot Aves., near Donwood Park Public School in Scarborough.
According to statistics compiled by the Star using police and media reports, 45 pedestrians and cyclists have been killed so far this year.
With 27 days left in the year, the total ties the Star’s count for all of 2017. It also exceeds the number of pedestrian and cyclist deaths recorded in any single year in a police database that goes back to 2007.
The Star’s pedestrian and cyclist death counts differs from the one maintained by police. That’s in part because Toronto police figures don’t include deadly collisions that happen on private property, such as in the parking lots of apartment buildings or malls, or on provincial 400-series highways within Toronto.
The Star tracked these incidents since 2017, but does not have independent data for previous years.
It’s unclear if this year’s total surpasses previous years overall, as the Star does not have independent data on pedestrian and cyclist deaths before 2007.
Tuesday night’s victim was struck while crossing the street. Police responded to a call for personal injury collision around 7:30 p.m. and found the man on the ground without vital signs. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said the driver remained with the victim. There was no immediate word on whether charges would be laid.
The incident brings the total number of pedestrians killed so far this year to 40. Five cyclists have also died.
The police count does not include the death of a cyclist in Don Mills who hit a parked vehicle, or a man killed by an alleged hit-and-run driver in the parking garage of an apartment building.
In July 2016, city council approved a road safety plan dubbed Vision Zero, the stated goal of which is to eliminate serious injuries and deaths on the roads. Council has allocated more than $100 million to the five-year plan.
The Star omitted the death of a waste collector who died on the job when he was crushed by a garbage truck’s side loader. The police recorded that incident as a traffic death.
The man who died Tuesday night was one of three pedestrians killed in the GTA in less than six hours. A female pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene after being struck by a vehicle in Mississauga on Tuesday evening, and another female pedestrian was fatally struck in Mississauga around 2 p.m.
Emerald Bensadoun is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @twerk_vonnegut
Ben Spurr is a Toronto-based reporter covering transportation. Reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter: @BenSpurr