Toronto Councilors Vote to Investigate Garbage Truck Speeding After CTV News Investigation

A Toronto city commission has voted to demand more information about how fast city vehicles drive and whether they pay their traffic fines, after an investigation by CTV News Toronto showed photos of hundreds of speeding city vehicles, including garage trucks and heavy equipment.

The photos, obtained through a freedom of information request, showed dozens of large vehicles caught speeding by the city’s automated speed enforcement cameras, including a garbage truck speeding through a North York school as it left for the day. .

That school, Milne Valley Middle School, is located in the ward of Deputy Mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong, who filed a motion with the city’s Infrastructure and Environment Commission.

“One of the photos I saw was in front of a local school in my neighborhood. I was disturbed,” Minnan-Wong said.

“I think we need to take action on this. We have a leadership position at Vision Zero. We are asking people to lower their speed and we must lead by example. There is a higher duty for our employees,” he said.

The committee passed its motion to get city officials to provide the number of automated speeding tickets issued to Toronto Solid Waste Services broken down by vehicle type, speed and violation location, summarizing card payments made by staff and the city, and impacting traffic violations. that go beyond fines for members of the public service.

Toronto truck

The fine payments were in dispute because the tickets issued by the city do not mention how fast they are going, nor the fine incurred. The city withheld that for security reasons, arguing that if the amount was disclosed, people would be able to know what the threshold would be a ticket would be, and increase their speed accordingly, posing a risk to public safety. .

Meanwhile, the TTC and the provincial government disclosed the speeds of their vehicles in requests to CTV News Toronto.

“It annoys me that many other organizations, even our agencies, have disclosed the speed at which they travel,” said Minnan-Wong. “The public needs to know if they are speeding and what their speed is.”

City vehicle crashes from Toronto have become fatal. In 2019, a garbage truck killed a pedestrian and in 2013, a five-year-old girl was killed in a left turn.

The city did not track its employees’ tickets and, as the owner of the vehicles, defaulted to paying the speeding fines when CTV News Toronto first explored the matter last year.

The city started tracking its tickets and is now poised to move beyond a manual system. But city data shows that some departments are not expected to refund all ticket money.

Water, Fleet Services, MLS and Corporate Real Estate would get all fines from their employees back the year after the automated cameras were deployed.

But transportation services and parks, forestry and recreation were expected to recover only 80 percent of their fines, and solid waste management was expected to recover only 70 percent of the fines incurred that year.

That so many professional drivers would be caught speeding is a sign of a design problem on Toronto’s roads, said Albert Koehl of the Avenue Road Safety Coalition.

“If I get hit by a car, my body doesn’t care whether it’s being driven by a city official or a neighbor or someone visiting the city. What people care about is the speed of the vehicle,” he said.

The committee also passed a motion to increase the number of cameras to 75 and expand community security zones where the cameras may be placed.

CTV News also made a similar request to the Toronto Police Department, who have not received any tickets after about six months.

“Some requests are more complex than others and we need to consider sensitive information that could compromise our operational integrity or the security of agents. This includes identification of classified vehicles,” said spokesman Connie Osborne.

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