Anyone who rides the streetcar knows that cars often speed by open streetcar doors. It happens all the time, and it’s extremely frustrating.
On Tuesday, Councillor Mike Layton sent out a tweet asking the TTC to consider using cameras to catch cars speeding past stopped TTC vehicles. Layton explained that the cameras would operate similar to red light cameras.
“Ask anyone getting off a streetcar whether or not they think that enough’s being done to protect them from cars going by and I think it will be quite clear that most people agree that there’s not,” said Layton.
The provincial Highway Traffic Act states that it is illegal for drivers to come within two metres of streetcar doors while the vehicle is stopped to unload or load passengers. This Act also forbids cyclists from entering the two metre mark.
Streetcars are currently equipped with surveillance cameras, but these cameras are unable to capture details such as license plates.
According to the city, data collected across Ontario has shown that an increase in the use of red light cameras is associated with a 25 per cent reduction in collisions. Red light cameras are used to capture the license plates of vehicles who run red lights and enforce penalties by mailing the driver a ticket accompanied by a photo of the driver’s car running the light.
TTC spokesperson Brad Ross has explained that a motion was moved forward in 2015 by Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker, which has pushed TTC staff to consider and look into the use of better cameras on streetcars.