Officials say safety zones, Watch Your Speed program, part of Vision Zero for back-to-school

Officials with the city of Toronto say they're putting Vision Zero front and centre as the kids return to class on Tuesday morning. 

The initiative has partnered with Toronto Public Health, Green Communities Canada, the Toronto District School Board, Toronto Police, SickKids Hospital and the Bloomberg Philanthropies' Partnership for Healthy Cities in order to promote the safety and wellbeing of students. 

As the students return to their classrooms, we remain focused on the Vision Zero Road Safety program and the safety of all students travelling to and from school each day," Ward 25 Councillor Jaye Robinson said in a news release put out Monday afternoon. 

The school safety initiatives that are part of Vision Zero include:

  • The Active and Safe Routes to School pilot project, which includes road markings, sidewalk activity stenciling and sign installation to encourage kids to walk or bike to school, while prompting drivers to decrease their speed and increase their awareness. 
  • The Mobile Watch Your Speed program, which places portable signs in each of the city's wards that are rotated on a monthly basis. These are the signs that have built-in radar measures to display your speed. Crews will also be installing permanent versions of these signs around schools. 
  • Crossing guards from security companies, allowing Toronto Police to provide backfill services when one of their crossing guards is absent, and allows officers to better focus on their core policing duties.
  • The School Safety Zones program, which sees a total of 88 schools marked with safety signs, pavement markings and stencils, and driver feedback signs.  
  • Comprehensive school zone reviews that gather data and feedback to improve the safety of routes children are taking to school. 

The city says all of these initiatives are underway. They have also installed red light cameras at 142 new locations.