750 local schools could gain community safety zones

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Community safety zones could soon be developed around hundreds of Toronto schools, in hopes of boosting safety for young students — another piece of the city’s Vision Zero road safety plan.

If city council gives the proposal a green light, more than 750 elementary schools could become the centres for the new zones. That would lead to speeding fines being doubled in those neighbourhoods across the city, according to a new report that’s heading to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee on Tuesday for approval.

“Currently a school zone is only 150 metres, which really doesn’t cut it to create a safe environment,” said Coun. Jaye Robinson, the committee’s chair.

Community safety zones, in contrast, don’t have a measurement limitation.

Signage marking the areas, flashing lights, and zebra-style road markings are all expected in the years ahead if the zones are approved, much like what’s currently at some schools throughout the city.

Robinson said the new zones would also allow the city to put up cameras and implement automated speed enforcement — more commonly known as photo radar — through a collaboration with Toronto police.

“It’s a huge step forward for Toronto’s road safety plan,” she said.

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