Does The TTC Use “Safety” As An Excuse For Inept Management?

At the TTC Board meeting of January 21, there was a presentation based on the report Safe Service Action Plan that included several actions and proposals that are intended to improve the safety of TTC operations. The context for this report is that there have been a number of high profile incidents involving TTC vehicles in the recent past.

During 2014, two pedestrians died after being struck by streetcars. Then, in the latter half of 2014 several video recordings were made public of TTC bus operators running red lights. In response to these incidents, the CEO initiated a review of operator training, supervision and relicensing as well as a communications campaign to reinforce the need for operators to drive defensively and to adhere to the rules of the Highway Traffic Act.

Towards the end of 2014, an adult woman and a 14 year old girl died as a result of injuries in separate incidents after being struck by a TTC bus making a turn. Given the very serious nature of these tragic events, the CEO directed that the review already under way be expedited and that it include consultation with other operators for comparison and to seek out best practice. [pp 1-2]

Broadly speaking, the proposals can be grouped into three sets:

  • Operator training and recertification, including an emphasis on safe driving.
  • Monitoring systems to track and record road conditions with a view both to increase evidence when accidents occur, and potentially to monitor driver behaviour.
  • System review including issues such as stop placement, identification of accident “hot spots” and causes, and improved investigative techniques.

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