Members, Toronto Board of Health
10th Floor West, Toronto City Hall
100 Queen St. W., M5H 2N2
We note that the Toronto’s chief medical officer of health proposes lower speed limits to reduce accidents. We support his proposal and his reason for such a step. It should not be rejected out of hand as a “nutso” idea.
There is a case for lower speed limits apart from the reason proposed by Dr. McKeown. Over time Toronto citizens must be weaned from dependence on automobiles in favour of public transit. Presently the automobile appears to have the advantage of convenience and speed over public transit. A campaign for lower speed limits may encourage drivers to think of alternatives.
In the long term Toronto, like other large North American cities, must cut down on greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles. This goal will be assisted if motorists are encouraged to drive moderately, and discouraged from accelerating to wait at the next traffic light. The reduction in emissions will not be great, but every little bit helps.
Many motorists think that speeding is acceptable even though they know that it is against the law and increases the risk to others. So reduced speed limits have to be introduced selectively and gradually. In due time motorists may come to accept these limits, just as they have come to accept speed bumps.
Peter Jones on behalf of For Our Grandchildren