toronto traffic cops

Toronto turns to traffic cops to ease congestion

Traffic cops are back at some of Toronto's busiest intersections today in an effort to speed up the daily commute. This is the second phase of Mayor John Tory's traffic congestion management plan and will run for a month before the city decides whether or not to push to make the program permanent.

Unlike the usual scenario in which you see a traffic cop at an intersection, these personnel are not tasked with overriding traffic signals, but their presence is meant to eliminate illegal turns, late pedestrian crossing, and to ensure general safety during the busiest commute times.

To make the program permanent, Tory wants to use civilians with with traffic management training rather than fully trained police officers. The mayor occasionally uses the term "traffic warden" to describe them, and he'd like to make them a fixture on Toronto streets, but he needs the province's permission first.

Right now, provincial law dictates that only police officers are authorized to direct traffic. To use the cheaper option of a traffic warden, new legislation will have to be passed, which Tory will push for at the conclusion of this second pilot project.

Photo by Bill W in the blogTO Flickr pool.


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