City of Kitchener Approves Plan to Lower Speeds to 40km/h for Safety

October 28, 2021, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

The Region of Waterloo adopted Vision Zero and the City of Kitchener adopted Vision Zero in 2016. I wrote about it here.


Vision Zero is a traffic safety initiative begun in Sweden which advocates for zero road traffic fatalities. The movement has become multinational and is strongly focussed on human safety and health, rather than on traditional design goals which determine spending on roads on a cost/benefit/risk basis. Vision Zero’s goal in one sentence


"No loss of life is acceptable"


It is a multi-pronged approach that is based on the fact that humans make mistakes, and that the road system and vehicles must be designed to protect us. “In every situation, a person could fail - the road system should not”.


Vision Zero is based on four principles:

  1. Ethics - Human Life and health are paramount and take priority over mobility and other objectives of the road traffic system
  2. Responsibility – providers and regulators of the road traffic system share responsibility with users
  3. Safety: road traffic systems should take account of human fallibility and minimize both the opportunities for errors and the harm done when they occur; and
  4. Mechanisms for change: providers and regulators must do their utmost to guarantee the safety of all citizens; they must cooperate with road users, and all three must be ready to change to achieve safety.

Other principles were added to Vision Zero in order to ensure that motorists would comprehend the full extent of the movement's purpose:

  1. Traffic deaths and injuries are preventable; therefore, none are acceptable.
  2. People will make mistakes; the transportation system should be designed so those mistakes aren’t fatal.
  3. Safety is the primary consideration in transportation decision-making.
  4. Traffic safety solutions must be addressed holistically.


As part of the commitment to the initiative Kitchener council has voted to reduce speeds on 1500 neighbourhood streets from 50km/h to 40km/h, and in school zones the speeds will reduce to 30 km/h. The City estimates it will cost $550,000 to change the speed limit signs. Councillors also acknowledge that the effectiveness of the changes will depend entirely on whether drivers adopt the lower speeds. 

Speeding on residential streets has been an increasingly common problem and in order to enforce lower speeds in school zones the Region has begun to install speed cameras to ticket drivers automatically. Drivers must slow down to save lives. Studies show that survival rates and serious injuries in pedestrian accidents are dramatically reduced when drivers hit pedestrians at speeds of 40km/h or lower.


If you have been injured in a car accident while riding your bicycle it is important to act quickly to ensure that time limitations do not prevent you from claiming the compensation you deserve. Contact us at Deutschmann Law, we can explain your rights in plain English and advise you on the best course to follow.

Posted under Accident Benefit News, Automobile Accident Benefits, Brain Injury, Car Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents

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