‘Driving is a product of society’: 5 Vaughan quotes on fatal crashes
Council questions if driving age should be raised
Oct. 12, 2021
Following two deadly traffic collisions this year in which three children died, some Vaughan councillors questioned if raising the driving age for licensed G1 operators of motor vehicles in Ontario from 16 to 18 years old could be one of the ways to help save lives.
The first crash referenced happened on May 16, allegedly involved a 16-year-old Richmond Hill driver. Two young children in Vaughan died. In the other crash, a 33-year-old woman is alleged to have hit a 10-year-old girl on Sept. 1.
Vaughan councillors endorsed on Sep. 14 -- during National Teen Driver Safety Week -- a motion urging the Ministry of Transportation to review measures impacting newly licensed drivers. The motion by Coun. Sandra Racco and Regional Coun. Gino Rosati cited data from York Region, which showed drivers below the age of 25 have a higher at-fault collision rate and higher fatality rate in collisions than any other age group.
While Vaughan councillors recommend that the province should consider raising the current minimum driving age to 18, opinions differ:
So here are the top five quotes:
1- ‘ALL ARE CULPRITS': Vaughan resident, Howard Kramer
“Speeding within Vaughan, as well as elsewhere, has always been a problem. I have been in contact with the York Region Police department on more than one occasion to have a radar trap set onto my street at specific times to discourage mostly residents and to slow down. Once a couple of tickets are issued, the word gets around. Men and women of all ages are the culprits.”
2- ‘PROBLEMS CAUSED BY DRIVERS OVER 80': Regional Coun. Linda Jackson
“I believe that not all our problems on our roadways are caused by young drivers,” said Regional Coun. Linda Jackson in response to the Sep. 14 motion.
“Some of our problems are caused by drivers over the age of 80. Maybe I will be kicked for this ... I really do think, though, that the province of Ontario needs to revisit also how they re-license drivers over the age of 80.”
3- ‘PEOPLE ARE IN TOO MUCH OF A HURRY': Regional Coun. Linda Jackson
Jackson continued, adding more reasons to the table.
“I think people are in too much of a hurry. People don't care, and it's all about themselves. So I don't think that it's just young or new. I just think it's a product of society.”
4- ‘WE NEED MORE COMPACT COMMUNITIES, SO PEOPLE DRIVE LESS’: Gideon Forman, policy analyst
Gideon Forman, a climate change and transportation policy analyst at the David Suzuki Foundation, believes if we have tighter communities, less people will drive.
“Subways are a good thing. I mean, we're delighted to see more public transit for sure. The concern is that some of these suburban communities are unfortunately still too much geared to the private gas burning car. It's great that there's the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre subway stop, but we also need to have more compact communities so people don't have to drive as much.”
He also says that we need better service transit.
“And we need to have better service transit that gets people to places like the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre. One of the issues that people have is the ‘first mile, and last mile’ problem, where people have a hard time getting to rapid transit.”
5- ‘I DON'T SEE PUBLIC TRANSIT AS REAL SOLUTION': Vaughan resident Dave Euser“I've worked in my career and in public transit space here and there, and in my opinion, the way Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area is laid out is that everything is so spaced out,” said Vaughan resident Dave Euser. “So public transit probably works for people who are commuting to work or school. But to go to the grocery store and pick up something quickly, I can't imagine it that way. With our population density that we have, I don't see public transit being a real solution there.”