03/25/2014 11:35 EDT | Updated 05/25/2014 05:59 EDT

CAA kicks off annual Worst Roads campaign, urges gas tax fund for repairs

TORONTO - CAA kicked off its annual Ontario's Worst Roads campaign today calling on the government to fix the roads that have been damaged by the harsh winter weather of the past few months.

The auto club, which represents more than 1.9 million members, says the fluctuating freeze-thaw cycle of the past winter has littered the roads with dangerous crater-sized potholes.

Faye Lyons of CAA South Central Ontario says the group is calling on all levels of government to make improving transportation infrastructure a priority.

The CAA is also urging the Ontario government to permanently dedicate a portion of the revenue collected from gas taxes to fixing roads, bridges and highways in the province.

The group's Worst Roads campaign allows people to choose the province's worst road by voting at www.worstroads.ca before April 25.

CAA will then present the Top 10 Worst Roads in Ontario to the government along with the group's recommendations.

Last year, Dufferin Street was named the worst road in Ontario and Toronto held a total of four spots on the Top 10.

People are also urged to give feedback on traffic congestion, poor timing of traffic signals, confusing road signs and pedestrian and cycling safety.

Lyons says Ontario has been collecting a gas tax for decades and it's time for a dedicated fund to help pay for repairs to roads and bridges.

She says the provincial excise gas tax currently costs motorists 14.7 cents on every litre of gas and diesel and generated about $3.1 billion in 2012-2013.

At the same time, she says, the estimated annual cost for repairs to Ontario's roads, bridges and highways is pegged at about $3.8 billion a year.

"This harsh winter has played havoc on our roads and our cars," said Lyons. "Pothole-ridden streets put your safety at risk and cause damage to our vehicles."