With calls coming from all sides to make Boston’s streets safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, and a recent proposal by Mayor Marty Walsh to lower city speed limits, Boston city councilors heard testimony Tuesday on what the city is — and is not — doing to enforce laws already on the books.

This was just the latest council hearing on an issue that seems to have taken on a new sense of urgency among the public as well as elected officials.

The recent traffic-related deaths of a toddler in South Boston, a pedestrian in West Roxbury and a bicyclist in the Fenway have led several city council members to call traffic safety the most pressing issue facing Boston right now; and nearby cities like Somerville and Cambridge have seen a similar surge in concern over persistently dangerous roadways and intersections.

Tuesday’s hearing, called by City Councilor Timothy McCarthy, sought to explore to enforcement-related issues: The potential use of so-called “red light” cameras to automatically catch and fine speeding drivers; and the fact that Boston’s police department has no centralized traffic enforcement division.

Boston is the only sizeable Massachusetts city whose police department doesn’t have a dedicated traffic enforcement division. Instead, enforcement is carried out on a district-by-district basis, often delegated to just one or two officers per district.

BPD Deputy Superintendent Kevin McGoldrick was unable to tell council members how many speeding tickets the department issued last year, saying the BPD doesn’t keep a breakdown of the numbers.

Meanwhile, as WGBH News reported earlier this year, the Boston Police Department appears to be the only municipality in the commonwealth that doesn’t track and report bicycle and pedestrian crashes.

McGoldrick said the department is moving toward implementing a new system to track and report crashes.

Sarah Kleinschmidt, an emergency physician at Boston Medical Center, said she sees crash victims every shift and was herself hit by an enraged driver while bicycling to work.

Kleinschmidt said the driver fled, and she added that despite a plethora of nearby cameras that might have captured the driver's plate, police made no attempt to find or punish the culprit. Her own experience is just one example, she said, of a culture in Boston of non-enforcement when it comes to traffic violations.

“There are places that do take this seriously,” Kleinschmidt said. “In Somerville, someone was killed in a crosswalk, and that driver went to jail.”

By contrast, Kleinschmidt said, police brought no charges in recent traffic-related deaths around Boston.

“As a pattern we don’t ticket the minor infractions, we do not investigate the incidents, and we do not bring charges even when there is serious death or injury involved.”

Safe streets advocates said they also want to see more enforcement, but real change will require more than just police officers at corners.

Becca Wolfson, executive director of the Boston Cyclists’ Union, said the city has to take on the work of re-designing persistently dangerous roads and intersections — places city data makes clear are epicenters of dangerous and deadly crashes.

Stacy Thompson of the Liveable Streets Alliance pushed another potential solution that council members and the mayor have so far balked at: Red light cameras.

“Given the number of crashes in Boston, we can’t ask our police to be superheroes. There is no number of police officers we can put on every corner to address this problem meaningfully,” Thompson said.

Thompson’s group is supporting legislation on Beacon Hill that would allow municipalities to adopt red light camera programs, and she urged Boston council members to seriously consider implementing some version of the measure should the legislation pass.

Unless or until state legislators pass new laws that would allow municipalities to adopt red light cameras, the discussion of whether Boston might use the technology has been theoretical. Several council members have voiced skepticism if not outright opposition. Campbell has not said she would necessarily support the measure either but has been one of the stronger voices urging that the council at least seriously consider the idea.

Walsh has not endorsed the technology, either, although he does support limited use of cameras to detect cars “blocking the box” — or blocking the area between crosswalks — at certain intersections.

After the hearing, Campbell said that it was obvious more needs to be done.

“We need to step it up,” she said. “Given the sense of urgency around this issue and the fact that people are dying and in fear of their life, ... everything needs to be on the table.”