We are so pleased to witness the growing number of people that came together on Sunday, November 20th to participate in the International World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. Not only are the number of communities participating growing, but we are also seeing greater diversity of organizations collaborating and even more creativity in memorializing those affected and working together for change. Bravo to the many community members and city leaders across the country who stepped forward to elevate the importance of this preventable health crisis taking 100 lives each day in this country.
As the number of people dying in traffic crashes on American roadways has hit a tragic 50-year high, the call to manage speeds to save lives is stepped up today with the release of an interactive national Speed Fatality Map. Released by the Vision Zero Network and the National Coalition for Safer Roads, the map brings light to the thousands of speed-related deaths that could be prevented each year and strategies to save lives.
People across the globe will rally the week leading up to International World Day of Remembrance for road traffic victims on Sunday, November 20, 2016. The goal is to recognize that traffic violence is one of the leading causes of death globally, with more than 1.25 million lives lost last year.
On October 5th, 2016, federal government, advocacy and community leaders at the national level stepped up in an unprecedented way to declare that “enough is enough” of the widespread suffering caused by traffic violence in this country. Together, we set a new goal — and with it much-needed new urgency and a new direction — called the Road to Zero, a national campaign to eliminate traffic deaths in the U.S. within the next 30 years.
Looking at trends in the short term doesn’t always paint a complete picture. Nevertheless, we can’t help but be discouraged by the direction of traffic safety in the U.S. described in two recent reports — one from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and another from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA). Both reports analyze recent data to answer a similar big picture question: When it comes to traffic safety, how are we doing? Unfortunately, the answer is “not good enough.”
We’re pleased to announce the launch of the Vision Zero Network Resource Library. The Library contains some of the best emerging practices and samples of Vision Zero legislation, case studies, implementation plans, studies, campaigns and more from cities in the U.S. and around the world.
In the wake of appalling violence in Minnesota, Louisiana, and Texas during the past few weeks and swelling racial tensions nationwide, a spotlight is shining on systemic inequities in our nation’s law enforcement system. These tragedies are influencing our thinking across the country. Personally, I am thinking differently about Vision Zero. Not only as it relates to law enforcement, but also in other ways that U.S. communities are interpreting and implementing Vision Zero efforts as they relate to social justice and equity. Admittedly, at this point, I have more questions than answers. I acknowledge that I feel uncomfortable talking about some of these issues, and that I’m far from being an expert in this area. Yet I do feel a responsibility, as the leader of the Vision Zero Network, to share my concerns, including places that I think Vision Zero may have misstepped early in its short history, and to look for solutions.
Communicating effectively to advance street safety is not a new goal, but Vision Zero is bringing greater urgency and critical thinking to this need. It also brings together a wider and more diverse range of stakeholders who recognize the value of well-planned, measureable communication efforts. In this case study, we look at two early-adopter cities’ — New York City and San Francisco — promising approaches to communicating about Vision Zero in order to garner attention and influence behavior — at all levels of society.
We’re thrilled to announce that the Network’s staff will double in size in the coming months as we welcome Zach Vanderkooy into the new position of Deputy Director. Zach will work closely with staff from both Vision Zero Focus Cities and Emerging Cities, as well as with advocates — and help develop useful resources and specific standards to guide cities toward successful Vision Zero efforts. He’ll also identify and guide strategies for the Network overall to advance Vision Zero across the country.
One of the defining characteristics of Vision Zero is the fundamental focus on breaking down silos and uniting local stakeholders behind common goals. Cross-departmental collaboration isn’t simply advisable — its importance cannot be emphasized enough as a critical foundation to a successful Vision Zero commitment. Cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and New York City have found ways to bridge unintentional but long-standing gaps between key local agencies and identified innovative means to build new organizational architecture to advance Vision Zero.