At least 17 American cities have committed to Vision Zero to eliminate traffic fatalities. In addition to ramping up education and enforcement, these efforts require road designers to rethink streets and intersections in ways that minimize risks to non-motorized users. This often means correcting issues resulting from a strict, decades-long focus on vehicle movement.

The language of Vision Zero itself—with the goal to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries—communicates a more ambitious approach to street safety and rests on the basic understanding that these serious losses are preventable.

“If 30,000 people were killed each year in the US by a curable illness, we would call it a public health crisis,” wrote Arielle Fleisher in The Central Role of Public Health in Vision Zero, a case study exploring how cities are using public health tools to advance their Vision Zero efforts. (See http://bit.ly/25X0WJQ). “We would deploy resources, vaccines and interventions to address the spread and bring the death toll to the only acceptable level: zero. Yet, every year 30,000+ people are killed in preventable traffic collisions in this country. Vision Zero asks us to see those traffic deaths like polio or cholera: epidemics that, with an urgent health framing and public response, can be eradicated.”

Cross-departmental collaboration is a critical foundation to a successful Vision Zero commitment. In its “Collaborating Across Departments to Achieve Vision Zero” case study, the Vision Zero Network examines some of the specific ways Vision Zero cities San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and New York City are restructuring their collaboration in long-lasting ways to take meaningful action for safe streets. See: http://bit.ly/1OoqBU3

Also, ”Communications Strategies to Advance Vision Zero” looks at early-adopter cities New York City and San Francisco’s approaches to communicating about Vision Zero to garner attention and influence behavior at all levels of society. See: http://bit.ly/1rp98Q9

Finally, the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) has launched its Vision Zero Initiative that will initially focus on large and medium-size cities. They are establishing a task force to enhance its relationships with other entities working toward Vision Zero goals, and will develop a Vision Zero Toolbox of urban-focused resources and best practices for traffic engineers to help implement next generation road designs for modern, multi-modal cities. See: http://bit.ly/29YE4TD

These and other resources are available at the Resource Library of the Vision Zero Network. The library contains
sample Vision Zero resolutions, action plans, case studies, communications campaigns and more from cities in the U.S. and around the world. Visit: http://bit.ly/2aapKbZ