Philly Launches “Vision Zero” Traffic Safety Program
October 8, 2017
Philadelphia just launched an aggressive plan that will target automobile accident-related injuries and fatalities. According to data, half of all the traffic (car, bicycle or pedestrian) deaths in the city occur on only 12% of its streets; the plan aims will focus on education, road design and traffic safety enforcement to decrease the number of individuals who are hurt or killed in traffic accidents every year.
Vision Zero first started in Sweden and after being implemented, traffic deaths across the country declined by a whopping 30%. Because of its proven effectiveness, other U.S. cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago and Seattle have already adopted this ambitious plan in order to reduce traffic deaths.
In Philly, speed and aggressive-driving related car accidents account for the largest percentage of all fatalities that occur – 53% in total. From looking at the numbers, it is easy to understand why: 1 out 10 people hit by a car traveling at 20 mph are killed, 5 out of 10 when the car is traveling 30 mph and a staggering 9 out of 10 with vehicles driving at 40 mph.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that approximately 10,000 accidents occur in the city every year. As a result of these automobile crashes, an average of 100 people die and 250 others sustain serious injuries that require medical attention and treatment. The administration also reports that Philadelphia has one of the highest rates of traffic deaths per capita – even higher than New York City and Los Angeles.
Mayor Kenney supports vision Zero’s 2017 plan, along with the Philadelphia police force, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), the Philadelphia school district and many other statewide departments. All representatives who signed onto the plan have committed to making the necessary changes that will ensure zero traffic-related fatalities on Philly streets by 2030.
Increasing traffic safety enforcement efforts can decrease the number of injury-causing or fatal crashes that occur. The Philly police department, along with SEPTA and the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) will be tackling these safety enforcement issues. While the police force will escalate its fight against speed and aggressive driving-related accidents, the PPA and SEPTA will work to ensure that Philadelphia’s streets and railroad crossings are free from obstacles and other known hazards.
Vision Zero will be put into action over the next three years. Public safety officials will examine lapses throughout the transportation system and will make life-saving improvements such as better signage, altering speed limits and safely designed roadways. Vision Zero knows how important it is that drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians all practice caution and obey traffic signals in order to limit roadway hazards for themselves and others.
The plan also includes a safety pledge that Philly residents can share with their loved ones and sign. It details the importance of not using phones behind the wheel, doing your part to let neighbors and friends know about Vision Zero, and always coming to a complete stop at traffic signals. To read more and sign the safety pledge, please visit: https://www.visionzerophl.com/.
Most traffic-related deaths and injuries are in fact preventable. According to Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation (PennDOT), 348 traffic-related serious injuries and deaths occurred in 2016. Here are some other important numbers that PennDOT collected between 2012 and 2016:
- 173 pedestrians were killed after being struck by a vehicle;
- 8,637 pedestrians were injured after being hit by a vehicle;
- 2,579 bicyclists sustained injuries;
- 35,963 drivers were injured;
- 17 bicyclists were injured fatally, and:
- 246 drivers were killed in accidents
To read more important statistics on injuries and fatalities for residents, please visit: https://www.visionzerophl.com/about.
Another critically important aspect of Vision Zero is that it focuses on children’s safety. The city received federal grant money that will go towards a program known as Safe Routes Philly, an educational initiative that trains young students on the importance of walking or bicycling safety as well as keeping an eye out for approaching vehicles.
Committing to practice safe and cautious behaviors while walking, biking or driving needs to be a priority for every individual. If you would like to learn more about Vision Zero’s plan of action as well as general safety tips, click here: https://visionzerophl.org/uploads/attachments/cj8a9vbdj074ojnd66ah3mxxi-2017-vz-action-plan-final.pdf.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Represent Victims of Automobile Accidents
If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident, please contact our Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Galfand Berger. With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Reading and Lancaster, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.