As our new publication Vision Zero and Safe Routes to School: Partners in Safety makes clear, when a community takes a Vision Zero pledge to eliminate all traffic fatalities and serious injuries, there is an opportunity for Safe Routes to School advocates to take their efforts to the next level. Vision Zero action plans can lead to a greater community focus on and funding towards making the streets safer for kids and families.
Legislation introduced by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL) aims to make it possible for more communities to take the Vision Zero pledge. The Vision Zero Act of 2017, HR 1266, would provide up to $5 million in grants to help communities new to the movement develop Vision Zero action plans. And, it would award five large grants totaling up to $25 million to help five communities implement their Vision Zero plans.
Vision Zero is increasingly necessary given the unfortunate ongoing upward trend in pedestrian fatalities—which the media then blames on walking while drunk. Lack of sidewalks and crosswalks, dark roadways, vehicle speeds are all part of the equation—and we can only make significant progress if we treat transportation safety with the gravity it deserves.
Vision Zero dares to say that no one should die in a transportation crash and that “accidents” are no accident. They happen because of our collective failure to design roads to protect the lives of everyone—whether they are walking, biking, or driving. It’s a challenge to put safety above all other factors in how we design roads and spaces and how we spend our transportation dollars.
We hope you will join us in supporting the Vision Zero Act. Please contact your Representative and ask him or her to cosponsor the legislation.