Accidents involving motor vehicles continue to cause injuries and fatalities throughout the United States and worldwide. However, many cities, including Columbus, Ohio, are addressing this problem by adopting Vision Zero action plans.
Vision Zero is gaining national momentum as a cooperative effort to address the safety of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
What does Vision Zero involve?
Vision Zero supporters propose that engineers, police, county officials, lawmakers, vehicle manufacturers and others share responsibility for reducing and eliminating traffic-related fatalities and devastating injuries. They accept that human error is inevitable but that communal efforts to identify and address potential accident risks and responses can improve outcomes. Moreover, despite increasing road congestion, the steady decline in traffic fatalities in European Vision Zero cities is evidence that the program’s collaborative approach is successful.
Why is Vision Zero gaining momentum in the U.S.?
This plan to reduce road fatalities and injury severity is a Swedish initiative with decades of success throughout the European Union and England. It is slowly gaining momentum across the United States as more communities experience its positive impact. However, with the federal government’s recent commitment to promoting the Vision Zero-based Safe System Approach, states can apply for federal grants to create or implement regional, local or tribal initiatives. For example, communities use funds to collect data, test strategy proposals, build or improve infrastructure and signaling systems and formalize street names to enhance first responder accident response.
U.S. Vision Zero has a long way to go toward achieving its potential. However, as communities that adopt its principles report favorable results, others will acknowledge its efficacy for saving lives, lowering insurance rates and reducing motor vehicle reliance by promoting safe conditions regardless of how individuals choose to travel the nation’s roads.