January 21, 2014
Spurred by recent successes in the cities of Chicago and New York in implementing a “Vision Zero” policy goal of eliminating traffic accident fatalities, traffic safety advocates in San Francisco have also been calling on the city to adopt such an ambitious goal.
Vision Zero policies were initially launched in the country of Sweden back in 1997. The Vision Zero goal is basically a two-year plan, and in San Francisco, advocates are calling for a plan that is based on three major strategies to reduce traffic accident fatalities. The strategies include the establishment of a crisis intervention team by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority that would be responsible for kicking off several projects aimed at low-cost safety improvements to reduce traffic accident deaths. Such strategies have been proven to be very effective in other cities. For instance, Copenhagen in Denmark has no official Vision Zero policy yet, but in 2009, the city with a population of 560,000 only saw five traffic accident fatalities.
The plans also direct the San Francisco Police Department to use more traffic enforcement resources, specifically to target some of the most problematic driving behaviors and to increase enforcement at accident-prone locations. The San Francisco advocates are also asking for using state funding to fund a safety awareness program for motorists across the city.
California bicycle accident lawyers will find those strategies to be most beneficial for pedestrians and bicyclists, who seem to be at increasing danger on San Francisco streets. In 2013, the number of pedestrians and bicyclists who were killed on San Francisco streets were at their highest numbers since 2007. This is a city that was once synonymous with safe bicycling and walking, and that has changed dramatically over the past few years.