Vision Zero Initiative and its Failure to Curb Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities

Vision Zero is a movement to eliminate traffic-related deaths. It began in Sweden in the 1990s and was launched in Los Angeles in 2015. Here is how the LA City website describes the initiative locally:

“Vision Zero Los Angeles is our city’s commitment to eliminate all traffic deaths by 2025. As directed by Mayor Garcetti, this citywide effort brings together transportation engineers, police officers, advocates, and policymakers to work together towards creating safer streets. Our focus will be protecting our most vulnerable road users, including children, older adults, and people walking and bicycling.” (source).

More than 200 LA residents die in traffic collisions every year, and while it is noble for Vision Zero to attempt to reduce or even eliminate those fatalities, their solution is not working.

In 2014, one year before Vision Zero was launched, there were more than 46K traffic accidents in Los Angeles. In 2015, that number actually climbed to more than 50K accidents. In 2016, it jumped again to more than 55K accidents. In fact, 2016 was the deadliest year on record for traffic crashes in Los Angeles. Overall, fatalities have risen more than 26% since 2014.

If you are a pedestrian in Los Angeles, it is important to understand that streets and intersections here are designed to favor cars. Vision Zero may say that it is working to make the streets safer for you, but the statistics tell us that Vision Zero is not something we can rely on. Personal safety as a pedestrian is your responsibility. Do your best to be vigilant, cautious, and avoid walking through high traffic areas. That is the best way to stay safe.

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