The Vision Zero Act
The Need for Safer Communities
· Being struck by a motor vehicle is the leading cause of injury-related death for children under 14
· Being struck by a motor vehicle is second leading cause of injury-related death for seniors
· A person hit by a car while crossing the street has a 5% chance of death if the car is going 20 mph. If the car is going 40 mph, chance of death is 70%
· Lower-income neighborhoods have much higher pedestrian fatality rates than higher-income areas
· Fatalities on our roadways have declined overall, but the number of pedestrians killed annually rose 16% from 2009 to 2014
Vision Zero is the goal of eliminating all transportation-related fatalities. This includes pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, and motorists and passengers. Cities across the country are embracing Vision Zero—a multifaceted approach to improve transportation safety across all modes, with the goal of zero fatalities within ten years. Communities can improve transportation safety through public health, law enforcement, infrastructure improvements, education, and communication—Vision Zero means all of these things.
Implementation of a Vision Zero plan requires coordination and participation from many parts of local governments and community organizations. Vision Zero action plans from New York to Chicago to San Francisco are already making streets safer just a year or two into implementation, and more communities, large and small, should follow suit.
The Vision Zero Act
The legislation creates two grant programs within the Department of Transportation to award money to communities to develop and implement Vision Zero plans. $5 million a year is set aside for planning grants to help communities draft a Vision Zero plan, required for application for implementation funding. $25 million a year will be awarded to five communities for implementation of a written and officially adopted Vision Zero plan. 25% of the annual funding must be awarded to eligible entities with a population of 200,000 people or fewer.
Vision Zero plans must include: descriptions of projects, policies, and data-driven evaluation methods of the plan, demonstration of broad community support, government coordination, and consideration of lower income communities and communities of color with respect to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Passage of the Vision Zero Act helps communities of all sizes develop and implement innovative, effective methods to make our cities and towns safer for everyone.
Supported by AAA, Alliance for Biking and Walking, America Walks, American Planning Association (APA), American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA), City of Portland, Complete Streets Coalition, League of American Bicyclists, National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), National Association of Realtors, PeopleForBikes, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, Transportation for America, Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA).