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How many people do you think are killed or severely injured in traffic crashes each year?
What do you think is a good goal for your state?
What should the goal be for your family?
Should that be the goal for everyone?
Oregon’s regional Metropolitan Planning Organization, Metro, asked residents these questions at the KidFest! Family Expo in February 2017. See video.
The goals was to frame traffic fatalities as preventable and raise awareness about Vision Zero. Vision Zero is an innovative road safety policy to make streets safer and eliminate traffic fatalities
Skeptics claim that car crashes are an inevitable outcome in our vehicle-dominated society. Vision Zero draws a hard line between crashes and fatalities. Fatalities and serious injuries are not inevitable and should not be an accepted risk every time we get behind the wheel.
Eliminating crashes may be lofty, but eliminating fatalities and serious injuries is absolutely doable. Speed, for example, is one of the primary factors in whether a crash is fatal or not. Reducing speed limits drastically reduces risk of death or serious injury. In fact, a 5% cut in average speed can result in 30% reduction in the number of fatal crashes, according to the World Health Organization. Check out the infographic here.
Most developed countries have speed limits on urban roads of ≤ 50kph (30 mph); however, the U.S. does not. Thus, the U.S. crash death rate is more than twice the average of other high-income countries.
Small differences in speed can make a big difference in safety, which can be seen across the country in cities with lower speed limits.
Spread the word. Talk to community leaders, city planners, and elected officials and ask them to prioritize safety over speed.