U.S. legislators launch Vision Zero Act to prevent transport-related deaths

Posted: 29 October 2019 | | No comments yet

The Vision Zero Act of 2019 allows federal transportation funding to be made available for communities to design and implement programmes that will help drive transport-related deaths down to zero.

The Vision Zero Act looks to improve safety on U.S. roads

U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), founder and co-chair of the Congressional Bike Caucus, has introduced the Vision Zero Act of 2019.

The new legislation allows federal transportation funding to be made available for communities to design and implement Vision Zero programmes. Vision Zero is the goal of eliminating all transportation-related fatalities, including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, motorists and passengers. Cities across the U.S. are implementing interagency Vision Zero Plans connecting engineering, education, and enforcement, to reach the goal of ending transportation deaths.

Residents, activists, and elected officials have come together across 40 urban, rural and suburban communities across America to adopt and implement Vision Zero plans.

The act comes more than a year after the launch of a similar programme in London, led by Sadiq Khan, and is part of a wider industry trend towards ‘zero’, which encompasses zero fatalities, zero emissions and the eradication of other negative transportation traits.

“We cannot accept the failure of rising traffic deaths, especially considering those deaths disproportionately impact low income and vulnerable communities,” said Congressman Blumenauer. “The Vision Zero Act will allow federal funding to aid in reducing preventable traffic fatalities that are devastating communities across the country. Everyone deserves access to safe, equitable transportation options.”

Echoing his comments, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), lead co-sponsor of the legislation and co-chair of the Congressional Bike Caucus, said: “This bill affirms the right of pedestrians, cyclists, and public transit riders to travel safely in community. I am proud to introduce the Vision Zero Act with Congressmen Blumenauer and Buchanan to ensure communities with Vision Zero plans like Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville in my district have the resources they need to eliminate tragic and preventable transportation deaths.”

Across the United States, overall traffic fatalities are down, but a closer look at the numbers reveals that pedestrian fatalities are up 3.4 per cent and cyclist fatalities are up 6.3 per cent.