City of Surrey aims to increase traffic safety with Vision Zero safety plan

City of Surrey aims to increase traffic safety with Vision Zero safety plan

Could you imagine living in a place where no traffic fatalities or even significant injuries ever occurred? That’s a goal the City of Surrey would like to achieve, and it’s just taken the first step by launching the Vision Zero Surrey Safe Mobility Plan last month.

“Each time there is a crash that results in death or serious injury, it’s a tragedy,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “We call these traffic accidents but, in reality there are reasons behind every collision, and we need to address the conditions and behaviours that lead to these heartbreaking losses.”

Working with community and government partners, the city will analyze hard data to decide where best to spend resources to have the greatest impact on making streets safer.

The initial phase calls for a five-year timeline to reverse the trend of rising incidents on public roads and achieve a minimum 15 per cent reduction in the rate of those killed or seriously hurt.

Vision Zero is an international road safety initiative, started in Sweden in 1997 and has since expanded to the United Kingdom, United States and Canada. Jaime Boan, Surrey manager of transportation, believes that lives can be saved via smarter infrastructure design and targeted education and enforcement.

“We have to think big and work hard to prioritize the safety of our most vulnerable road users, address risks at our high collision intersections and combat aggressive driving behaviours,” said Boan. “Safety must be the top priority on our streets.”

Just a few quick local statistics:

• Every hour, one person is injured
• Every day, crashes cost over one million dollars
• Every month, more than one person is killed
• Every year, injury collisions go up three per cent

Some of the actions detailed in the plan include focusing on making changes to the top 50 high collision intersections; investing in rapid expansion of safe pedestrian crossings; implementing bike lanes; and exploring connected technologies and autonomous vehicle use.

Click here to learn more about Vision Zero Surrey.

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