Vision Zero is an initiative that aims to reduce Washington DC traffic fatalities to zero by 2024. The initiative is a part of the US Department of Transportation’s Mayor’s Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets. The program is in response to the harrowing number of Washington DC traffic injuries and deaths. Vision Zero’s comprehensive plan includes:
- Improving pedestrian and bicycling safety by promoting practical actions;
- Encouraging local leaders to take safety actions;
- Developing partnerships to enhance traffic safety; and
- Initiative leaders believe that data, enforcement, education, and engineering will allow the District to meet its lofty goals.
The program’s action plan focuses on negating the idea that deaths and serious injuries are inevitable. Instead, the program explains that deaths and serious injuries are preventable when certain safety precautions are implemented. From the implementation of the program, Washington, D.C. has installed 17 HAWK signals. HAWK signals are traffic devices that stop traffic from allowing pedestrians to cross intersections safely. Further, the District has installed more than five miles of bike lanes and filled over 120 sidewalk gaps.
While the initiative promotes critical changes to improve the safety of all District residents and visitors, D.C auditors are investigating whether the program is on the right track. The D.C. Auditor’s office is in the process of a 10-month long investigation into whether the program is meeting its’ goals. The investigation follows the finding that Washington DC hit a record number of traffic deaths last year despite the significant reduction in traffic.
How Many Traffic-Related Deaths Are There in Washington D.C.?
According to the most recently available data, there were 37 traffic-related fatalities in 2020. Aside from in 2019, there has been an increase in traffic deaths ever since the D.C. Mayor implemented the program in 2015. Thus, while Vision Zero has good intentions, it appears that the initiative has not reduced the number of fatal traffic accidents in the District of Columbia.
Safety officials and advocates contend that the Department of Transportation is not implementing enough changes to create systemic change and safer streets. The resurgence of concern follows the traffic deaths of several people, including young children, in the past few months. One such incident occurred on the International Walk to School Day. According to reports, a father was in a crosswalk while walking his two young daughters to school when a Jeep slammed into them. The pedestrians had the right of way when the Jeep driver made a left turn into the intersection. The driver faces several charges, including driving without a permit.
Have You Been Injured in a Washington, D.C. Motor Vehicle Accident?
If you or someone you love has been hurt because of the negligence of another, contact the Washington, D.C. car accident lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen. The attorneys at our firm have extensive experience successfully handling even the most complex and challenging personal injury cases. The firm represents Washington, D.C. injury victims in claims involving boating accidents, burn injuries, car accidents, dog bites, injuries to children, insurance disputes, medical malpractice, motorcycle accidents, nursing home abuse, products liability, and wrongful death. We have recovered significant sums of compensation on behalf of our clients. Contact our office at 800-654-1949 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney on our team. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for our representation unless we can recover compensation on your behalf.