Vision Zero provides a framework for reducing and eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries for motorists, as well as vulnerable bicyclists and pedestrians, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all.
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA (August 14, 2018) –
At a press conference at City Hall on Tuesday, August 14, 2018, West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio announced the adoption of Vision Zero: Safe Streets for West Palm Beach. An internationally recognized program created in Sweden and adopted by 34 U.S. cities, Vision Zero provides a framework for reducing and eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries for motorists, as well as vulnerable bicyclists and pedestrians, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. Vision Zero seeks to accomplish this through the “three E’s”:
- Engineering better streets;
- Education about road safety for residents and visitors;
- Enhanced enforcement of laws.
Key elements of the Vision Zero system include:
- Reframing traffic fatalities as preventable;
- Focusing on system failure;
- Reducing the impact of collisions;
- Adopting a ‘safe system’ approach for vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians;
- Data-driven decision making;
- And, viewing road safety as a social equity issue.
Vision Zero takes a “Safe System” approach to road safety—a holistic view that requires people to think about the road system in its entirety. Design guidelines, infrastructure projects, public participation, policy and vehicle regulations –all can play a role in reducing the numbers of injuries and deaths on our roads.
The rollout of Vision Zero by the City follows the unanimous approval of a Vision Zero resolution by the West Palm Beach City Commission on Monday, August 13. Vision Zero is a strategy recommended by the City’s recent Mobility Study. Vision Zero and its polices have been proven in other cities to reduce injuries and deaths from preventable traffic crashes.
“Vision Zero – West Palm Beach will create a road map for action as well as tools for measuring and recording progress through our collaborative effort with internal and external community stakeholders,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio. “Our goal is to create a road system that will result in zero fatalities and serious injuries. A loss of even one life is one too many. No fatality or serious injury on our roads is acceptable.”
In making the announcement, Mayor Muoio was joined by State Attorney David Aronberg, City Commission President Paula Ryan, City Commissioner Keith James, car crash survivors, members of the West Palm Beach Police and Fire Departments, and representatives from local agencies and groups that have partnered with the City on this effort including the Health Care District of Palm Beach County, the School District of Palm Beach County, St. Mary’s Medical Center, the Florida Department of Transportation, the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency, the Florida Highway Patrol, Safety Council of Palm Beach County, A Treasure Coast Driving School, among others.
“Statistics tell only so much. Behind each statistic, there is a someone whose life and their families’ lives were destroyed, because of someone who was reckless,” said State Attorney Dave Aronberg who applauded the City’s adoption of Vision Zero. “We’re going to keep West Palm Beach as safe as it can possibly be, and, now, with the adoption of Vision Zero, we’re going to take that an additional step further.”
At the press conference, Mayor Muoio introduced Tara Applebaum, a noted road safety advocate with 15-years of experience, as the new City of West Palm Beach Vision Zero Coordinator. Ms. Applebaum will be tasked with developing and implementing the City’s Vision Zero strategy.
“Using data we are identifying our greatest opportunities for change, and we will implement better designs and regulations to make our streets safer,” said Ms. Applebaum. “Along with the West Palm Beach Police Department, we are targeting the highest crash areas contributing to serious and fatal injuries. Road saturations will follow community outreach and awareness campaigns, and our street safety education plan will support safe walking, biking, and driving and will include creative programs in schools throughout the community.”
According to the Florida Department of Health, pedestrians and bicyclists are the most vulnerable road users and account for more than half of Florida’s traffic deaths. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, the national average of pedestrians killed has increased by more than 22% since 2014.
PHOTO CAPTION: Mayor Jeri Muoio with State Attorney Dave Aronberg, Commission President Paula Ryan, Commissioner Keith James, Vision Zero Coordinator Tara Applebaum, and City of West Palm Beach road safety community partners.