We know traffic in L.A. can feel pretty painful—but according to a new study out today, it’s also deadly. The deadliest in the United States, in fact, with 260 traffic related fatalities in 2016. To change that, the Vision Zero Los Angeles project is launching a campaign to reduce those fatalities down to zero by 2025.
The Vision Zero Initiative originally launched in Sweden in 1994 and has been picked up by cities around the world. The idea of Vision Zero is to take a multi-disciplinary approach that combines traffic law enforcement, community education projects, investing in road and infrastructure design that is oriented toward safety and encouraging people to use other modes of transportation besides driving cars. Vision Zero Los Angeles is hoping we can adopt some of those changes here.
"Car crashes are one of the leading causes of death for our children, teens and young adults here in L.A.,” Mike Bonin, chair of the city council’s transportation committee, said in at an announcement of L.A.’s Vision Zero action plan, according to Patch.
There have already been a few successes, like switching the crosswalk at Hollywood and Highland—once the site of lots of incidents with cars and pedestrians—to a ‘scramble crossing.’ Since redesigning that intersection, there has not been a single death or serious injury reported. The action plan looks for ways to build on changes like that across the city.
Another key component of the plan is to step up enforcement of existing speed limits. According to the plan, a pedestrian hit by a car going 20 miles per hour has an 80 percent chance of surviving, but a pedestrian hit by a car going 40 miles per hour only has a 10 percent chance. LAPD and the Department of Transportation will be teaming up to try to keep everyone safe.
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