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Transformative Policies to End Traffic Deaths

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Vision Zero Action Strategy

In 2014, San Francisco adopted an ambitious goal called Vision Zero, committing to end all traffic deaths in our city. With this goal comes a simple philosophy: traffic deaths aren’t just unacceptable, they are preventable. Ending traffic deaths may seem like a lofty goal, but it’s the right one. Every family’s traffic death goal is zero. Why should our city’s be any different?

With the leadership of Mayor London Breed and the Board of Supervisors, the city is releasing its 2019 Vision Zero Action Strategy, outlining the initiatives and actions the city will take to advance the goal of eliminating traffic fatalities. Mayor Breed shares that “while we have reached an all-time low in traffic deaths over the past two years, even one loss of life on our roads is still one too many. Through this Action Strategy, San Francisco is not only recommitting itself to our Vision Zero goal, we are also stating that to get to zero traffic deaths, more work is needed.”

Mayor Breed at roll to school day

This is the third action strategy the city has released in support of Vision Zero and it responds to the Mayor’s call, presenting an expanded approach to a typical action strategy. While previous strategies outlined the various actions city agencies should take to build better streets, educate the public and enforce the rules of the road, this strategy goes a step farther.

Our city leadership has challenged us to be clear about the policies and programs that are fundamental to getting to zero. By identifying four transformative policies San Francisco needs to end traffic deaths, this action strategy acknowledges that we must do more in order to reach Vision Zero.

Building on Past Work

Since 2014, San Francisco has implemented more than 230 miles of safety improvements, initiated more than a dozen public awareness campaigns, and issued almost 175,000 citations for the most dangerous traffic violations. And that work has made our city’s streets safer, but it’s not enough.

In 2014, 30 people were killed in traffic crashes. By 2017, San Francisco reached the lowest traffic fatality count in its recorded history: 20. And last year was the second least deadly year on record with 23 fatalities.

Advocating for Smart and Proven Policies

Four Vision Zero Policies

Getting to zero requires doing more and being focused on giving planners and engineers tools to reduce collisions. Taking a different approach from previous strategies, the 2019 Vision Zero Action Strategy identifies four policy areas that the State of California should advance to help cities, like San Francisco, make traffic deaths a thing of the past.

This transformative policy agenda reiterates four key legislative needs from Sacramento – automated enforcement, urban speed limit setting, pricing and reducing vehicle miles traveled, and local regulation authority for transportation network companies. These policies are evidenced-based to reduce the number of severe injuries and fatalities on San Francisco streets.

Yee crash not accident

“I am redoubling my emphasis on advancing automated speed enforcement in Sacramento, and I am looking for ways to reduce speed limits across the city," said President of the Board Norman Yee. "I have been a victim of a traffic collision, the doctors told me I was lucky to be alive and no family should have to go through what my family did.”

Through the actions outlined in this strategy and the policy agenda San Francisco leadership is championing, our city reaffirms its commitment to doing more to reach the ultimate goal of Vision Zero.