Vision Zero: Safe Streets for All
Action Plan Towards Zero
The Town of Christiansburg is embarking on a groundbreaking initiative by developing a Vision Zero Action Plan, driven by the unwavering commitment to prioritize the safety and well-being of its residents and visitors. With the recognition that even one traffic-related fatality or serious injury is one too many, the town has taken a proactive stance to eliminate traffic-related deaths and severe injuries altogether. By implementing data-driven strategies, fostering collaboration among stakeholders, and implementing comprehensive measures, Christiansburg aims to create a community where every journey is safe, and no lives are lost or irreversibly altered due to traffic incidents. The Town Council recently passed a resolution in support of developing a comprehensive action plan funded by the Safe Streets for All Grant.
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What is Safe Streets for All in Christiansburg
Safe Streets for All in Christiansburg is a collaborative initiative to eliminate roadway deaths and severe injuries in our communities. The Town and other community stakeholders will develop an action plan to identify how we can collectively achieve zero fatalities.
Principals of Vision Zero
Ensuring zero deaths and serious injuries is imperative: In order to achieve this, traffic safety solutions must adopt a data-driven approach that has a strict intolerance towards preventing injuries. The objective is to transform the behavior of road users, vehicles, transportation infrastructure, and emergency response operations, aiming to eliminate the occurrence of crashes altogether and minimize their impact when they do occur.
Acknowledging human fallibility: It is inevitable that people will make mistakes which can result in accidents. However, we have the ability to design and operate the road system in a way that accommodates human errors and prevents fatalities and serious injuries.
Recognizing the vulnerability of the human body: Pedestrians and bicyclists are particularly susceptible to harm, and the risk diminishes significantly on streets with lower speeds.
Shared responsibility: While it is ideal for transportation users to comply with traffic regulations, relying solely on this aspiration will not solve the challenge. Decision-makers must prioritize safety in funding and policy choices, engineers and planners should construct communities that prioritize the safety of pedestrians, cyclists, public transit users, and drivers, educators must promote safe behavior in their messages, and first responders need to ensure effective enforcement and medical response.
Proactive safety measures: Instead of reacting after crashes occur, decisions should be made using crash-based analysis and other tools to proactively identify and mitigate latent risks in the road system.
Importance of redundancy: Mitigating risks necessitates strengthening all components of the road system to ensure continued protection even if one element fails. The elements of the Safe System approach include Safe Road Users, Safe Vehicles, Safe Speeds, Safe Roads, and Post-Crash Care.