What is Vision Zero?
According to the Vision Zero Network, Vision Zero is best summarized as an approach to roadway design that seeks to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. It starts with the ethical belief that everyone has the right to move safely in their communities, and that system designers and policy makers share the responsibility to ensure safe systems for travel. It’s a significant departure from the status quo in two major ways:
- Vision Zero recognizes that people will sometimes make mistakes, so the road system and related policies should be designed to ensure those inevitable mistakes do not result in severe injuries or fatalities. This means that system designers and policymakers are expected to improve the roadway environment, policies (such as speed management), and other related systems to lessen the severity of crashes.
- Vision Zero is a multidisciplinary approach, bringing together diverse and necessary stakeholders to address this complex problem. In the past, meaningful, cross-disciplinary collaboration among local traffic planners and engineers, policymakers, and public health professionals has not been the norm. Vision Zero acknowledges that many factors contribute to safe mobility -- including roadway design, speeds, behaviors, technology, and policies -- and sets clear goals to achieve the shared goal of zero fatalities and severe injuries.
- Gather and review information with respect to the development of a Vision Zero Policy, including but not necessarily limited to existing relevant Town by-laws and policies, Vision Zero policies other municipalities have put in place, available guidelines, analysis of best practices in Vision Zero policy development, and the current and projected operating and capital funding levels required to successfully implement the policy,
- Develop a Vision Zero Policy to be proposed for adoption by the Town. The VZSC shall determine the most appropriate form(s) for the policy to take (e.g., by-law and/or administrative policy), and shall identify the recommended bodies, individuals, or entities responsible for approving and carrying out the policy.
- Draw up and submit a proposed work plan and schedule to the Select Board. The work plan and schedule shall indicate the bodies, individuals, or entities responsible for approving the policy, the optimum dates by which the draft policy will be presented to them, and dates by which such approvals will be sought.