Time for action! Denver Vision Zero Action Plan 2.0

Traffic Safety Pulse News

What Is Vision Zero?
Vision Zero is an international movement to reduce traffic deaths to zero. Vision Zero prioritizes human life and seeks to counter the prevailing sentiment that traffic crashes are inevitable “accidents” with the assertion that crashes have predictable and preventable causes. Successful Vision Zero programs recognize that there is a virtuous circle in traffic safety in which increasing numbers of people walking and biking make these activities inherently safer. Likewise, reducing the number of trips made by motorized vehicles creates a more hospitable and safer environment for everyone traveling in the city.

Vision Zero Action plan logo

In recent years, Vision Zero practitioners have focused on a “Safe System” approach. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides an explanation of the Safe System approach: “The Safe System approach is founded on the principles that humans make mistakes. In a Safe System, those mistakes should never lead to death. Applying the Safe System approach involves anticipating human mistakes by designing and managing road infrastructure to keep the risk of a mistake low; and when a mistake leads to a crash, the impact on the human body doesn’t result in a fatality or serious injury.” A Safe System approach makes safety the highest priority of any street investment, incorporating safe street design, safe roadway users and vehicles, safe speeds, and post-crash care to eliminate traffic-related deaths. Decades of planning our streets to cater to the efficient and rapid movement of cars, trucks and other motorized vehicles has had a negative impact on the ability to travel safely through our city. This is confirmed by recent crash data, which shows that of the 554 reported traffic-related deaths over the past nine years (2013-2022), 548 involved someone driving a motorized vehicle (99%). While there are many reasons why a crash on a Denver street may result in death, the consistent thread throughout the vast majority of these fatalities is the involvement of someone operating a motorized vehicle.

Vision Zero 2.0
At the heart of Vision Zero is the principle that traffic deaths and serious injuries are unacceptable and, most importantly, preventable. While the 2017 Vision Zero Action Plan set a critical foundation for Vision Zero in Denver, our revised action plan consolidates, focuses and refines actions directly related to reducing traffic deaths and serious injuries, with the goal of zero traffic-related deaths by 2030. The time frame for this action plan is six years, 2023 through 2028. To facilitate bold, decisive action toward reducing traffic-related deaths and serious injuries, every Vision Zero action item within our action plan is directly linked to reducing deaths on our streets. To access the new Vision Zero Action Plan, click here.