Several Texas cities are joining the crusade to become a Vision Zero city. The initiative falls on the heels of Dallas being named the second-worst city for traffic fatalities.
Dangerous driving in Dallas
Pedestrians, cyclists and drivers are always at risk on Dallas’s roads. The city has, annually, 14 traffic deaths per 100,000 residents. When compared to the national average, an individual is almost 50% more likely to be in a car crash here than any other part of the country.
Over 42% of fatal car accidents in the city involve a drunk driver. Unfortunately, blaming the people behind the wheel disregards what makes Dallas streets and highways dangerous. It’s not only bad driving: It’s poor transportation policy.
The U.S. strives to elevate transportation infrastructure. Its policies should improve public safety and health, enforce protocols that keep the infrastructure in good repair, and maintain reliability, efficiency and capacity. Unfortunately, that optimism doesn’t translate to reality. Congestion in sprawling cities, long commutes, micromobility and microtransit are all in disarray in many parts of the country.
Vision Zero has become a commitment for Dallas, Austin, Houston, San Antonio and Laredo. It’s a strategy initiated to eliminate traffic deaths and cut severe injury accidents by 50% by the year 2030.
To make Vision Zero a reality, there has to be a focus on the five Es: engineering, enforcement, education, evaluation and equity. Vision Zero is recognized throughout the country; New York City has seen intermittent success with the strategy. In 2018, the Big Apple recorded the fewest car crash fatalities in its history.
Dallas is installing traffic cameras at its most dangerous intersections. There are also many construction projects designed to improve traffic flow and create less risky roadways. Hopefully, drivers will become more conscientious about their impact alongside the infrastructure strengthening.