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The State of Florida Set a Zero Traffic Fatality Target

Florida set a goal in to eventually eliminate traffic fatalities on state roads and highways as part of its 2018 Highway Safety Plan. Neither a timeline nor the words vision zero were included.
January 2, 2019, 1pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Digging into the most recent highway safety plan for the state of Florida reveals a perhaps surprising policy change.

"Florida (25.6% Latino) has become the first U.S. state to adopt a goal of zero traffic and pedestrian deaths each year," according to Amanda Merck.

That history-making policy direction is one of six safety performance measures included in the 2018 Highway Safety Plan [pdf], crafted to meet requirements set by the Federal Highway Administration's Highway Safety Improvement Program. The state stopped short of using the words "Vision Zero," but as Merck notes, the document is a big step forward from the 2017 safety plan, "where safety targets were not nearly as strict."

The 2018 Highway Safety Plan also notes that traffic fatalities have been rising in the state since 2015, despite "sharing" the national "Toward Zero Deaths" initiative and formally adopted a state version, titled "Driving Down Fatalities," in 2012 (page 3). The state and its cities have traditionally performed very poorly in traffic safety, most notably for pedestrians, so it will be interesting to monitor Florida's report on its 2018 safety plan, which the state must provide to the federal government later this year.

The bulk of Merck's post is devoted to explaining how planning and funding of state highway safety improvements work at the bureaucratic level. This safety plan explainer post is part of a three part series on transportation safety in the state of Florida. Earlier entries in the series covered complete streets and public transportation.

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Published on Friday, December 7, 2018 in Salud America!
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