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Lack of Traffic Safety Enforcement Blamed for Vision Zero Failures

Education, engineering, and enforcement are the three "e's" of Vision Zero in San Francisco. A lack of on of those "e's"—enforcement—might explain why more people are dying on the city's streets this year that any year since the city adopted Vision Z
September 2, 2019, 9am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Bike and Bus Lane

San Francisco is five years into a ten-year Vision Zero goal, according to an article by Heather Knight, but traffic fatalities are rising on the city's streets. So far in 2019, "22 people have lost their lives on the city’s streets. That’s one less than died in all of 2018 and two more than died in all of 2017." That total includes 15 pedestrians. Another five people have died on freeways located in the city.

"[The city is] on pace to surpass the 31 deaths in 2014, the year Vision Zero began," adds Knight.

Looking for answers to the question of why San Francisco is backsliding on traffic safety, Knight identifies a lack of traffic enforcement as a likely culprit.

"New figures obtained by The Chronicle show the San Francisco Police Department is ticketing far fewer drivers for illegal behavior behind the wheel than it did the year Vision Zero was adopted," according to Knight. The neglect of traffic enforcement "could be explained by too many unfilled vacancies in the department’s traffic division and ever-changing leadership of the crucial unit."

The article includes more information about the lack of traffic safety enforcement, including data specific to the kinds of tickets written and in which neighborhoods.

Full Story:
Published on Friday, August 30, 2019 in The San Francisco Chronicle
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