Opinion: Connecticut Vision Zero Bill A Step in the Right Direction

The proposed legislation could energize efforts to eliminate fatal crashes and fix the structural flaws that make roads inherently more dangerous.

2 minute read

February 3, 2023, 5:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Crosswalk with pedestrians in front of four-story red brick buildings in New Haven, Connecticut

James Andrews1 / New Haven, Connecticut

A bill making its way through the Connecticut state legislature would codify the state’s commitment to Vision Zero and require municipalities to actively plan for safer and more accessible roads for all users. In an op-ed published on CT News Junkie, Kerri Ana Provost argues in favor of the bill, pointing out that “One month into 2023, 42 collisions resulting in 43 pedestrian deaths during 2022 were entered into the [Connecticut Crash Data Repository] database.” 

Provost parses the data to understand the nature of the crashes, revealing that pedestrian distraction did not factor into any of the fatal crashes in 2022. “Looking back at 2021, only two of the 58 victims were noted as being distracted, and the nature of it was described as being outside of a vehicle, not on a phone.”

Among other initiatives, the bill would require cities to create Complete Streets or Comprehensive Safety plans and allow automated traffic enforcement, which is shown to reduce serious crashes. Provost urges legislators to support the bill and its promise for systemic change, noting that making streets safe for all is about much more than just telling pedestrians to be more careful. “Instead of shunning victims of traffic violence for a split-second poor decision they may have made, we should look at how our system sets us up for failure.”

Traffic safety advocates around the country are making similar calls for reorienting road safety efforts toward addressing infrastructure and design issues rather than focusing singularly on pedestrian and driver awareness and education.

Monday, January 30, 2023 in CT News Junkie

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