Supervisor Hilda Solis
Traffic-related deaths are the fifth leading cause of premature death in Los Angeles County. In an effort to create safe streets and promote active lifestyles, the Board of Supervisors voted today to approve a motion by Chair Hilda L. Solis to implement a “Vision Zero Initiative” that would identify potential strategies to help eliminate traffic-related fatalities.
“I’ve heard from constituents across my district who are concerned about speeding in their neighborhood or whether it’s safe for their kids to walk to school. My priority is to make sure that our streets are designed to be safe for users of all ages, whether walking, running, playing or driving,” said Chair Solis. “Through the Vision Zero Initiative, our seniors, children, and families will have the opportunity to live in a well-rounded, safe, and healthy environment.”
The “Vision Zero Initiative” aims to introduce environmentally-friendly alternatives to driving and support the wellness of communities. Aside from safe roads, the initiative focuses on facilitating pedestrian activity, bicycling, use of public transit and outdoor physical activity, especially for the growing elderly population and children.
Resident of Walnut Park, Jashin Liberto, added “I have a young nephew who plays outside all the time, but with cars speeding by I’m scared he might get hurt one day. I would like to see a safer neighborhood and a better environment for all of our residents. This initiative would be a great step forward.”
The motion directs the Department of Public Health, Department of Public Works and Health Services, Sheriff and Fire Chief to analyze traffic collisions for unincorporated County areas. Departments are to report back to the Board within 120 days on potential strategies and actions to implement the “Vision Zero” approach. The initiative also aims to implement a holistic approach to create safer streets through education, engineering, and enforcement strategies.
“Our streets are one of our greatest public assets. It is paramount to address roadway safety if we are to encourage people to increase their level of physical activity and live a healthy lifestyle,” said Cynthia Harding, MPH, Interim Public Health Director. “We need to work together with County partners and community members to implement interventions that will effectively address our most pressing safety issues.”
“Public Works is committed to improving safety and supporting the wellness of our residents and the communities we serve,” said Director of Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, Gail Farber. “The County’s Vision Zero initiative will make safety the highest priority of our streets.”
More than a dozen cities and counties around the Country have decided to take part in the Vision Zero Initiative and create their own goals to end traffic-related fatalities. Drivers play an important role in road safety as well. Traffic-related deaths are the leading cause of premature death among 5 to 14 year olds. As the days get shorter and evening visibility decreases, it is important to take extra precautionary measures while driving to ensure the safety of everyone on the street.