AT the first BC Vision Zero Summit on Friday, the City of Surrey launched the Vision Zero Surrey Safe Mobility Plan. Through data analytics and best practices, the Vision Zero Surrey Safe Mobility Plan sets the City on a path to zero fatalities and serious injuries. Working in close collaboration with the City’s partners, Surrey will take equitable, data-driven and evidence-based actions to ensure that city resources are spent where they will have the greatest impact on creating safer streets.
“Each time there is a crash that results in death or serious injury, it’s a tragedy,” said Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. “We call these traffic accidents but, in reality there are reasons behind every collision, and we need to address the conditions and behaviors that lead to these heartbreaking losses.”
The Plan sets an achievable and measurable goal to demonstrate progress over the next five year — to reverse the trend of rising injuries and deaths on Surrey’s roads and achieve a minimum 15% reduction in the rate of killed and seriously injured.
Vision Zero is a multi-national road safety philosophy that rejects the notion that traffic crashes are inevitable, but instead believes they are preventable incidents that can and must be systematically addressed. Its Safe Systems approach emphasizes smarter street designs – forgiving streets that account for human error. Together with targeted education and focused enforcement to promote a culture of safety, its efforts will save lives.
“We have to think big and work hard to prioritize the safety of our most vulnerable road users, address risks at our high collision intersections and combat aggressive driving behaviours,” said Jaime Boan, Manager of Transportation, City of Surrey. “Safety must be the top priority on our streets.”
Each year, 20 people on average lose their lives as a result of traffic collisions on Surrey streets. Another 12,000 people are injured. Far more than statistics, these numbers represent lives that are upended taking a devastating toll on the people involved, their families and our communities.
A detailed implementation plan is being developed as a matter of priority. To make Surrey streets safer for all, the Vision Zero Surrey Safe Mobility Plan highlights the following actions:
- Leverage advanced data and analytics to help us better understand, anticipate and take action to avoid common collision scenarios
- Target the city’s top 50 high collision intersections with road safety infrastructure improvements
- Invest in rapid expansion of safe pedestrian crossings
- Implement separated cycle tracks to protect a growing cyclist community
- Accelerate innovative approaches in the operation and management of traffic signals
- Take measures to slow speeds
- Implement smart mobility initiatives, including connected technologies
- Pilot emerging technologies, like autonomous vehicles, to reduce some of the leading contributors to collisions
“Vision Zero recognizes that the prevention of death and serious injuries on our roads requires far more than improving driver education and enforcement—it acknowledges that many factors contribute to safe mobility such as roadway design, speeds, vehicle design, and policies to encourage and protect people who walk, cycle, or have mobility challenges. Doing so requires a multidisciplinary approach involving diverse stakeholders to tackle this complex problem, such as what’s outlined in the Vision Zero Surrey Safe Mobility Plan. Vision Zero embraces the kind of evidenced-based systems thinking that is the foundation of public health. We commend the City of Surrey for taking leadership on this important issue, and we look forward to continuing our partnership to improve the safety and wellbeing of people in Surrey,” said Shovita Padhi, Medical Health Officer and Medical Director, Fraser Health Authority.
“Vision Zero Surrey embodies the safe systems approaches and principles of the leading road safety jurisdictions worldwide. The City is taking a targeted approach to identifying areas within the community that are over-represented with crashes and in particular, crashes involving fatalities and injuries, especially with vulnerable road users. ICBC fully supports Surrey’s ambitious and pragmatic approach in its Plan, focussing first on locations where the greatest improvements in road safety can be achieved, and they are a role model for other B.C. communities that wish to develop Vision Zero road safety plans of their own,” said Jerome Atherton, Senior Manager, Road Safety Policy & Programs, Insurance Corporation of BC.
“The Surrey RCMP is a proud partner of the Vision Zero Surrey Safe Mobility Plan. Road safety is an extremely important part of public safety in our communities and our Traffic Services team is dedicated to helping drivers, cyclists and pedestrians make safe, smart choices when using our roadways, sidewalks, and crosswalks. While enforcement plays a role in traffic safety, our collective efforts in prevention and education go a lot further in eliminating traffic accidents and fatalities in our city,” said Superintendent Shawn Gill, Community Services Officer, Surrey RCMP
“The Fire Service responds to many collisions each year, we are encouraged the Vision Zero Surrey plan will work towards fewer intersection collisions and safer roadways for all users. Fire Service staff witness the trauma from intersection and roadway collisions on a daily basis. Reducing the impact on roadway users and first responders is an objective which the Vision Zero plan will assist,” said Len Garis, Fire Chief, Surrey Fire Services.
“With more than 70,000 students going to and from schools in a variety of ways, five days a week, road design and safety is a priority for the Surrey School District. The Vision Zero Surrey Safe Mobility Plan is a great initiative to look at the big picture of road safety and it’s a perfect complement to the Safe and Active Schools Program the District and City promote in our schools,” said Laurie Larsen, Chairwoman, Surrey Board of Education.
More information can be found here (hyperlink to www.surrey.ca/visionzero).