Lisa Riegel, executive director of BikeWalk NC, joined the North Carolina Vision Zero Taskforce.
In 2014, the North Carolina Strategic Highway Safety Plan adopted the NC Vision Zero
Vision Zero is a proven, data-driven approach to reducing transportation-related injuries and saving lives. Vision Zero’s goal is to work toward the only acceptable number of traffic deaths and serious injuries: zero.
Vision Zero works to protect all road users, including bicyclists and pedestrians. Between 2010 and 2014, bicyclists and pedestrians represented 14 to 17 percent of all traffic fatalities in North Carolina (NHTSA, 2014 FARS report). However, the most recent household travel survey (2009 ACS) shows that only about 2 percent of North Carolina work-commute trips are made by walking or cycling. All road users would be safer as a result of focusing on the most vulnerable road users.
Vision Zero also seeks to prevent overrepresented fatality types. Bicyclists and pedestrians, and minorities and youth in particular, are overrepresented among road fatalities. Approximately 40 percent of pedestrians hit or killed in North Carolina between 2008 and 2012 were African-American. The 2010 U.S. Census reports that 21.5 percent of North Carolinians are African-American. Eliminating fatalities in these overrepresented groups would have a dramatic impact on all roadway fatality rates and would better ensure safe travel for all citizens, regardless of race, age or income.
BikeWalk NC hopes that the task force will further Vision Zero’s goals by making important recommendations and implementing them in North Carolina to reduce (eliminate) bicycling and pedestrian crashes.
The task force members represent the five E’s central to the initiative: Engineering, Education, Enforcement, Emergency Response and Everyone. Members include representatives from the North Carolina Highway Patrol, NCDOT, health profession, NC Governor’s Highway Safety Program, Drivers Education, Students Against Destructive Decisions, and more. What the members have in common is that they all recognize that every life matters and are committed to work toward the goal of no fatalities.