The National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR) and the Vision Zero Network launched an interactive map that showcases the over 59,000 speeding fatalities that occurred in the United States between 2010 and 2015.
The fatalities are mapped to the city and state that each incident occurred. By zooming in and out with your mouse, viewers have the opportunity to look all the way down to the actual street where someone’s life was taken due to an excessive speed-related collision.
The map, which features data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), was designed as a key component of NCSR’s and VisionZero Network’s efforts to highlight the dangers of speed fatalities during the International World Day of Remembrance. International World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, November 20th, recognizes the more than 1.25 million lives lost worldwide in traffic crashes last year.
The Path to Safer Streets
Speed is a factor in nearly one-third of all traffic deaths in the United States. From 2010 to 2015, 59,374 American lives were lost in crashes related to excessive speed. To reach Vision Zero’s goal of eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries, we must prioritize safety over speed to ensure that every one of us can move about our communities safely.
Traffic crashes are one of the leading causes of preventable death in the U.S. and globally. In 2015,1.25 million people died around the world in traffic violence. In the U.S. last year, 35,092 people died in traffic crashes, an increase of 7.2% over the prior year. This was the greatest percentage increase in traffic violence in this nation since the 1960s.
To stop these deaths, communities must prioritize speed management in their suite of policy and design efforts to save lives. Many communities are taking action to recalibrate speeds to safer levels, particularly in dense, multi-modal areas.
Communities CAN choose safety. The chances of a person walking surviving a collision with an automobile decrease sharply as speeds approach and exceed 30 mph. For that reason, cities are pursuing physical, legal, and cultural strategies to reduce maximums to 25 mph or less in areas where people on foot and on bikes frequently share space with cars.
The effective strategies at the local level fall into three categories:
(1) Designing and retrofitting roadways to encourage safe behavior and prioritize the preservation of human life. Changing the way streets work isn’t easy, but it’s by far the most effective way to improve safety and the intuitive usability of the street. Political leadership, community support, and design know-how are all essential to reshaping the built environment to be more forgiving, easy to navigate, and safe for all.
(2) Lowering speed limits to levels where the consequence of crashes is less likely to be fatal. The State of Massachusetts & Seattle and other jurisdictions across the country have recently passed resolutions enabling lower speed limits where appropriate.
(3) Using equitably implemented automated safety camera technology to discourage dangerous speeds. Washington DC, NYC and Chicago and other cities all have promising records of saving lives with safety cameras, or automated speed enforcement.
Communities Rally on World Day of Remembrance, November 20th; Victims, Mayors, Police Commit to Vision Zero to Eliminate Traffic Deaths
San Francisco, CA – As the number of people dying in traffic crashes on American roadways has hit a tragic 50-year high, the call to manage speeds to save lives is stepped up today with the release of an interactive nationalSpeed Fatality Map. Released by the Vision Zero Network and the National Coalition for Safer Roads, the map brings light to the thousands of speed-related deaths that could be prevented each year and strategies to save lives.
The debut of the interactive map coincides with the lead-up to the International World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on Sunday, November 20th, which recognizes more than 1.2 million lives lost worldwide in traffic crashes last year. Here in the U.S., traffic crashes are one of the top causes of preventable death, with 35,092 people losing their lives in 2015 — an average of 100 people a day. Nearly one-third of those deaths involved excessive speeds, which can be prevented.
This Sunday, victims and those who lost loved ones to traffic violence are being joined by Mayors, Chiefs of Police and other community leaders in cities across the nation to urge action. Rallies, marches, and memorials will honor those lost and lay out strategies to save lives. These communities are part of a growing movement in the U.S. to reach Vision Zero — the goal of zero traffic deaths and severe injuries. More than 20 U.S. cities have made official local Vision Zero commitments, and the U.S. Department of Transportation recently laid out its plan to eliminate traffic fatalities nationwide in its Road to Zero effort.
“We already know how to save lives by prioritizing safety over speed,” said Leah Shahum, Director of the Vision Zero Network, a nonprofit effort aimed at advancing Vision Zero nationwide. “Mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters who have lost their loved ones are stepping up to say ‘Enough is enough!’ and to demand that policymakers take action to prevent further tragedies by acting to control dangerously high speeds.”
Vision Zero calls for prioritizing safety over speed by (1) designing “Complete Streets” to ensure people can move safely, whether walking, bicycling, driving, or riding transit; (2) setting speed limits at safe, appropriate levels; and (3) using proven technologies, such as safety cameras, to encourage appropriate speeds.
The new, interactive national Speed Fatality Map highlights the 59,374 speed-related fatalities that occurred in the US between 2010-2015. Through its search function, the map allows viewers to find out how many speed fatalities occurred in a particular city, all the way down to the actual location.
“The ultimate goal is to honor lives lost and illustrate the dangers of speeding,” said Melissa Wandall, President of the National Coalition for Safer Roads, who lost her husband to a red light runner in 2003 in Bradenton, Florida while she was 9 months pregnant with their first child. “I know firsthand no one is immune to road tragedy. These dots represent a life cut too short, family and friends left too soon, and the harsh reality that speeding can affect anyone on the roadways if more actions are not taken to prevent this reckless behavior. From New York to New Mexico and Seattle to Charlotte, speed related collisions are an epidemic.”
Both the emotional and financial costs of an average of 100 people dying each day in the U.S. in traffic crashes are not only heartbreaking, but a public health crisis with serious financial impacts. The National Safety Council estimates the costs involved in motor-vehicle deaths, injuries and property damage—including “wage and productivity losses, medical expenses, administrative expenses, employer costs and property damage”—cost an estimated $412.1 billion in 2015.
Communities Use Creativity & Community to Honor the Loss of Life, Inspire Action
Locally-led World Day of Remembrance events across the nation will be tied together using the #WDR2016, #CrashNotAccident, and #SpeedKills social media hashtags, as well as yellow flowers and other shared symbols to recognize the precious loss of life. Planned activities include diverse and creative ways to engage community members in reaching Vision Zero, including:
In Los Angeles, (which ranks highest in traffic deaths over the past five years and has adopted a Vision Zero goal to eliminate traffic fatalities by 2025), advocates and City leaders are organizing a Day of Remembrance Road Concert, inviting people to share works of art — including installations, spontaneous readings and music — in unexpected public spaces to reflect on solutions to problems such as texting and driving and how transportation systems reflect the nation’s race and class inequities.
In San Antonio, (a Vision Zero city that ranks fifth in traffic fatalities nationally), families of victims will participate in a vigil and memorial walk, ending in the unveiling of a new memorial sculpture where people will share personal momentoes remembering lost loved ones.
In Boston, another Vision Zero City that recently lowered its default speed limit from 30 to 25 miles per hour, community members will rally on the steps of the Massachusetts State House after a memorial bike ride, walk and vigil.
North Carolina has committed to Vision Zero and will commemorate World Day of Remembrance with an art exhibit displaying pairs of shoes for each life lost in traffic crashes in the state.
Further World Day of Remembrance events are planned in NYC; Seattle; Portland, OR; San Francisco; Austin; Fort Lauderdale and Jacksonville, FL and other cities. Follow activities at #WDR2016.
To speak with Melissa Wandall, President of National Coalition for Safer Roads, contact Melissa@MelissaWandall.com Tel. 941-545-3359
About Vision Zero Network
The Vision Zero Network is a collaborative campaign advancing Vision Zero across the country: the goal of zero traffic fatalities and severe injuries among all road users. The Network brings together leaders in health, traffic engineering, police enforcement, policy, advocacy, and the private sector to develop and share winning strategies to make Vision Zero a reality. More than 20 U.S. cities have committed to Vision Zero goals in just the past 2.5 years. Learn more at http://www.visionzeronetwork.org.
About National Coalition for Safer Roads
The National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR) helps save lives and protect communities by demonstrating how red-light, speed and school bus stop arm safety cameras can improve driver behavior. NCSR brings together policymakers, community leaders and concerned citizens in support of these life-saving technologies, advocating for their use in communities across the country. Learn more at ncsrsafety.org.
The National Safety Council has recognized NCSR President, Melissa Wandall as a Distinguished Service to Safety Award winner and has been given a Crystal Award. The Distinguished Service to Safety Award recognizes outstanding service and contributions to the field of safety, and it is the most prestigious award given to individuals by the National Safety Council.
NCSR President, Melissa Wandall has been nominated for a 2016 Excellence in Advocacy Award by The Women in Advocacy. This awards program recognizes hard working advocates and helps to elevate the visibility of the causes, issues and organizations they represent. The category Melissa Wandall was nominated for is an Excellence in a State Issue Campaign. This is an effort wherein the advocate(s) successfully impacted the outcome of a state or local legislative or regulatory problem or opportunity on behalf of their cause, issue, client, organization or coalition.
A book dedicated to teaching others about the dangers of red-light running features NCSR’s President, Melissa Wandall’s red-light running story.
Published by Arizona’s Red Means Stop Traffic Safety Alliance and titled,Carelessness Is No Accident is dedicated to all innocent victims of red-light running related traffic crashes. The writers tell their own account of how a driver ran a red light and left their families broken forever. They share their personal story with the hopes of preventing similar tragedies from occurring, and to remind elected officials of their responsibility to safeguard our streets every day.
“Red-light running is a negligent and arrogant act that can take our most precious loved ones in less than a second. Our laws are flawed and people are not held accountable,” Melissa writes. “The motorist that caused the crash that took Mark’s life got a $500.00 fine, community service and had their points adjudicated after completing a driver’s improvement course for the fourth time.”
Through her advocacy and outreach Melissa has worked over the years to educate the public about the dangers of red-light running. By her determination, the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act, named in memory of her husband, was passed in 2010 enabling the use of red-light safety cameras at Florida intersections to help change driver behavior and combat red-light running. Since then, she has become the President of NCSR and a dynamic traffic safety advocate committed to changing highway safety.
“I am honored to be able to share my story in this book and hope it will provide relief to those who have experienced a loss. Most of all I hope it will help prevent another Mark Wandall story by reminding drivers how important it is to obey the law and stop on red,” said NCSR President, Melissa Wandall.”
Under the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act, more than $10 million has been directed to the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis for vital research into therapies that could one day provide a cure for paralysis. Additionally, revenue from red-light safety camera violations has provided nearly $30 million to 22 Level One trauma centers throughout Florida to treat individuals injured in traffic-related and other emergencies.
The National Coalition for Safer Roads helps save lives and protects communities by demonstrating how red-light safety cameras can improve driver behavior. NCSR brings together policymakers, community leaders and concerned citizens in support of red-light safety cameras, advocating for their use in cities and communities across the country. The National Coalition for Safer Roads is a 501 (c)(6) industry trade association. To learn more, please visit www.NCSRsafety.org, follow @SaferRoadsUSA on Twitter and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SaferRoadsUSA.
In 2009 more than 214 Washingtonians lost their lives in speed and red-light running related collisions – more than half of those fatalities occurred at an intersection. Thanks to red-light safety cameras, driver behavior is now improving in the state of Washington.