NYC Looks to Sweden for Its Vision Zero Tactics

Every two hours, a vehicle seriously injures or kills a New Yorker. This equates to approximately 4,000 injuries a year and more than 250 deaths resulting from traffic accidents. New York mayor, Bill de Blasio, signed 11 bills supporting the City's take at a "Vision Zero" campaign; a push to reduce the number of accidents to zero or as close as humanly possible. Seemingly being influenced by the Swedish tactics that were first implemented by their Parliament in 1997, here are just a few of the methods New York will use to try and increase safety for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians alike:

  • Create a permanent Vision Zero task force
  • Campaign to give the city power over the placement of red-light cameras
  • Campaign to give the city power over reducing the speed limit to 25mph; down from 30mph
  • Increase enforcement against dangerous moving violations
  • Use LIDAR guns (advanced speed detection equipment)
  • Upgrade crash data technology
  • Better engineer safety features at 50 intersections and corridors
  • Install speed cameras at 20 new locations
  • Pave 250-speed bumps which would include neighborhood slow zones
  • Better street lighting at 1,000 intersections
  • Issue summons to taxi and limousine commission drivers that are identified by traffic cameras

Aside from the tactics mentioned above, it will be interesting to see if New York will follow the Swedish model when it comes to dealing with driving under the influence of alcohol for commercial and government officials. In Sweden, not only is the legal blood-alcohol limit a quarter of what it is here in the United States, but almost every one of its school buses and government officials cars won't start without passing a built-in breathalyzer test.

Only time will tell if these new safety precautions have a substantial effect. What is your take? Which of these methods will be most effective? Which will be least effective? What are your recommendations to reduce the amount of accidents on the road? If these methods have positive effects, it is almost certain that this will have implications for Connecticut roadways; should our local governments be making some of these changes now? Post your thoughts on our Facebook page!