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San Luis Obispo seeks to eliminate traffic fatalities by 2030

The City of San Luis Obispo, which has already been successful in reducing traffic collisions by 58 percent in the past 15 years, has adopted a new policy supporting the goal of Vision Zero–aimed at eliminating all traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries by 2030.

The Vision Zero traffic initiative, adopted by the City Council Tuesday, Oct. 18, originated in Sweden and has since been embraced by communities worldwide.

“Vision Zero simply stated is that no loss of life or serious injury is acceptable on our roadway network,” City of San Luis Obispo engineer Luke Schwartz said.

The initiative’s philosophy holds that the loss of life is not an acceptable price to pay for mobility. It seeks to eliminate traffic fatalities by shifting the focus of causation from motorists to roadway design, enforcement and education.

The Vision Zero plan will bring signal improvements, traffic striping, signage upgrades, turn restrictions, visibility enhancements, roundabouts, better bike lanes and traffic signals that allow pedestrians more time to cross roads.

Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for ages 13 to 25 here in the United States and account for more than 30,000 deaths a year.

Earlier today we spoke with a woman who says she’s happy to hear about this plan because she was in a serious accident just a couple years ago.

“It was late at night, my cousin really needed me, I was in a hurry to get to her and I went too fast around a corner on a backroad, then I like over corrected… And then went down head on into like a 10 foot embankment,” accident victim Katelyn Ingwerson said.

“They didn’t see me as I was going through the intersection and we T-boned,” accident victim Mary-Jane Leimer said.

Mary-Jane Leimer says with her accident history, she’s happy about the city’s plan.

“For probably two or three years afterwards I would have that feeling that something was going to hit me,” Leimer said.

There was one fatal accident last year. This plan will be paid for out of the annual budget.

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