It’s a safety initiative that has travelled the world and most of the country, and now Vision Zero is landing in Macon-Bibb county. However, can the plan to reduce and eliminate pedestrian fatalities really work for Georgia cities?
Right now the city is undergoing several construction projects to make our streets safer, and many county officials believe that a multi-national road traffic safety project could contribute to that safety. The project is called Vision Zero, and it aims to reduce pedestrian fatalities to zero in our county.
Where Has Vision Zero Been Used?
Vision Zero was first instituted by the Swedish government in 1997 as an initiative that uses ethics, responsibility, safety, and mechanisms of change to improve safety on the road. So far the project has spread to the Netherlands, Canada, the United Kingdom, and now the USA. New York, Boston, and Los Angeles have already implemented Vision Zero programs, and now Macon-Bibb is calling in an expert to help with implementation here at home.
How Will Macon Use Vision Zero?
Atlanta attorney Bob Dallas has been called in to act as a consultant for the Macon-Bibb Pedestrian Fatality Review Board. The board and Dallas will review transportation, land use, and zoning plans to see if they can be aligned toward one goal, reducing pedestrian fatalities to zero. By examining roadway engineering, education programs, law enforcement and EMS statistics, county officials hope to find better ways to protect pedestrians, but there are critics who question the effectiveness of Vision Zero.
Would Vision Zero Work In Macon?
In Washington D.C.—another Vision Zero city—critics are saying that pedestrian education is a key element to making the policy work. So far only laws that prioritize pedestrian safety and driver education are being emphasized, and some say the District of Columbia needs to focus on making sure pedestrians and not just drivers understand these new laws. In Austin, police officials are being criticized for not understanding their Vision Zero policies because of a proposed policy that could ban pedestrians from standing on curbs and medians near busy streets. APD is being accused of using Vison Zero to crack down on panhandling rather than ticketing drivers who are not regarding pedestrian safety. Could something similar happen in Macon?
Protecting pedestrians is an important issue for all of Georgia. Whether it’s by new laws, new construction, or through civil lawsuits, it’s our responsibility to ensure that Macon’s streets are safe for everyone to travel
A message from the pedestrian accident attorneys at the McArthur Law Firm—making Macon safer for everyone.