Pedestrian fatalities caused by vehicles are soaring nationwide and Charlotte, North Carolina is one city, in particular, that’s suffering from this issue. Pedestrian deaths in Charlotte have increased from twenty-seven deaths in 2017 to twenty-eight deaths in 2018. When trying to determine why the pedestrian fatality rate is increasing, government officials seem to think numerous factors are at play.
With more people on the road, there’s higher congestion and a greater chance for pedestrians to be hit. Drivers are speeding, failing to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks, and driving under the influence. Any Charlotte car accident lawyer will tell you how the driver is more than likely at-fault for causing a pedestrian accident; however, there are times when the pedestrian is at-fault, too.
Occasionally, pedestrians get hit because they walk in crosswalks when the signal says to stop. They also jaywalk across the street in areas where no crosswalk is present. Pedestrians have been hit when they’re under the influence as well, which may play into their lack of proper judgment when crossing the road. Both drivers and pedestrians play a role in the problem in Charlotte.
Vision Zero Project
Vision Zero is a project that started in Sweden in 1997 and has now made its way to Charlotte. This strategy has been imposed to eliminate all traffic-related deaths and injuries and hopefully increase safety. A renewed commitment to safer streets was made in Charlotte in 2018 with Vision Zero. The goal is to eliminate all traffic-related deaths by 2030.
In the Vision Zero project, Charlotte has specifically labeled over forty roads in Charlotte to focus on. These roads will be more strictly enforced for speeding, seatbelt use, driving under the influence, and distracted driving.
The new plan also prioritizes prominent areas in the city where people are getting injured as opposed to where car collisions are occurring. While old plans labeled areas as High Accident Locations (HAL), they’ll now identify areas as High Injury Networks (HIN).
Is This Goal Achievable?
While Charlotte is setting a high goal for themselves, it’s definitely an attainable one. They’ve put a detailed action plan into place and their hope is to get the entire community involved. Why try to prevent a few deaths when they can prevent them all?
Every city should be reaching for this same goal because traffic-related deaths are preventable. All it takes to prevent these deaths is more functional roads, increased enforcement by police officers, and better behavior by drivers and pedestrians.