Vision Zero: Phoenix City Council adopts new campaign to help reduce traffic collisions

On the afternoon of Jan. 25, members of the Phoenix City Council held a policy session to address the high rate of traffic accidents and fatalities on the city's roadways.

New figures paint sobering picture of road safety in Phoenix

Through the city's Comprehensive Road Safety Action Plan, some of the deadliest intersections are slated to see safety improvements like modernized traffic signals, more lights, and updated traffic cameras.

During the policy session, city council members got an update from the Street Transportation Department on road safety.

"We are one of the leaders in the nation when it comes to red light and pedestrian fatalities," said Councilwoman Debra Starks.

Figures from the city's Street Transportation Department show a major increase in traffic deaths in 2021. According to the most recent, but unofficial data for 2021, there was a total of 232 traffic fatalities in Phoenix, including 97 pedestrian-related fatalities.

As for Arizona, the state has received a 'red' ranking from the group Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, meaning the state is near the bottom of all states when it comes to road safety.

Vision Zero campaign approved

During the session, the city also approved adopting a new campaign called 'Vision Zero,' which is aimed at implementing road safety policies to reach a goal of zero deaths. Previous efforts to join by Phoenix failed due to lack of votes, but other towns in the Valley, like the City of Tempe, already implemented it several years ago, and they say it is working.

"By incorporating it, we will then be able to apply for federal dollars, and I think that’s what's most important that we will be able to implement the plan we have, and use the money form the feds to be able to move ahead and have zero deaths," said Councilwoman Laura Pastor.

People working near high risk intersections speak

According to Phoenix city officials, 67th Avenue and Indian School Road, along with 75th Avenue and Indian School Road and 67th Avenue and McDowell Road, make up the top three greatest crash risk spots.

"Super crazy out here. Usually like every weekend, there's for sure a crash," said Edwin Lopez Peña, who works at a gas station on the corner of 67th Avenue and Indian School Road. "When the vehicle flipped over, it was a night there was somebody trapped inside the car, so we had to make sure people could get out and everything was fine."

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