Mayor wants to bring Vision Zero initiative combating traffic deaths to Omaha

Posted at 9:01 PM, Oct 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-19 00:26:44-04

A new initiative called Vision Zero is coming to Omaha, and the mayor hopes it will put the brakes on speeding drivers and lower the number of traffic deaths in the metro area.

“As speed increases, the risk of serious injury and death goes way up,” said Ben Turner, Active Living advisory committee. “If a pedestrian is hit at 25 miles an hour, 9 out of 10 pedestrians survive. If a pedestrian is hit at 40 mph, one in 10 survives.”

Vision Zero is an organization mounting a comprehensive effort to reduce crashes through education campaigns with local organizations; as well as enforcement of traffic laws.

The strategy has been implemented in cities all across the U.S. from Minneapolis to Denver. Some of the communities lowering speed limits others cracking down on distracted driving.

“It is shocking to me how many people I see that are driving and not looking at the road," said Sarah Johnson of Mode Shift Omaha. "That’s a huge issue.”

While the mayor's Active Living advisory committee investigates what action can be taken in Omaha by taking a look at the city's crash data. They agree that there's a need to open up a dialogue here about traffic safety.

“I was appointed to the Active Living advisory committee in 2014," Turner said, "and since then, I've come upon two fatal crashes before first responders are there: a pedestrian crash and a cyclist crash. And it's haunting. And it’s preventable.”