COLUMBIA — A plan to reduce pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries to zero will get its first reading at the City Council's regular meeting on Monday.

The Vision Zero policy, proposed by the Mayor's Task Force on Pedestrian Safety, sets a target year of 2030 for achieving that goal. There have been 68 deaths and 454 serious injuries on Columbia's roads in the past 10 years, according to the resolution

On Jan. 3, 2015, alone, three pedestrians were involved in traffic accidents; one person died, and two others were seriously injured. The task force was created in May of that year in response to those incidents and others last year.

The task force provided a final report and recommendations to the council April 4. Afterward, Fourth Ward Councilman Ian Thomas requested a resolution be drafted for council consideration.

A memo about the policy calls for an implementation plan to be presented to council no later than April 30.

Policy recommendations fall into three categories: education, enforcement and engineering.

  • Education
    • Adopt a "One Percent for Safety Education" policy.
    • Develop a comprehensive traffic safety education and communication campaign.
    • Work with other organizations to develop education campaigns and policies.
    • Promote all traffic safety innovations and improvements.
  • Enforcement
    • Increase funding for police traffic safety enforcement.
    • Prohibit cellphone use and texting while driving.
    • Reduce legal, posted speed limits.
    • Improve and reform enforcement of speed limits and prosecution of violators.
    • Specifically, utilize automated enforcement such as red light cameras and speed cameras.
    • Improve coordination and data-sharing among law enforcement, other agencies and the public.
    • Provide routine bicycle and pedestrian safety training for law enforcement officers.
  • Engineering
    • Start a new program of road safety audits and assessments.
    • Create a new position of traffic safety engineer/crash analyst.
    • Identify engineering design parameters that contribute to pedestrian deaths and injuries.
    • Improve and reform road design and engineering standards to increase safety.

The City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday in the Daniel Boone City Building.

Supervising editor is Katherine Reed

  • I'm on the Public Health and Safety team for fall 2016 and studying print and digital journalism and environmental science. You can reach me at katiepohlman@gmail.com or via phone at 301-529-9911.

Recommended for you