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SEATTLE — Mayor Mike McGinn joined community leaders today to launch a new effort to improve road safety in Seattle. The Road Safety Action Plan, the outcome of the mayor’s Road Safety Summit, seeks to achieve zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries on Seattle’s roads. The Action Plan includes a public awareness campaign, Be Super Safe, which will help encourage everyone using the roads to make safe choices.
“We share our roads with our friends, our neighbors, and our family members. It’s up to each of us to do what it takes to help them be safe,” said Mayor Mike McGinn. “Our Road Safety Action Plan lays out concrete steps the City and our partners will take to improve safety. Those steps are looking out for each other, the key ingredient to reducing fatalities and serious injuries.”
The Road Safety Action Plan seeks to achieve zero fatalities and serious injuries by taking action in the following focus areas: fewer people speeding; fewer people traveling while distracted; fewer people traveling while impaired; more people knowing and following the rules of the road; safer roadway design for all; and by creating a culture of empathy on our roads – whether you’re driving, walking, biking, taking transit, or using any other way to get around. Each of these focus areas includes environmental improvements, enforcement efforts, sustained educational outreach, ways to inspire a culture of empathy on our roads, and evaluation of our efforts.
Examples of actions include: increased enforcement in high collision locations, a more sophisticated collision review process, the use of “Dynamic Message Signs” (digital signs on Seattle streets) for road safety messages, support for Safe Routes to School, neighborhood-by-neighborhood road safety outreach, support for street design that separates modes and reduces speeds, and increased outreach about new infrastructure (like sharrows or bike boxes).
Be Super Safe, the awareness campaign, will consist of several messages put out to a broader audience, but will also include sophisticated outreach to specific targeted audiences on speeding, distraction, and impairment. By using the best available data on collisions and why they most frequently occur and using that data in outreach efforts, we will be more successful at increasing safe behavior.
These efforts are the product of the Road Safety Summit meetings convened by McGinn in the fall of 2011. More than 3,000 public comments were received as part of the Road Safety Summit, which included four public meetings that included elected officials and stakeholders. Since the summit, the City has worked with regional traffic safety experts, law enforcement, major employers, other agencies, advocates, and community members, to create Seattle’s first citywide traffic safety plan.
“I’m careful to deliberately talk about traffic ‘crashes’ and not traffic ‘accidents’. The word ‘accident’ implies that it just happens and can’t be prevented,” said Dr. Fleming. “A driver talking on a cell phone after having a couple of drinks at happy hour and hitting another person is not an accident. That is a predictable and preventable crash and simply must stop happening through a change in behavior.”
“Our streets will be safer immediately if we all make the decision to cross the street with the ‘walk’ signal, to slow down and pay attention while we’re driving, to follow the rules of the road, set a high standard for urban cyclist behavior, and to look out for each other on our streets,” said Doug Palm of PATH.
For more information and to read the Road Safety Action Plan visit our Web site: http://www.seattle.gov/