Tag: Vision Zero

Great Day of Action for Road Safety on Beacon Hill

Great Day of Action for Road Safety on Beacon Hill

Thank you so much to everyone who joined us at the Statehouse for the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition’s Road Safety Day of Action! Thank you to Governor Baker & Lt. Governor Polito for also filing legislation focused on road safety and getting the conversation started.

A packed room heard from Governor Baker, Text Less Live More, Children’s Hospital, AAA, SADD, and co-sponsors of three important bills:

  1. The Hands-Free Bill(s)

    • Chairman Wagner & Representative Donato are sponsoring HD1534
    • Chairman Straus is sponsoring HD1420
    • Representative Provost is sponsoring HD1346
    • Senator Montigny is sponsoring SD1383
    • Senators Creem & Brownsberger are sponsoring SD897
  2. Automated Enforcement Bill

    • Senator William Brownsberger is sponsoring SD1461
  3. An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities

    • Senator William Brownsberger is sponsoring SD847
    • Representative Hecht and Representative Rogers are sponsoring HD1653
WalkBoston Executive Director Wendy Landman explains an aspect of the bill.

The morning was organized by the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition (WalkBoston, Safe Roads Alliance, MassBike, LivableStreets Alliance, Boston Cyclists Union, Transportation for Massachusetts & more) & Text Less Live More. After info packets were distributed, people were off to meet with their legislators and talk about why these efforts would make MA roads safer in their own communities. Thank you to everyone who came together today to work towards safer streets, and thank you to all of the legislators and staff that attended and listened throughout the day!

Were you unable to make it to Beacon Hill, but want to get involved with WalkBoston’s efforts?

Join us on Jan 23rd for a Day of Action at the State House

Join us on Jan 23rd for a Day of Action at the State House

Please join us and other members of the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition for a Day of Action at the State House on the morning of WednesdayJanuary 23rd.

We’ll go door-to-door and ask our representatives and senators to support traffic safety legislation around three key issues. This legislation will save lives, reduce injuries, and bring us closer to Vision Zero. Read more about these issues below.

Event Details:
Day of Action at the State House
WednesdayJanuary 23, 2019, 9:30 am to 12:00 pm
@ Massachusetts State House, Room 437
24 Beacon Street, Boston

9:30 – 10:00 am | Arrive, check in, enjoy coffee + light breakfast
10:00 – 10:30 am | Program (speakers TBA)
10:30 am – 12 pm | Meetings with legislative offices

Training materials and talking points will be provided day of. Even if you can’t commit to the full morning, you are welcome to join us for any part of the schedule! Please RSVP here.

Priorities for Traffic Safety Legislation:

  1. Hands-free — improve the current law against texting-while-driving, which is difficult for officers to enforce, by requiring any use of mobile devices while driving to be hands-free.
  2. Automated enforcement — allow red light cameras and speed cameras to be placed in certain locations in the Commonwealth. When enacted in other states, automated enforcement has reduced speeding and serious crashes.
  3. Truck safety — equip state-contracted trucks with safety side-guards, mirrors, and back-up cameras to reduce the number of fatalities of people walking and biking.

Traffic fatalities are unacceptably high in Massachusetts, and we know that crashes are not accidents – they’re the tragic, preventable results of inadequate planning, policy, and unsafe behavior.

Help us spread the word about the Day of Action to your contacts by sharing this post, and via social media before and during the event using these hashtags: #crashnotaccident #visionzero #textlesslivemore

Please RSVP here. For more information, contact Emily Stein at emily@saferoadsalliance.org.

We hope to see you there!

Boston.com – “Should the Boston speed limit be 20 mph? Some say things need to change to make the city’s streets safer.”

Boston.com – “Should the Boston speed limit be 20 mph? Some say things need to change to make the city’s streets safer.”

Boston dot com: “Should the Boston speed limit be 20 mph? Some say things need to change to make the city’s streets safer.”

Among several residents and associations who spoke before councilors, Adi Nochur, project manager for WalkBoston, which works to make walking easier and safer in the state, said the proposed speed limit change is essentially about street design.

“It is about traffic calming, and it’s a fundamental matter of equity as well — how do we make sure all neighborhoods get traffic calming and how are we prioritizing areas that have been historically underinvested?” he said.

Posted November 13, 2018

MA Vision Zero Coalition Statement on Commonwealth Ave Fatal Crash

MA Vision Zero Coalition Statement on Commonwealth Ave Fatal Crash

Statement from the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition:

The Commonwealth Avenue crash that claimed the life of Theodore J. Schwalb, age 80, an arts teacher at Stoneham High School for more than 40 years, is disturbing on many levels. The driver, Phocian Fitts, acknowledges that he drove the car that struck and killed Mr. Schwalb in the middle of the day and then fled the scene. He stated this in an interview with Boston 25 News after he was released from police custody:

“People hit and run people all the time, it just happened to be an unfortunate situation where I was driving.”

Mr. Fitts’ comments, although brazen, reflect the low bar we’ve set when it comes to holding people accountable for reckless driving behavior.

  • A culture that accepts fatal crashes as a fact of life means law enforcement isn’t holding drivers accountable. We are deeply disturbed that the alleged suspect was initially questioned and released without charges despite fleeing the scene of a fatal crash. An arrest was only made after the Boston 25 News interview, in which he admitted to “driving too quick to the point where I couldn’t really stop” before running over and killing a fellow Boston resident.
  • A culture that accepts fatal crashes as a fact of life means lawmakers don’t realize the urgency of safety legislation. A hands free driving bill, which has passed the Senate and is backed by broad public support and Governor Baker, has languished in the House for years and now is awaiting action in the House Ways and Means Committee.
  • A culture that accepts fatal crashes as a fact of life means that thousands of people are seriously injured on Massachusetts streets every year.  In 2017, there were 4,537 injury crashes on Boston’s streets, which is up ten percent since 2015. Across Massachusetts, at least 133 people have been killed on our roads in the first 5 months of 2018.

While we are brokenhearted that another life has been lost on our streets, we are hopeful that the culture is beginning to shift around designing and building safer streets. In 2015 Mayor Walsh committed Boston to Vision Zero, an effort to eliminate serious and fatal crashes. Cambridge and Somerville soon followed suit.

Each of these cities have worked to make good on their Vision Zero commitments by redesigning dangerous corridors and intersections, and Boston recently announced a major investment in its Transportation Department’s safety efforts.

To ensure our streets are safe and accessible for everyone, design is important. We also need law enforcement and elected leaders to step up and make it clear that reckless driving deserves severe consequences.

Wendy Landman, Executive Director, WalkBoston
Emily Stein, President, Safe Roads Alliance
Stacy Thompson, Executive Director, LivableStreets Alliance
Becca Wolfson, Executive Director, Boston Cyclist Union

Additional Sources

  • A 2018 AAA study found that “Hit-and-run crashes in the United States are trending in the wrong direction,” according to Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The report found that most victims of fatal hit-and-run crashes are pedestrians or bicyclists. Over the past 10 years, nearly 20 percent of all pedestrian deaths were caused by hit-and-run crashes, meanwhile just one percent of all driver fatalities in that same time period were hit-and-run crashes.
  • The Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition maintains a map of fatal crashes involving people biking or walking across Massachusetts.
  • WalkBoston tracks fatal pedestrian crashes across Massachusetts. This pedestrian crash fatality list is compiled manually via news & social media alerts in order to give communities more information to help push for safer streets.