Last month, at least four people were killed in D.C. pedestrian accidents over a two-week period and several more sustained injuries. Despite this spike in vehicle accidents involving pedestrians, police data shows 2016 might actually be a better year in terms of pedestrian safety than last year.
Initially, pedestrian deaths were on the rise in the Washington area over the last several years. There were 45 deaths in 2013, 53 deaths in 2014 and 60 deaths total by the end of 2015. However, according to the data from police departments in D.C., 36 pedestrians died last year by August. So far this year, 23 pedestrians have died as a result of a car accident, which is 36 percent less than this time last year.
Why are Pedestrian Accidents Decreasing in D.C.?
Roughly one year ago, the District launched its Vision Zero campaign, which aims to reduce the number of pedestrian accident fatalities to zero. The campaign takes an “all-hands” approach to transportation safety by incorporating the following:
- Education and enforcement – Increasing enforcement and education efforts to protect those on the road.
- Engineering and infrastructure – Identifying locations that may require restructuring or the implementation of new safety strategies.
- Data collection – Creating a systematic and information-driven process will help identify and prioritize safety interventions with the greatest potential to decrease traffic fatalities.
Additionally, speeding cameras and red light cameras have been installed throughout the District. Speed limits have also been reduced and traffic fines have increased. Overall, the Vision Zero initiative seems to be effective in decreasing the amount of pedestrian accidents. Hopefully, these efforts will continue to make D.C. safe for all travelers on the road.