Vision Zero is a multi-departmental City of Chicago action plan to identify goals and strategies to increase traffic safety.
Using Illinois Department of Transportation crash data, five dangerous driving behaviors were found to be present in 72% of fatal traffic crashes in the city:
- Failure to give the right of way
- Using a cellphone while driving
- Driving under the influence
- Disobeying traffic signals
Reducing the occurrence of these behaviors is the goal of this project. Through data analysis, city staff identified communities with above-average rates of severe crashes (crashes causing death or serious, incapacitating injury). These high-crash areas comprise 20% of Chicago's geographic area and 25% of Chicago's population, but a disproportionate 36% of severe injury crashes occur within their boundaries.
In addition, Chicagoans living in areas of high economic hardship have a traffic crash fatality rate twice as high as those living in areas of low economic hardship. Seven of the eight high-crash areas also are areas of high economic hardship.
The Chicago Department of Transportation, in partnership with the Office of the Mayor and the Chicago Police Department, proposes a pilot community outreach and engagement process centered on traffic safety in a single high crash, high hardship area: Garfield Park. The pilot goals are:
- Improve the high visibility enforcement countermeasure model by adding community input and encouraging culturally sensitive communication and deployments
- Establish a model outreach and engagement program that can be replicated in other city-identified high crash areas and communities of high hardship
- Identify and address neighborhood barriers to safe mobility
- Understand the perceptions and impact of dangerous driving behavior in Garfield Park
- Engage with the community to build understanding and trust
- Increase knowledge and self-awareness of dangerous driving behaviors to reduce traffic crashes caused by these behaviors
- Create a sustainable and accessible program that will continue in the community upon completion of the grant term
A successful Vision Zero Garfield Park pilot will result in positive interactions, increased understanding and altered behaviors.