Recently, a Boston Globe article made clear that the city’s “Slow Streets” program will affect select neighborhoods with the effort of eliminating serious Boston car accidents. The neighborhoods selected to participate in the program are Grove Hall/Quincy Corridor, Chinatown, Mount Hope/Canterbury, Highland Park, and the West of Washington Coalition. As a community-based initiative, Slow Streets is a part of Vision Zero. Vision Zero refers to Boston’s plan to eliminate the incidence of serious traffic crashes, including fatalities, throughout the city.
Vision Zero makes clear that tackling distracted and impaired driving within Boston is a priority. Since traffic deaths are preventable, Vision Zero focuses on increasing safe human behaviors to reduce vehicle collisions. According to state law, when drivers are distracted, and their conduct behind the wheel leads to a crash, they can be held at fault for the resulting harm. The significance of the Vision Zero initiative is that it recognizes the impact of human error and poor driving behavior.
Through Vision Zero, efforts are made to reduce the speed limits throughout Boston, for example, from 30 MPH to 25 MPH. Focusing city resources on reducing the incidence of serious vehicle collisions comes at a time when the city recognizes there has been a rise in pedestrian injuries and fatalities. According to statistics set forth on the Vision Zero website, compiled by the Boston Police Department, a majority of crashes take place when pedestrians are simply crossing or along streets.