Surrey will be host to the province’s first-ever Vision Zero Summit which is aimed at increasing road safety in the city.
The summit, which was approved by council last December, will give the public an opportunity to hear from road safety and public health leaders across Canada and the United States “who are working to eliminate traffic fatalities and severe injuries from their streets through the Vision Zero program.”
The event will be held at Surrey City Hall (13450 104 Ave.).
The summit, which is on Friday (Feb. 8) will include Mayor Doug McCallum; Patricia Boyle, the assistant deputy minister and superintendent of motor vehicles with the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General; and Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer.
It is the public launch of the Vision Zero Safety Mobility Plan which was approved by council at the Jan. 25 regular meeting. The plan is for five years, from 2019-2023.
The corporate report on the plan says injury collisions in Surrey “have risen by 26% over the last 10 years.” Staff said while the increase in injury collisions are “due to numerous complex factors, such as population and traffic growth, and a rise in distracted driving, it is of considerable concern.”
In the report, staff said Vision Zero principles would be “the most suitable approach to reduce deaths and serious injuries” on roads.
Vision Zero, according to the report, is an international campaign that emphasizes that no loss of life in road transport is acceptable.
Since 2017, Surrey staff began creating the Vision Zero Safe Mobility plan for the city. Since then, staff have given multiple presentations to stakeholders, as well as held consultation sessions for the plan.
Vision Zero, reads the report, has been recognized by the World Health Organization as an effective road safety policy and is recognized for its ability to significantly reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries.
The report states that the four pillars of the “Safe Systems Approach” are: safe roads, safe speeds, safe vehicles and safe road users.
In 2017, according to the report, 21 people were killed on Surrey’s roads and 14,500 were injured.