Well here’s some good news for a change.
Surrey’s Vision Zero traffic safety initiative, which aims to achieve a state of no fatalities or serious injuries on our city’s streets, had made progress during the pandemic with a 22 per cent decrease in serious collisions recorded over the past three years.
This information was contained in a corporate report that came before city council on Nov. 22. Last year, the city installed 15 speed humps, 13 full traffic signals, 18 left-turn signals, 24 flashing lights at crosswalks, 23 kilometres of sidewalks and three kilometres of protected bike lanes.
Moreover, police issued 2,050 distracted-driving violation tickets and 1,546 immediate roadside suspensions, and Speed Watch volunteers collectively put in more that 1,770 hours, contributing to more than 370,000 vehicle checks on Surrey’s roads.
Surrey Coun. Allison Patton noted, as the report was being considered, that she wants the city to get a strong road-safety message out to new drivers in particular, namely in Grades 9-12. “I’m not sure they always understand the power of a vehicle,” Patton remarked, not to mention “potentials for damage.”
“I’m pleased we’ve already saved lives through this particular endeavour,” she added.
So are we.
Meantime, a study conducted by hellosafe.ca has revealed that distracted driving is the cause of 27 per cent of road fatalities in B.C., and makes up 35 per cent of this province’s traffic crashes overall.
Clearly more needs to be done to curb this dangerous behavior. All the same, it is encouraging that programs like Vision Zero are successfully tackling road safety problems.