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What is Vision Zero?

Safe Streets Long Beach is an initiative to reduce traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries to zero by 2026. It is guided by Vision Zero, a road safety philosophy which states that no loss of life due to traffic collisions is acceptable. Originally from Sweden, the Vision Zero philosophy has been adopted and implemented in many countries and cities around the world with much success. Vision Zero views human life and health as paramount to all else and should be the first and foremost consideration when designing a street network. Vision Zero recognizes that humans make mistakes when traveling in the roadway; however, no one should die or be seriously injured as a result of these mistakes.

Conventional vs. Vision Zero Approach to Street Design

Conventional Approach

Vision Zero Approach

Traffic deaths are inevitable 

Traffic deaths are preventable

Prevent all crashes

Prevent fatal and severe injury crashes

People should be perfect

People make mistakes

Safety relies on individual
road users

Safety is a shared responsibility, starting with system designers

Safety is one priority

Safety is the priority

Every fatal or serious collision comes at a human cost — not a statistic or a number, but a real person. Each victim has family and friends who are deeply affected by their tragic death or debilitating injury. We are grateful to those who shared their stories of how traffic collisions have personally affected their lives. By humanizing these life-changing events, we are able to recognize the reality of traffic safety in Long Beach—and that we all have an important role to play in creating safer streets.

The number of fatal and serious injury traffic collisions in Figure 1 below indicates a growing public health crisis that can only be addressed through a concerted effort from all of us. Safe Streets Long Beach takes a data-driven approach to focus infrastructure design, public education, and enforcement efforts around the goal of zero traffic fatalities or severe injuries, while increasing safe and healthy mobility for all community members.