Vision Zero, Traffic Speed and Safety

Traffic accidents pose a significant safety hazard to road users. Motor vehicle crashes cost tens of thousands of lives each year in the United States, with millions more injured as well as vast property damage, lost wage and medical expenses. Traffic speed, among other factors, is strongly linked to the occurrence and severity of collisions. Since 2014, New York City launched a Vision Zero initiative to promote traffic safety and reduce fatalities. A number of policy measures under Vision Zero seek to reduce traffic speed on local streets and arterial roads, including neighborhood slow zones, speed bumps and cameras, as well as an overall reduction of the default speed limit on local streets from 30 to 25 mph. This project investigates the linkage between traffic speed and safety for road users, evaluates the effectiveness of Vision Zero policies in reducing crash hazards, and gauges the public health outcomes. Exploiting innovative data sources to monitor congestion, speeding, and abnormal traffic conditions, it seeks to better understand the role of speed reduction strategies in traffic safety in dense urban areas and the broader social impacts.

Research team and affiliated institutions: Fei Li (USI, GSU); Zhan Guo (New York University)

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