Vision Zero

PedNet Coalition’s successful advocacy resulted in the unanimous adoption of Vision Zero by Columbia City Council in December 2016. See the details of the Vision Zero Action Plan and progress towards the goal of zero at

What is Vision Zero?

Vision Zero is a transportation policy goal and data-driven strategy to achieve zero traffic deaths or serious injuries on our roadways. Vision Zero challenges the belief that traffic deaths are just the unavoidable price we pay for modern mobility. These crashes are preventable and ethically unacceptable.

Vision Zero is comprehensive: it considers all road users and values the safety of people walking, biking, using a wheelchair or public transit just as much as people driving. This approach looks at how different types of road users interact, and prioritizes the safety of vulnerable road users, such as people walking, because they are the most likely to be killed or injured if there is a crash.

What does Vision Zero do?

  • Uses crash data to analyze where and why crashes are happening
  • Prioritizes resources to prevent the types of crashes that are most likely to result in death or serious injury
  • Develops a data-driven strategy with clear and measurable goals and a timeline for eliminating traffic fatalities
  • Challenges the culture of acceptance of deaths and injuries on our road system, which is in contrast to other forms of transportation like air travel, where zero fatalities are tolerated
  • Emphasizes that speed is the major determining factor in whether or not a crash will result in a death or serious injury
  • Crash written above "accident" scratched outUses the terminology “crash” instead of “accident,” because “accident” implies that nothing could have been done to prevent it
  • Shifts responsibility from individual road users to the entire road system, including roadway design, education and enforcement
  • Unites everyone in a common goal of safety – people driving, walking, biking, using a wheelchair or public transit

Map of cities that have adopted Vision Zero

Why Columbia?

In Columbia, a person is injured in a traffic crash every 10 hours. In 2015, 646 people were injured and 8 people were killed in traffic crashes in the City of Columbia. The risk of being killed on a roadway in Columbia is more than double the risk in New York City or Seattle.

Columbia residents deserve safer streets. With Vision Zero as a guiding principle, the City of Columbia can set a course for zero traffic fatalities in our community.

Vision Zero will allow the community to collaborate on strategies to:

  • Design streets to be safe for all road users
  • Educate road users to travel safely and respectfully
  • Enforce traffic safety laws
  • Analyze and share safety data to be transparent and responsive to all users

Now what?

PedNet Coalition feels strongly that adopting a Vision Zero policy and strategy is a critical next step to making Columbia’s road system safe for everyone. PedNet is collaborating with City departments, commissions, elected officials, University researchers and community members to advocate for Vision Zero.

This project is funded by a Missouri Foundation for Health Special Projects grant.