News / Vancouver

Vancouver aims for zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson will support a motion calling on the City of Vancouver to work towards zero traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries.

A cyclist, a rollerblader and a pedestrian cross at the Burrard and Pacific intersection, one of the hotspots for collisions in the City of Vancouver.

Emily Jackson / Metro Order this photo

A cyclist, a rollerblader and a pedestrian cross at the Burrard and Pacific intersection, one of the hotspots for collisions in the City of Vancouver.

A Vancouver councillor wants the city to up the ante on its goal for zero traffic-related fatalities and strive for zero traffic-related serious injuries, too.

Coun. Heather Deal will introduce a motion at council this week calling on staff to develop a strategy to get to zero fatalities and serious injuries for pedestrians and cyclists. Mayor Gregor Robertson announced Monday he will support the action.

“Our ultimate goal is to eliminate all fatalities within our active transportation system and make sure road users feel safe and comfortable getting around Vancouver, whether by bike, foot, car or transit,” Robertson said in a statement.

“We need to keep making strides to ensure that our streets and sidewalks are safe for people of all ages and abilities.”

Council included the zero fatality goal in the Transportation 2040 plan approved in fall 2012. But Deal’s motion notes that other cities with the goal of eliminating traffic-related deaths are also working towards zero serious injuries.  

Many cyclists that are hurt on the city’s streets do not report their serious injuries to ICBC when no motor vehicles are involved, so the number of serious accidents is underreported, according to a city cycling safety study.

But pedestrians remain the most vulnerable road users. Of the 72 people killed in traffic between 2010 and 2014, 40 were pedestrians, according to the Vancouver police. Nine drivers, 11 passengers, eight motorcyclists and four cyclists were also killed.

The city has implemented 68 out of 69 actions recommended in a pedestrian safety study and wants to build 12 new bike lanes in the next five years to improve cycling safety.

If Deal’s motion passes, city staff will report back on quick actions to improve safety by June 2016.

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