The City of Surrey hosted its first Vision Zero Summit at city hall on Friday (Feb. 8), which is aimed at improving road safety. However, two hours before the event began, a woman died in the city’s first fatal motor vehicle collision of 2019. (Photo: Twitter @cityofsurrey)

Surrey aims to reduce deaths, injuries on roads by 15% in next five years

City hosts first Vision Zero summit on road safety Friday at city hall

The City of Surrey launched its Vision Zero Safety Mobility Plan, which is aimed at improving road safety for drivers and pedestrians, during a summit at city hall on Friday (Feb. 8).

But two hours before the summit began, a pedestrian died in Newton in the city’s first fatal motor vehicle collision in 2019.

A woman died after being hit by a truck in the 6800-block of King George Boulevard around 7:15 a.m. on Friday (Feb. 8).

RELATED: Woman dies after being hit by vehicle in Surrey

The City of Surrey hosted what they said was the province’s first Vision Zero Summit Friday (Feb. 8). It is the public launch of the Vision Zero Safety Mobility Plan which was approved by council at the Jan. 25 regular meeting. The plan is for five years, from 2019-2023.

RELATED: Surrey hosts B.C.’s first-ever Vision Zero Summit

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According to a news release from the city, the plan “sets the city on a path to zero fatalities and serious injuries.”

The plan, reads the release, “sets an achievable and measurable goal” over the next five years “to reverse the trend of rising

A little more than a month into 2019, Surrey RCMP said the city has had two “serious injury” motor vehicle crashes and both involved pedestrians. In 2018, there were 20 serious injury motor vehicle collisions and 10 involved pedestrians.

Police say the Feb. 8 collision is the first time a pedestrian has died in a crash so far this year in Surrey. In 2018, there were 19 fatal motor vehicle collisions and seven involved pedestrians.

The city said that each year, 20 people on average lose their lives as a result of traffic collisions on Surrey streets and another 12,000 people are injured.

“Far more than statistics, these numbers represent lives that are upended taking a devastating toll on the people involved, their families and our communities,” reads the release.

Vision Zero, according to the city, is “a multi-national road safety philosophy that rejects the notion that traffic crashes are inevitable,” instead, collisions are “preventable incidents that can and must be systematically addressed.”

RELATED: Surrey creating road safety plan after ‘concerning’ stats from ICBC

The city said Vision Zero uses its “Safe Systems” approach to emphasize smarter street designs which are “forgiving streets that account for human error.”

The report states that the four pillars of the Safe Systems approach are: safe roads, safe speeds, safe vehicles and safe road users.

“Together with targeted education and focused enforcement to promote a culture of safety, its efforts will save lives,” reads the release.

Shovita Padhi, medical health officer and medical director for Fraser Health Authority, said Vision Zero “recognizes that the prevention of death and serious injuries” on roads “requires far more than imrpoving driver education and enforcement.”

“It acknowledges that many factors contribute to safe mobility such as roadway design, speeds, vehicle design, and policies to encourage and protect people who walk, cycle, or have mobility challenges,” Padhi said.

The plan highlights the following actions:

• Leverage advanced data and analytics to help us better understand, anticipate and take action to avoid common collision scenarios

• Target the city’s top 50 high collision intersections with road safety infrastructure improvements

• Invest in rapid expansion of safe pedestrian crossings

• Implement separated cycle tracks to protect a growing cyclist community

• Accelerate innovative approaches in the operation and management of traffic signals

• Take measures to slow speeds

• Implement smart mobility initiatives, including connected technologies

• Pilot emerging technologies, like autonomous vehicles, to reduce some of the leading contributors to collisions

Jerome Atherton, ICBC’s senior manager of road safety police and programs, said Surrey is taking “a targeted approach” to identifying areas in the community that “are over-represented with crashes and in particular, crashes involving fatalities and injuries.”

More information on the plan can be found at surrey.ca/visionzero.

With files from Amy Reid



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

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