The scene of a fatal crash in Surrey in September. A 65-year-old Surrey woman was killed in the head-on collision on Highway 10 near 176th Street. (Photo: Shane Mackichan)

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

An average of 20 people die on Surrey roads every year, according to ICBC data

SURREY — City hall wants to make Surrey’s roads safer.

“We feel a shift in focus is necessary given the concerning trends in ICBC data,” said Rosemary Silva, Surrey’s Engineering Communications Manager.

From 2010 to 2015, total collisions per 100,000 population went up 13 per cent in Surrey, according to ICBC.

Severe collisions increased by 17 per cent in Surrey during the same time.

“That’s an average of 20 people per year losing their lives and about 11,000 people injured every year in traffic collisions on Surrey roads,” said Silva. “To us, that’s unacceptable and a high priority for action.”

See also: 73-year-old woman dies after pedestrian accident in Guildford (Nov. 26, 2017)

See also: Car accidents on the rise in Surrey

On Monday (Nov. 27), the city’s Public Safety Committee gave city staff its blessing to create the Surrey Safe Mobility Plan – Vision Zero.

It’s hoped to launch next spring.

So what is the Vision Zero all about in the plan’s name?

Silva explains.

“Fatalities and serious injuries on the city’s roads are preventable and the city must strive to reduce traffic-related deaths and injuries to zero,” she said. “Importantly, Zero Vision plans focus on reducing the collisions that result in death and serious injuries, whereas historically, road safety has taken a broad approach addressing less serious collision types such as property-damage-only collisions.”

See also: ICBC tests new distracted driving prevention technology

Achieving a “Vision Zero” philosophy will be a shared responsibility with partners, such as RCMP and the provincial government, Silva noted.

“While still in development, the plan is aligned around three focus areas which data tells us are contributing factors to injuries and deaths in Surrey,” Silva explained. “Firstly, ‘Locations of Harm’ will have us focus on intersections, where 80 per cent of collisions occur. Secondly, ‘Victims of Harm’ will focus on vulnerable road users including pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists who account for 57 per cent of fatalities. And lastly, ‘Perpetrators of Harm’ will place a focus on driver behaviours including impaired (responsible for 17 per cent of fatal collisions), distracted (responsible for 27 per cent) and speeding drivers,” she said.

See also: B.C. to hike distracted driving penalties by $740



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

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