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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan. 23, 2017
CONTACT:  Jen Samp, Austin Transportation Department, Office: (512) 974-1430

 

Vision Zero in Action:
Transportation safety education and enforcement efforts launch today

The Austin Police Department and the Austin Transportation Department are kick-starting a new, coordinated effort to implement the City of Austin’s Vision Zero Action Plan, which aims to eliminate crashes that kill and severely injure people in Austin. The initiative, called Vision Zero in Action, starts today with targeted enforcement of traffic safety laws on Austin streets, followed shortly by distribution of educational materials about transportation safety.
 
Police officers will target behaviors and locations that result in a disproportionate share of crashes in which people are injured or killed, as well as behaviors that contribute to congestion and air quality issues.
 
Specific locations and enforcement efforts are being informed by APD and ATD data. The behaviors that will be targeted are:
 
1. Safety enforcement
  • Failure to stop at red lights and stop signs (all vehicles, including bikes)
  • Speeding, including school zone speed compliance
  • Vehicles using bus-only lanes or parking in bike lanes
  • Driver inattention (i.e., enforcing the City’s Hands-Free Ordinance)
  • Failure to yield right of way (including at crosswalks or yield signs)
  • Lane splitting (i.e., riding a bicycle or motorcycle in between lanes)
  • Passing stopped school buses that are loading or unloading students
  • Failure to comply with pedestrian hybrid beacons
2. Congestion management
  • Don’t Block the Box (enforcement for vehicles blocking cross-traffic by being present in an intersection when the light is red)
3. Air quality
  • Enforcement for motor vehicles idling in the right of way (applies to heavy-duty vehicles weighing over 14,000 pounds)
Driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is also a major contributor to crashes, and enforcement already exists through APD programs, including No Refusal and DWI units. 
 
In the coming months, Vision Zero in Action will expand to include comprehensive education and outreach components, including deployment of a Vision Zero Street Team, which will promote safety through an on-the-ground education and awareness campaign and launch of a media campaign.
 
The Street Team will deliver education to people using all modes of transportation, in areas with high crash-rate histories and high concentrations of people walking, biking and driving. Activities will include handing out educational materials and talking to people about the Vision Zero effort and dangerous behaviors.
 
Concurrently, ATD will launch a multimedia campaign designed to reach residents in targeted and effective ways. The purpose is to raise awareness of the Vision Zero goals and effort, raise awareness of how people can personally help end dangerous crashes, and change specific behaviors that cause crashes. More information will be made available through press releases on ATD’s website, Facebook and Twitter posts, and updates on the Vision Zero website.
 
Vision Zero in Action is one of many ways the City is implementing the Vision Zero Action Plan that City Council adopted in May 2016. Vision Zero’s goal is to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries on Austin’s streets by 2025 by addressing five focus areas: education, enforcement, evaluation, engineering and policy.
 
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