Vision Zero

Vision Zero

The City of Charlotte has always placed strong emphasis on a safe transportation system for all users. This drives our every decision. We believe it's our collective responsibility to create safe travel for all.

What is Vision Zero?

Across the globe, Vision Zero is saving and protecting lives. Vision Zero started in Sweden in 1997. It's a strategy to eliminate all traffic-related deaths and severe injuries, while increasing safety, health and mobility for all. Vision Zero focuses on how people naturally behave. People make mistakes but mistakes should not be fatal.

Vision Zero in Charlotte

Over the past ten years our city has seen explosive population growth, adding close to 200,000 more drivers, pedestrians and cyclists to our streets, paths and intersections. Charlotte has responded by creating a variety of safe ways for people to move around the city and connect with each other - we've upgraded intersections, added more bike lanes and built additional sidewalks - as we continue to work towards the best possible transportation and pedestrian safety systems for our growing city.

In 2017, drivers in Charlotte logged more than 23 million miles on our streets, up nearly a million miles from the year before. While the number of crashes in our city actually decreased by 4% compared to 2016, the number of fatalities from those crashes increased by 35% in 2017.

Crashes and fatalities not only take a toll on human life, but also on the city's capital - affecting loved ones, health care facilities, businesses and many other areas of our community.

That's why Charlotte is renewing its commitment to safer streets in 2018 with the creation of Vision Zero, an action plan designed to reduce crashes and eliminate traffic-related deaths and severe injuries by 2030. Why? Because even one traffic-related death is too many.

Vision Zero Commitment

As a community, it's our responsibility to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries for all who share Charlotte streets by 2030.

Vision Zero Guiding Principles

The following principles recognize this belief and will guide the actions and performance measures of Charlotte's Vision Zero Action Plan.

  1. Traffic deaths and severe injuries are preventable and unacceptable.
  2. Protecting human lives takes priority over all other objectives of the road system.
  3. The transportation system should be designed so mistakes are not fatal.
  4. Solutions must be collaborative, equitable and data-driven.
  5. Safety on our streets is everyone's responsibility.
  6. Our community is accountable for implementing the Vision Zero Action Plan, measuring performance and responding accordingly.

Vision Zero Task Force

For additional information, visit the Vision Zero Task Force page to see what agencies have joined Charlotte's Vision Zero initiative: Vision Zero Task Force

Join Us!
Take the Vision Zero Pledge.

transcript Novant Health and Vision Zero Work to Address Impacts of Crashes in Charlotte

Our top traumatic mechanisms of injury are falls and motor vehicle collisions. At Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center we saw over 340 motor vehicle, motorcycle, and moped collisions in 2021. We also saw nearly 100 pedestrian injuries and bicycle injuries related to unsafe roadways last year.

A motor vehicle collision can lead to many different types of injuries. These vary depending on the situation, but we see anything from broken bones, sprains, bruises, lacerations that need sutures, road rash, concussions and head injuries. We also see chest and abdominal injuries that can lead to internal bleeding and broken hips. These may be minor where the patient receives treatment and goes home or they could be major where the patient needs surgery and has to stay in the hospital for an extended time.

First, motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death in the US and that impact isn't measurable when it comes to your family member. Other impacts will depend on the severity of injury and the time it takes to heal. The patient often has to deal with a lot of pain and life changes as they heal. There may be long hospital stays and rehabilitation time. The patient may have to stay out of work for extended time as they heal and other family members may have to stay out of work to provide care leading to changes in family dynamics. There are also often high financial costs to hospital stays and the financial burden of not being able to work. The patient may also experience emotional trauma and need additional support. There are many aspects that impact the patient and their loved ones.

Prevention is important for many of the reasons we just discussed not only do motor vehicle collisions lead to injuries which are painful and life changing, but they also impact almost every other aspect of life. When we start looking at the financial end of things, such as the cost of health care with an average hospital bill for someone hospitalized after a crash being around $50,000. And the lost wages related to missing work. We really see and feel the impact car crashes have on not just the patient but on society. Even without the focus on cost prevention is key and keeping people healthy and productive.

Vision Zero is a collaborative initiative that works to eliminate road deaths and focuses on prevention education for the public as well as road design and sustainability. Prevention education can involve seatbelt safety, distracted driving, speed, impaired driving, teen driving safety, bicycle safety and pedestrian safety. roadway design is also an important aspect because we can teach safety but we are still human and humans make mistakes. So improving the design of roads and traffic safety will help reduce the chances of crashes occurring.

Special Transportation Service
High Injury Network
To better identify streets where fatal and serious injury crashes occur, the city mapped a high injury network.

Land Development Resources
Enforcement Focus Areas Map
The enforcement focus area map focuses on areas for targeted enforcement.

Enforcement Area Streets.(PDF, 97KB) Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department uses serious injury and fatal crash data to conduct enforcement targeting speeding, seatbelt use, driving while impaired and distracted driving.