How Safe Speeds Reduce Pedestrian Death and Injury
This Wednesday, May 15th, Vision Zero Denver and the Denver Streets Partnership are leading the 2019 Ride & Walk of Silence. This event commemorates the lives that have been lost to traffic crashes on Denver streets, and is meant to raise awareness about designing safer streets to protect vulnerable users of the road.
In support of Vision Zero Denver's goal to eliminate traffic-related deaths and serious injuries, we will be focusing on and sharing some of the main safety strategies outlined in Vision Zero Denver's Action Plan. We hope to bring attention to the ways the public (motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians in all) can help create safer streets.
Our first topic of the week is centered around safe speeds. Reducing vehicle speeds is proven to reduce traffic-related pedestrian and cycling deaths and serious injuries. As vehicle speeds increase, the odds of a pedestrian being killed if struck by the vehicle increase dramatically. For example, the odds of being killed or severely injured if struck by a vehicle traveling 20 mph is about 13%. At 30 mph, the risk of fatality or severe injury rises to 40%, and at 40 mph it increases to 73%.
In addition to reducing the likelihood of pedestrians dying in collisions, slowing cars down dramatically reduces the chances of pedestrians being hit in the first place. Travelling at 40 mph, the average driver who sights a pedestrian in the road 100 feet ahead will still be travelling 38 mph on impact. Driving at 25 mph, however, the driver will most likely have stopped before the pedestrian is struck.
One of the easiest ways drivers can help create safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists is to drive the speed limit. While speeding may seem like a victim-less crime, choosing to drive even 10 mph over the speed limit is a choice that puts other people’s lives in danger.
Denver's Vision Zero program has evaluated citywide speed limits in order to prioritize enforcement against dangerous moving violations. A part of this enforcement plan is to work towards reducing the default speed limit in Denver from 25 mph to 20 mph, and design streets with lower speeds in mind. Click here to read more about the latest plans ahead in 2019 for the Vision Zero program.
Join us for the 2019 Ride & Walk of Silence:
We would like to invite everyone reading this to join us for the Ride and Walk of Silence on May 15th from 5:30 -7:30 p.m. to commemorate and raise awareness of the cyclists and pedestrians who have been killed in traffic crashes in Denver. Since January 1, 2018 in Denver, 78 people have lost their lives in traffic crashes. Of these, 28 were people walking and 6 were biking.
We hope you will join us to honor and stand in solidarity with victims of traffic violence and their families, and to demand the changes in policy, infrastructure and culture needed to make Denver a city where no pedestrians or cyclists die trying to navigate our streets.
We will be meeting in front of the City and County building at 5:30, then will walk or bike together to Sunken Gardens where a ceremony will be held. If you are interested in attending please see more info and register here.
B-Cycles will be available to pick up at the start location for anyone who wants to use one for the ride. You can then leave it at Sunken Gardens, or ride it to any station. If you are a current B-cycle member and want to ride a B-cycle to the starting location and use it for the ride please let us know and we will waive any overtime fees. If you are not a B-cycle member but would like to use a B-cycle for the ride and would rather pick it up at a station near you and ride to the start point contact us and we will provide a free pass to check out the bike. Please reach out to us to let us know if you would like to use one of these options. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-825-3325.