TAMPA, Fla. - With the highest traffic fatality rate per capita of all large counties in the country, Hillsborough County officials hope the Vision Zero Project will help lower those numbers through community involvement.
"On average, about 50 people die a year in Hillsborough county that are pedestrians," said Gena Torres, Vision Zero project manager.
In 2017, 51 pedestrians were killed by drivers, according to the group. So far in 2018, 22 have been killed.
Vision Zero Project’s action plan consists of four main steps:
- Painting design interventions like murals and crosswalks to slow down traffic.
- Train speakers to educate the community about the problem and solutions.
- Consistent and fair enforcement of the rules.
- Provide new solutions to county engineers to make it safer for pedestrians.
“We have a lot of dangerous roads, we mapped the top 20," Torres said. "Most are high speed road ways like Hillsborough Avenue and Busch Boulevard. Little changes can make a big difference in safety like narrowing the lane, lowering the speed limit, putting a buffer between the sidewalk or bike lane.”
Torres says Hillsborough County can be safer for pedestrians through community awareness and action.
“I'd like us to put safety before speed and to remember that the pedestrians we may hit are someone’s loved one, a mother or a father," Torres said. "We need to have more respect for each other in that way. If we can save one life doing this then we are doing our job."
►Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the 10News app now.