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Take Action : Vision Zero for Youth

Take Action

Children deserve safe places to walk and bike – starting with the trip to school. Vision Zero for Youth aids cities in getting from current realities to creating thriving, safer communities for everyone. Now is the ideal time to be sure that children’s safety is being addressed in Vision Zero plans and for communities to consider how improving safety for children and youth can build support that can result in safety for all. 

Featured resources

Youth Leadership in Vision Zero

Creating Safer Streets: Vision Zero for Youth overview

The benefits of slowing down traffic — starting where children walk and bike

Focusing on the safety of children can propel Vision Zero initiatives

Events as tools for change

For mayors, elected officials and staff

The actions listed here derive from cities that are taking a fresh look at how they are protecting people who are walking, bicycling, driving and using transit.  Start with actions that suit the issues your community is facing and consider using an event to announce your selected actions and talk about how it will benefit children, youth and ultimately all ages. Critical safety factors include reducing motorist speeds in areas where pedestrians are present, shortening the distance to cross the street, and constructing communities where the buildings, streets, and transit system all work together for safer walking and bicycling.

  • Extend Safe Routes to School benefits to additional schools.
  • Extend the safety benefits of Safe Routes to School to other places where youth walk or bike.
  • Take a walk with city and community partners to identify needed safety improvements. Start with a simple checklist or ask local transportation professionals to recommend one.
  • Commit to enforcement in school zones.
  • Tackle tough issues such as the need for speed reduction.  Over the past 10 years, areas around schools have served as spaces to begin conversations about managing traffic speeds and raising awareness of the safety risks involved in speeding. Many highway safety initiatives also start with addressing children’s safety because focusing on children is widely supported.
  • Use the Mayors’ Statement on Safe Walking and Bicycling for Youth to show a commitment:
    • The ability of people to safely walk and bicycle is a vital part of what makes communities thrive. We recognize that by creating opportunities for children and youth to safely walk and bicycle, we can benefit people of all ages, abilities and resources. My community is committed to work to promote safe walking and bicycling and to eliminate fatal and serious traffic crashes among all road users. Now is the time to act. We know the benefits this would bring to the health and well-being of our children, our communities, and the nation are immeasurable.
  • Commit to working with others to create a Vision Zero plan for your city. View the Vison Zero plans developed by cities.
  • Commit to improving safety behaviors of all road users through education and enforcement.
  • Commit to infrastructure improvements. See a list of infrastructure improvements and issues they address.
  • Work with your transportation staff to apply for infrastructure funding. Find out more about funding sources from state pedestrian and bicycle contacts.
  • Include a line item in your next budget for school traffic safety improvements.

For community members

Your support is a critical part of Vision Zero for Youth. Community members can help by supporting efforts to improve safety for youth and encouraging city leaders to make change in your community. Here are a few actions you can take:


For more information

Vision Zero in the US

  • Vision Zero Network
    A collaborative campaign aimed at building the momentum and advancing the shift toward safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. The Vision Zero Network supports communities through technical assistance, highlights of recent research, the Focus Cities program and guidance documents.
  • Road to Zero Coalition
    The coalition aims to bring together a growing number of agencies and organizations with the goal of eliminating all traffic deaths by 2050. The Coalition’s Safe System Innovation Grant program awards funding to evidence-based highway safety programs that support the National Safety Council’s Vision Zero efforts.
  • Toward Zero Deaths
    An initiative of the US DOT’s National Strategy on Highway Safety, Toward Zero Deaths provides support for state-based Vision Zero efforts.

International

Resources