PLACE Program
3530 Wilshire Blvd, 8th Floor,
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 351-7825

Vision Zero

Vision Zero is an international traffic safety initiative to eliminate traffic-related fatalities. It emphasizes a new approach to traffic safety, acknowledging that people make mistakes and focusing on system-wide improvements that reduce the risk of severe injuries and deaths from motor vehicle collisions. Through the PLACE Program, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health co-leads Vision Zero Los Angeles County in partnership with Los Angeles County Public Works.

LA County Vision Zero Action Plan

Between 2012 and 2022, 8,103 people lost their lives in traffic collisions in LA County -- of these deaths, 1,416 occurred in unincorporated areas of the County. During this same time, traffic fatalities on unincorporated County roadways increased by 70 percent. To enhance traffic safety, in August 2020, the Board of Supervisors adopted Vision Zero Los Angeles County: A Plan for Safer Roadways, which establishes a goal of eliminating traffic fatalities in unincorporated areas of the County by 2035. Read the Action Plan and learn more about the County’s Vision Zero program here.

Focusing on Roadways with the Most Fatalities and Injuries

To effectively target Vision Zero efforts to areas of greatest need, the PLACE Program works with Public Works to identify “Collision Concentration Corridors” (CCCs) in unincorporated communities; these are roadways where traffic fatalities and serious injuries occur most frequently. At last count, half of all fatal and severe injury collisions on County-maintained roadways occurred on just 3.8% of roads. The County’s Vision Zero implementation focuses on these roadways and these communities – and includes planning for safety enhancements, installing safety infrastructure, and implementing safety programs. By prioritizing these streets, the County can have the greatest impact in saving lives.

Motorcycle Safety

Over the last 10 years, there have been 1,381 deaths and 8,371 severe injuries related to motorcycle crashes across Los Angeles County. Most of the deaths were among motorcycle drivers but 43 passengers and 28 pedestrians were also killed as a result of these crashes. Motorcyclists are more vulnerable than car drivers because they lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle. In a crash, this can lead to severe injuries and fatalities, especially at higher speeds. Motorcyclists may also be less visible to other drivers, making increased awareness and defensive riding crucial to staying safe. For these reasons, it’s essential that motorcyclists prioritize safety every time they go for a ride. Learn more from these Tips for Protecting Yourself on Two Wheels (PDF) and Essential Gear for Safe Riding (PDF). By prioritizing safety, motorcyclists can enjoy the thrill of riding while significantly reducing the risk of accidents and injuries. Being a safe rider is not just a responsibility – it's a commitment to yourself and to others on the road.

Number of Deaths from Motorcycle Crashes by Victim Gender and Age from 2013-2023 Number of Deaths from Motorcycle Crashes by Victim Gender and Age from 2013-2023

The Critical Role of Community Outreach

Enhancements that improve safety can be highly contentious. For example, protected bike lanes have been planned, funded, designed, and built, only to be removed amid pushback from residents and businesses who see them as impediments to driving. Creating culture change that supports safety and accessibility for all road users, particularly vulnerable populations like older adults, children, and pedestrians, is an important process that requires education, advocacy, community engagement, and time. Working with community partners, PLACE conducts outreach and education and engages with community members, leaders, and other stakeholders to identify priorities to improving safety in their neighborhoods, with a focus on the CCCs. We provide education on the problems and potential solutions and work together to propose plans to guide enhancements and programs to meet the needs of the community.

Safe Streets for All: High Injury Roadways in Small Cities (2024 – 2029)

In 2024, Public Health will begin implementing a second Safe Streets for All grant, as a funded partner through Metro. PLACE will provide technical assistance to small cities in historically disadvantaged areas to identify roadways in these jurisdictions where traffic fatalities and severe injuries occur most frequently. PLACE will conduct data analysis, create geospatial maps depicting these roadways, describe populations most impacted, and identify factors associated with collisions (e.g. speeding, impaired driving, improper turning etc.) PLACE will encourage cities to apply for federal, state and local grant opportunities to create and implement Vision Zero Action Plans, based on their newly developed high injury maps.

Preventing Traffic Deaths - The Critical Role of Clinicians

Traffic collisions are a leading cause of death for both adults and children in Los Angeles County. Clinicians have an opportunity to support Vision Zero, a multidisciplinary effort to end traffic fatalities in LA County. In the July 2019 issue of Rx for Prevention, DPH describes concrete actions clinicians can take to advance traffic safety including: engaging patients in conversations about practicing safe transportation behaviors, sharing their first-hand experiences about victims of traffic collisions to promote culture change, advocating for local policy changes, and encouraging their patients to get involved with local advocacy efforts.
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