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People walking are five times as likely to be killed by a driver traveling 30 mph as one going 20 mph.

Stories will highlight need for safer streets

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Over the years, Active Trans has worked both directly and indirectly to address the unacceptable number of bicycle and pedestrian crashes in the region.

Recently, we’ve been campaigning in the City of Chicago and throughout the region to promote Vision Zero strategies. Vision Zero is an international traffic safety movement guided by the principle that no loss of life on our streets is acceptable. 

We expect the City of Chicago to produce a preliminary Vision Zero plan this fall and are working to identify opportunities to advance the Vision Zero framework in suburban communities.

For an upcoming issue of Active Trans’ quarterly newsletter, which is distributed to all of our members, we will be featuring a handful of stories about crash victims — people who were either seriously injured or killed in a traffic crash while walking or biking in the region. 

We hope the special issue will shine a spotlight on the City of Chicago's soon-to-be-released Vision Zero action plan, and the need to aggressively pursue the recommendations in the plan. 

While statistics about our crash rates help illustrate the need for greater safety measures, putting a human face on the numbers can reach people in a different — sometimes more powerful — way. 

To receive the widest possible audience for these stories, we expect to use them in a variety of ways with our campaign. We’ve already talked with some victims and families about working together to fight for safe streets with advocacy activities like sign-on letters, media outreach, meetings with elected officials and public events. As our outreach continues, we’ll keep exploring these possibilities with folks who are interested in working together.

If you know of someone who was either seriously or fatally injured in a traffic crash while biking or walking in the region, we’re interested in talking to you. 

We are mindful of the difficult emotional circumstances surrounding these tragic events, and would only publish profiles of crash victims with approval and support from the victims and families. 

Please contact Kyle Whitehead, Active Trans government relations director, at kyle@activetrans.org or call 312-216-0473 to learn how you can get involved.

Photo courtesy of Streetsblog Chicago