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Reducing Traffic Deaths: Miami-Dade Considers New Plan

Apr 20, 2018 | By , on Personal Injury.

Traffic fatalities are a major problem in Miami-Dade County, with 1,509 pedestrians dying in South Florida last year. According to Miami New Times, the South Florida area had the third highest death rate for pedestrians in the country, with only New York and the Los Angeles metro area seeing more pedestrian fatalities.

Families and lives are changed in an instant when a death occurs in a traffic collision, and those who are hurt or who lose loved ones need to understand their rights. A Miami injury lawyer can provide assistance in understanding who was to blame and taking appropriate legal action to obtain the necessary compensation after a serious injury or fatality.

While the law protects those who have been hurt and ensures they can get the money they need if someone else was to blame for an accident, preventing injury in the first place is always preferred. In an effort to prevent injury, Miami-Dade is considering adopting a Swedish traffic plan.

Miami-Dade Considers Swedish Approach to Preventing Traffic Deaths

The Swedish traffic plan under consideration in Miami Dade is called Vision Zero. The basic premise behind Vision Zero is that everyone has a role to play in preventing fatalities among pedestrians and bicyclists, including road designers and those who use the roads. Commissioner Audrey Edmonson has put forth a resolution in Miami Dade to ask for the adoption of the Vision Zero Plan.

Several metros in the United States have already embraced Vision Zero. Typically, this means that road designs are changed to accommodate the needs of all users – including switching out some traffic lanes for bicycle lanes. In cities like New York, where Vision Zero has been embraced, speed limits have also been reduced in certain areas. 

Vision Zero is not without controversy, as those in other metro areas that have tried the tactic have complained that if slowed down traffic and caused gridlock to worsen.  However, those who have proposed that Miami-Dade adopt Vision Zero point to successful initiatives in other cities, such as scramble crosswalks in Los Angeles.

Scramble crosswalks allow pedestrians to other go across streets straight or to walk diagonally across while all vehicles are stopped. In one location where this type of crosswalk was installed, there were no crashes over a six month period after the change was made, despite the fact there had been an average of a crash each month before the new crosswalk was put into place.

If the resolution for vision zero that was put forth by the commissioner passes, the next steps will involve an evaluation by the mayor’s office to determine what a Vision Zero plan would look like in Miami-Dade and how quickly it could be implemented.

No matter what plans are put in place to try to reduce fatalities from traffic collision, accidents are going to happen anyway – often through no fault of those who have been harmed. A Miami injury lawyer can help those who were hurt in an accident or who lost loved ones.  If negligence or wrongdoing caused your crash, give us a call today to find out more about the assistance we can offer.

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