Houston’s Vision Zero plan found number of fatalities on roads has declined; Experts say there is room for improvement

HOUSTON – KPRC 2 recently shared the findings of the 2022 report from the “Vision Zero” plan which found a decline in the number of fatalities on Houston roadways.  

As the city pushes for change, some say there’s more to be done.

“Houston has a safety problem on our streets. Every year, over 300 people are killed and about 1,600 people are injured,” said David Fields, the Chief Transportation Planner for the City of Houston.

The Vision Zero Plan was created with a goal to get to zero fatalities and injuries by 2030.

While the recent report shows a decline in fatalities, Fields says there is room for improvement.

“It’s not consistent throughout. While vehicle crashes and fatalities have gone down, people walking have a higher number of fatalities than in past years. While our overall numbers are going in the right direction, we have a lot more we need to do,” explained Fields.

Katie Alexander with the Texas Municipal Police Association focuses on traffic safety. She was thrilled to see the progress on the latest report.

“Here in the city of Houston, eight people, I’ll take it. We reduced those numbers to eight people, and I am happy with that. I hope we can continue to stay on that path,” said Alexander.

Alexander believes keeping those numbers down is all about changing behaviors.

“If everybody drove like they had a state trooper sitting next to them, we would all be much better off. Nobody would be turning up their radio or drinking their sweet tea from Whataburger. [They would be] driving with both hands on the wheel, paying attention,” Alexander explained.

With a continued push for change, there are projects in the works.

“People may have heard the city has won about 50 million dollars in federal grants to support our safe streets work. That was a RAISE grant for Telephone Road, a Safe Streets and Roads for All grant for Bissonnet, and a reconnecting communities grant for Hillcroft. All of that tells us that the federal government agrees,” stated Fields.

About the Author

Justina Latimer is a New York native raised in the suburbs of Baltimore. Before joining the KPRC 2 team, she was a fill-in anchor and multimedia journalist at WSMV-TV, the NBC affiliate in Nashville, TN.

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