New program aims to completely eliminate traffic deaths in Toledo

Toledo is joining the Vision Zero Network, an initiative aimed to eliminate all traffic related fatalities and injuries.
Published: Jun. 30, 2021 at 12:35 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 30, 2021 at 6:09 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - With traffic fatalities this year on pace to double the city’s annual average, Toledo officials have joined the Vision Zero Network, an initiative working to eliminate traffic and pedestrian deaths.

On Wednesday, Council Member Sam Melden, and Commissioner of Transportation Sean Burnett announced the city has committed to Vision Zero, an initiative to eliminate traffic fatalities, promote multi-model travel, and increase safety. The initiative works with cities around the nation, Toledo will be the first city in Ohio to participate.

“Successful cities make sure they are walkable, safe for pedestrians, and bike-friendly,” Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said. “We are starting an effort today to shape our transportation strategies and infrastructure around safety and wellbeing for every person in Toledo, and an important part of that is to prioritize safe street design.

“We want to hear from motorists, pedestrians, public transit users, and bicyclists in a community survey running on our website, and we are also asking Toledo residents to promote safe driving by placing one of our ‘slowdown’ yard signs in their front yards.”

A task force of members from different departments across the city will be formed with Vision Zero.

Toledo traffic deaths

WATCH LIVE: City leaders hold a press conference on Vision Zero, a new initiative to eliminate traffic-related injuries and deaths.

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Melden said the goal is to reduce the number of traffic-related deaths to zero by 2031.

“This is a community-wide problem, which is faced by many other cities, and it will take a community-wide solution,” he said. “This is a call to action for all Toledoans to make our streets safer. I am asking all Toledoans to take the pledge to reduce the number of deaths of our neighbors, family members, and friends to zero by 2031. In order for this to be successful, our efforts must be collaborative and proactive. Everyone needs to be a part of this, including public service, law enforcement, and our residents, who I know want to reduce the number of roadway fatalities.”

The pledge and more information can be found at

According to Burnett, the city averages 26 deaths due to traffic crashes annually.

“Vision Zero is not just about more bike lanes or lowering speed limits. At its core, it is a fundamental reorientation of how transportation is approached in both policy and built environmental design. Where traditional traffic engineering maintains acceptable risk thresholds, Vision Zero is a decision to hold so-called acceptable risk to zero,” he said.

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