San Jose City Leaders Hope to Eliminate All Traffic Deaths with New Safety Plan

San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo and other city leaders announced a new traffic safety plan on Monday in hopes to eventually eliminate all traffic deaths and make the city more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly.

The plan, dubbed Vision Zero San Jose, includes lighting and sidewalk improvements, as well as additional safety improvements to thoroughfares such as Almaden Expressway and Capitol Expressway.

According to the City of San Jose, “The goal of Vision Zero San Jose is to create a community culture that prioritizes traffic safety and ensures that mistakes on our roadways don’t result in severe injury or death.”

City leaders hope Vision Zero San Jose will lead to the adoption of a national Vision Zero policy.

“If at a national or state level, new technologies are mandated. That will get us to eliminating fatalities faster if we have that policy support," said Hans Larson, San Jose's director of transportation.

SJPD previously had more than 40 officers dedicated to traffic enforcement. The department now has 10 officers specifically focusing on speeders and distracted drivers.

Automated speed enforcement is currently illegal in California, something Larson is looking to change.

"If you have automated speed enforcement people will drive slower," Larson said.

Last year, 42 people died in traffic-related accidents in San Jose. The safety report said technology used in smart cars and road sensors have the potential to save lives.

The City of San Jose has intentionally avoided setting a particular deadline for achieving these goals, instead opting to “continue to make progress with advocacy, action and results, ASAP!”

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