Vision Zero and Telematics
Contributed by Kim Thoman
In this segment we will discuss Vision Zero and how sophisticated and affordable telematics solutions can help you reach your goals. First it is important to understand what Vision Zero means and how it works.
Vision Zero is a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. First implemented in Sweden in the 1990’s, Vision Zero has proved successful across Europe. It was officially introduced in North America 1995 and is quickly being adopted across many cities in the United States. Among these cities are Seattle, NYC, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Boston and many more. Even closer to home Orlando, Tampa and Hillsborough are implementing Vision Zero goals.
Where to Start
The question is what tools are needed analyze the data involved with traffic fatalities. Information that is important to study is traffic patterns, traffic light coordination and timing, occurrence of collisions and the ability to highlight hazardous intersections to name a few. NYC’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), for example, adopted telematics to encourage safe driver behavior in its very large municipal fleet.
In an effort to make change DCAS uses collision reporting data to better understand the occurrence of collisions. This allows them to better modify safety training, evaluate roadway conditions and assess the efficiency of street improvements and projects for all road users. Another benefit of telematics for DCAS is the reduction of costly lawsuits and process that consume valuable resources.
Vision Zero Results
NYC’s Department of Transportation (DOT) also implemented the same telematics solution in the agency’s 35,000 fleet vehicles to analyze the speed within the fleet and the quality of pavement. In NYC, telematics has contributed to a reduction in fatalities two in 2018 compared to eight in 2014 as employees engage in safer driving behavior.
We live in an era of Big Data. Telematics can optimize smart transportation. Aggregate data allows cities to closely monitor traffic flows, understand the effects of new projects and speed reduction programs as well as assess the efficiency of traffic signals, map air quality and highlight hazardous intersections. These are all tools to better manage the city’s transportation system as a whole.