Transportation Safety Plan

Bicyclist in bike lane riding next to car

Even one traffic fatality is too many

The Kansas City region is known for people who are polite, loyal, barbecue-loving and proud to call this place home. Each person here is a neighbor who deserves to feel safe on our roadways in a community that believes that even one traffic fatality is too many.

Destination Safe is an active coalition of agencies and organizations committed to improving transportation safety for the greater Kansas City Metro, its people, and its visitors by promoting a Vision Zero philosophy.

Vision Zero is a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries while increasing safe, healthy equitable mobility for all.

— Vision Zero Network

Our vision

Together we will use strategies that are equitable, data-driven and collaborative as steps to achieve zero roadway deaths in the Kansas City region by 2050.

Why Vision Zero

Destination Safe has sustained its work in Vision Zero efforts because traffic crash fatalities and serious injuries are preventable. However, regional trends show that crashes continue to devastate our community.

Fatality trends are increasing across the Destination Safe region.

Pedestrians are disproportionately represented in the region’s fatalities.

Despite representing only 6.12% of the mode of travel, pedestrians make up 13% of the 5-year crash fatalities.

Higher speeds result in higher risk, especially when drivers are distracted, impaired, or simply make a mistake.

Of 2020 speed-related vehicle fatalities, 59.2% were also unrestrained.

These trends not only demonstrate why Vision Zero is needed but the importance of protecting our most vulnerable citizens.

The purpose of this plan is to provide a clear vision by identifying crash emphasis areas and focused, data-driven strategies for local governments, education, and engineering, to be used by stakeholders who support positive change on our roadways.

With your help, zero is possible.

Safe System Approach

To reach zero, this plan emphasizes the effectiveness of a Safe System approach.

The Safe System Approach, coined by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), is a multifaceted method that anticipates that humans make mistakes, so encourages a system that lessens impact severity and saves lives.

There are six principles that form the basis of the Safe System approach: deaths and injuries are unacceptable, humans make mistakes, humans are vulnerable, responsibility is shared, safety is proactive, and redundancy is crucial.

Making a commitment to zero traffic deaths means addressing all aspects of safety through the following five Safe System elements that, together, create a holistic approach with layers of protection for road users: safe road users, safe vehicles, safe speeds, safe roads, and post-crash care.

Safe System Elements

Safe Road Users
The Safe System approach addresses the safety of all road users, including those who walk, bike, drive, ride transit and travel by other modes.
Safe Vehicles
Vehicles are designed and regulated to minimize the occurrence and severity of collisions using safety measures that incorporate the latest technology.
Safe Speeds
Humans are unlikely to survive high-speed crashes. Reducing speeds can accommodate human injury tolerances in three ways: reducing impact forces, providing additional time for drivers to stop and improving visibility.
Safe Roads
Designing to accommodate human mistakes and injury tolerances can greatly reduce the severity of crashes that do occur. Examples include physically separating people traveling at different speeds, providing dedicated times for different users to move through a space and alerting users to hazards and other road users.
Post-Crash Care
When a person is injured in a collision, they rely on emergency first responders to quickly locate them, stabilize their injury and transport them to medical facilities. Post-crash care also includes forensic analysis at the crash site, traffic incident management and other activities.

Example of working together to achieve zero roadway deaths

Example timeline of working together toward zero roadway deaths
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