Motor vehicle and pedestrian accident injuries and deaths have been a focus of concern across Washington and in a number of metropolitan locales in the state as well. For example, Seattle launched the Vision Zero initiative, which has an established goal of ending traffic deaths and serious injuries on the streets of Seattle by 2030.
Speed limits lowered across Seattle
One important component of the Vision Zero initiative was to lower the speed limits across the city of Seattle. The thought is reducing the speed limit throughout the city would lower the number of traffic deaths and serious injuries in the city, including pedestrian accident injuries and deaths.
As of March 2021, the municipal government of Seattle announced success in regard to reducing speed limits across the city. According to the city government, the speed limit on most Seattle streets has now been reduced to 25 miles per hour. As part of the speed reduction effort, the city has installed almost 2,500 new speed limit signs in Seattle.
Updated traffic signal policy
In addition to reducing the speed limit on 415 of Seattle streets, the city has also revamped its traffic signal policy. The new policy is to put the safety of walkers first. The goal in updating the city’s traffic light policy is also designed to lower the rate of pedestrian accident injuries and deaths across the municipality. At the present time, Seattle is only one of a handful of U.S. cities that have researched more directly the association between lowering speed limits in municipalities and a reduction in the rate of injuries and deaths, including those associated with motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents.