Launching Vision Zero Prince George's
The Loss Of Even One Life On Our Roadways Is Both Unacceptable And Preventable
By Angela Alsobrooks // Prince George’s County Executive
Reprinted from “Update from the Office of the County Executive”
Yesterday, I was Prince George’s Proud to announce the launch of Vision Zero Prince George’s, a comprehensive safety initiative to eliminate roadway fatalities and serious injuries in our County. I was joined by County agencies, our County Council, our Police Department, the Governor’s Office, and community leaders as we committed to our goal of achieving zero roadway fatalities and serious injuries in Prince George’s County by 2040.
Shortly after I took office in December 2018, we saw the tragic deaths of Alexander, Rosalie, and Isaac Mejia after the car they were riding in was struck by a drunk driver. Yesterday, I stood with 99 pairs of empty shoes before me. Each of those pairs of shoes represented the 99 lives that were lost on our roadways in 2018, including the lives of the 3 Mejia children. Those empty pairs of shoes each tell a story. Unfortunately, we know those tragic stories all too well.
Following that tragedy in December and several others in 2019, I joined with Police Chief Hank Stawinski and others to work to bring awareness to driving under the influence and distracted driving. The Chief and I even went out together to conduct traffic enforcement on our roadways to bring attention to unsafe driving practices. While these efforts began to help, we realized we needed an even more comprehensive effort to make our streets and roadways safe.
That’s why we have become one of several jurisdictions in the United States to join the international Vision Zero movement. The central premise of Vision Zero Prince George’s is that the loss of even one life on our roadways is both unacceptable and preventable. We will put resources in place and utilize an interdisciplinary and interagency approach to work towards zero traffic and pedestrian fatalities by 2040.
In the coming days, work will begin on implementing an action plan that will serve as the foundation of Vision Zero Prince George’s. The action items are focused on six key areas that we refer to as the “6 E’s”: education, emergency response, engineering, enforcement, evaluation and equity. The County Council has already passed a resolution in support of this effort, and our Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPW&T) will serve as the lead on implementing Vision Zero Prince George’s.
However, DPW&T cannot do this work alone. We must all play a part in this initiative. We have to create a culture change where we view distracted driving and speeding with the same level of disdain that we view drunk or drugged driving. As we travel our roads, we have to see walkers and bikers as friends and fellow Prince Georgians, not as inconveniences.
Prince Georgians, we need each and every one of you to join us in this effort. I encourage you to watch the video of yesterday’s launch of Vision Zero Prince George’s. I ask that you view our website for more information about Vision Zero Prince George’s and the action plan that we will be implementing. Finally, I challenge each of you to take the Vision Zero Pledge, and share that pledge with family and friends.
Our roadways can and will be safe for everyone who uses them. Together, we will achieve the goal of Vision Zero Prince George’s - zero fatalities and zero serious injuries - because the loss of even one life on our roads is simply unacceptable.