Regional Vision Zero

Downtown Denver street crossing

What is Vision Zero?

There were an estimated 9,675 fatal or severe-injury crashes in the Denver region from 2018 to 2022. The human toll of these crashes is significant: At least 1,301 people were killed and more than 8,300 people were seriously injured during this period. Traffic fatalities increased more than 25% in the Denver region from 236 people killed to 300 between 2018 and 2022.

Vision Zero is a transportation safety philosophy based on the principle that loss of life is an unacceptable price to pay for mobility. It recognizes that humans make mistakes and therefore our transportation system should be designed to minimize the consequences of human error.  

Reaching zero deaths requires the implementation of a Safe System approach, which was founded on the principles that humans make mistakes and that human bodies have limited ability to tolerate crash impacts. The Safe System approach focuses on both human mistakes and human vulnerability to design a transportation system with multiple redundancies to protect everyone.

The Safe System approach six principles are:

  1. Deaths and serious injuries are unacceptable.
  2. Humans make mistakes.
  3. Humans are vulnerable.
  4. Responsibility is shared.
  5. Safety is proactive.
  6. Redundancy is crucial.

Taking Action on Regional Vision Zero

DRCOG in June 2020 adopted a Regional Vision Zero commitment to eliminate traffic-related fatalities and severe injuries on our roadways and make safety a priority for all users of the transportation system. Taking Action on Regional Vision Zero includes a toolkit for local governments to use when planning a Vision Zero strategy in their own communities.

The plan is guided by robust collaboration with local, regional, and state stakeholders through the Regional Vision Zero Working Group and public engagement, including a crowd-sourced map of safety issues around the region. The plan includes intensive data analyses of fatal and serious-injury crash statistics from a five-year period in the region. The plan sets out action initiatives, an implementation timeline and measures to help track progress toward regional safety improvements.

Plan implementation identifies the following:

  • Improve collaboration between allied agencies.
  • Increase awareness and adoption of Vision Zero.
  • Design and retrofit roadways to prioritize people’s safety.
  • Improve data collection and reporting.
  • Increase funding and resources.
  • Increase support for legislation, policies and practices that focus on safety at all levels.

Regional Vision Zero Story Map

DRCOG developed a story map visualizing fatal and serious-injury crash trends in the Denver region. The map provides details on crash location and top contributing factors.The aim is to analyze data patterns to help identify how and where crashes occur to determine effective countermeasures.

Regional Vision Zero: Safer Streets for Metro Denver

Regional Vision Zero Working Group

DRCOG coordinates with local government staff, state and federal partners, advocacy organizations and other safety stakeholders in the region through the Regional Vision Zero Working Group. This group meets virtually every other month to collaborate on implementation of the strategies and actions identified in Taking Action on Regional Vision Zero. To join the group, please email Emily Kleinfelter, safety and Regional Vision Zero planner.