Indiana, known for its flatlands and car races, now faces an unfortunate increase in traffic fatalities. Data from the Indiana Department of Transportation shows that the number of Hoosiers killed in car accidents reached nearly 970 in 2022, the highest it has been in a decade. A rise in pedestrian deaths accompanies the overall increase in traffic fatalities. In 2022, over 130 pedestrians lost their lives on Indiana’s roads, with Indianapolis alone recording 40 deaths.
These statistics are alarming, making it essential to understand the scope of the problem and the steps lawmakers are taking to address it.
“Vision Zero Task Force”: A new approach to safety
Addressing these dire statistics, Indiana lawmakers propose Senate Bill 233. This bill aims to create a “Vision Zero Task Force,” an initiative designed to improve road safety with the ultimate goal of eliminating traffic accidents and fatalities. Other states and countries around the world have already adopted this concept and have all had success with it.
The “Vision Zero Task Force” will focus on studying data and roadways to help implement safety improvements across Indiana. This approach allows the task force to identify and target high-risk areas. For instance, when the other states studied their crash records, they found that 50% of fatal crashes occurred on just 5% of roadways.
Improved driver education
In addition to identifying and addressing high-risk areas, the task force will also enhance driver education. It believes that an educated driver is a safe driver. The task force also aims to look beyond single-car users making changes, realizing the importance of a collective shift toward safety.
Increasing Indiana’s chances for federal grants
Establishing the task force will also potentially increase Indiana’s chances of securing federal grants for safety improvement projects. In the recent past, Indiana had seven local projects denied federal funding. The implementation of the task force could change this and provide the necessary financial resources to bolster road safety initiatives.
With the establishment of the “Vision Zero Task Force,” Indiana has set a path toward safer roads. The ultimate goal is zero fatalities, a vision that every Hoosier will benefit from realizing.