Police Commit to Vision Zero/ All Eyes on SFMTA and Mayor

Our voices are being heard as we tell City leaders that “Enough is Enough” and demand action now to reach Vision Zero — zero traffic deaths and serious injuries on our streets.

Thanks to more than 100 members who spoke up at last week’s Police Commission/Board of Supervisors’ committee hearing, the Police Chief committed to Vision Zero and significant actions to move the department to full, fair treatment of people biking and walking and safer streets.

Laying out what he called a “a seismic shift in policy” in front of a packed house that included the entire SFPD Command staff and all district Captains, Chief Suhr began the 4-hour hearing by apologizing for the agencies’ past missteps and committing to what he said would be a “new normal” in traffic enforcement at the SFPD.

In addition to publicly committing to the Vision Zero goal, which he called “a no-brainer”, the Chief says the SFPD will focus on the following next steps to ensure safer streets and fair treatment of all road users:

  • Acknowledgement that most of these traffic deaths and serious injuries are preventable;

  • Commitment that 50% of all SFPD enforcement will go toward the Focus on the Five campaign to target the primary collision factors of speeding, running red lights/stop signs, and failure to yield — currently, this figure is only at 22%;

  • Change in SFPD protocol at traffic crime scenes to now cite non-serious, serious and deadly collisions, as well as arrest parties;

  • Official adoption of the term “collision” in place of accident when referring to traffic crashes;

  • Issuing monthly reports on collisions and enforcement to track progress;

  • Stepped-up training of SFPD officers of bicyclists’ and pedestrians’ rights and responsibilities, including a new video in coordination with the SF Bicycle Coalition & Walk SF;

  • Review of collisions involving people biking and walking over the past year to determine whether citations should be issued.

See the excellent coverage of last week’s major breakthrough in the Chronicle, Examiner, SF Streetsblog, and the Guardian (which includes video of the Chief’s commitments and a moving video of a woman hit and injured while walking and whose case will now be revisited).

What’s next? While we are encouraged by these strong, public commitments, we will need your help to hold the SFPD accountable for fulfilling these promises.

Now, with the momentum of the joint Board of Supervisors/Police Commission behind us, the next step is to put pressure on the SFMTA to significantly speed up delivery of on-the-ground safety improvements that are even more vital to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries.

We’ll ask the SFMTA Board of Directors & Ed Reiskin: Why does it take more than 10 years to fix a mere two-block stretch of a street for better bicycling — such as the Polk St. contra-flow project at Market St.

Help continue to move Vision Zero  forward.

Vision Zero Rally

Tuesday, January 21 12-12:30PM

City Hall, Polk Street Steps

1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Place

After the rally, speak up at the SFMTA Board Meeting and call on the Agency to fix our streets before anyone else is killed.

SFMTA Board of Directors Meeting

Tuesday, January 21 – From 1PM

1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Place

City Hall, Room 400

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