A 24% spike in the road crash death rate in 2020 resulted in 42,060 lost lives on our Nation’s roads according to the National Safety Council. That’s the highest rate increase in 96 years despite fewer cars on the road, and fewer miles driven nationally due to the pandemic. With people returning to the streets in and out of their cars, and a special eye towards this coming Labor Day weekend where many will be traveling by car for perhaps the first time this year, I wanted to share with you some successes of how we’re addressing safety on our streets and reminders of how we can all work together to keep each other safe.

As we approach the Labor Day weekend, the Madison Police Department and the City of Madison, are asking motorists to do their part in making it a safe holiday for everyone.  While the E. Washington Ave. corridor has experience a notable number of pedestrian/bicycles motor vehicle crashes, unfortunately crashes are occurring throughout the City. Even Dane County has already surpassed the number of fatal crashes they had all of last year, so whether you’re staying in Madison this holiday weekend or venturing further out, it’s as important as ever to practice good driving etiquette and safety procedures.

Citations on East Washington by monthWorking in partnership with the Vision Zero Madison initiative, the police have been paying special attention and working hard this summer to support the lowered speed limits along E. Washington Ave.  So far this year the Madison Police Department has issued just under 2,500 citations and warnings on E. Washington Ave.  That represents 20% of all citations and warnings issued in Madison this year.  In addition, MPD has conducted over 150 enhanced enforcement projects utilizing traffic overtime grant funding made available through the WI DOT.  50 of those projects occurred on E. Washington Ave.

2021 has been particularly harmful to those who are most vulnerable on our streets including pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists so whether you’re driving, or enjoying and exploring Madison some other way, let’s keep an eye out for each other on our streets this weekend and into the future.  

We want everyone to enjoy a much deserved holiday weekend.  With a home UW football game, students ready to start classes, and numerous events happening throughout our city, this weekend in particular requires us all to take responsibility for our driving.  Slow down, drive sober, and pay particular attention for those who are most vulnerable out on our streets. Those efforts in tandem with the work of Vision Zero and our Police Departments due diligence we can get to zero fatal crashes on our streets. As I have said before, education, engineering and enforcement are key to tackling this problem.

This content is free for use with credit to the City of Madison - Mayor's Office and a link back to the original post.