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Las Vegas hopes to reduce traffic accidents by participating in Vision Zero program

One person was killed and several others injured along Las Vegas Boulevard in December when a car ran up onto a busy sidewalk.
Associated Press
Police investigate a deadly crash on the Las Vegas Strip. Police responded to nearly 19,000 collisions in the city in 2023, and officials are participating in the Vision Zero program to increase safety for motorists and pedestrians and reduce auto accidents.

More than 40,000 die on America’s roads every year, according to industry and government officials. As the numbers continue to rise, some cities in our region are participating in a program called Vision Zero.

Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death, industry analysts say. In Las Vegas, police responded to nearly 19,000 collisions last year.

The city is participating in Vision Zero, a European-inspired program which aims to eliminate traffic accidents by 2050. Reversing the deadly accident trend is crucial, said Joey Paskey, Las Vegas' Director of Public Works.

“In Las Vegas we see about one fatal crash and three serious injuries per week," Paskey said during a recent news conference held at Sahara Ave. and Durango Drive, one of the city's most dangerous intersections. "So a serious injury is something that would be debilitating or would cause a disability.”

With federal funds, secured through Nevada Congresswoman Susie Lee’s office, Las Vegas will allocate over $3 million for safety measures like better lighting in “high injury” intersections.

“All of the corridors included in this project are in our high injury network," Paskey said. "So, by bringing safety improvements to those areas first, we’re hoping to make more progress.”

Other improvements include installing video mirrors in more than 400 buses and installing solar panels at bus stops, which can also provide shade.

“These measures will enhance the safety of transit customers, bus operator, cyclists and pedestrians throughout the valley,” said Regional Transportation Deputy CEO Angela Castro.

Other cities in our region participating in Vision Zero include Denver and Boulder.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Nevada Public Radio (KNPR) in Las Vegas, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, KUNC in Colorado and KANW in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Yvette Fernandez is the regional reporter for the Mountain West News Bureau. She joined Nevada Public Radio in September 2021.