Why Vision Zero is a Human Rights Issue For the Deaf — and the Rest of the Disability Community | Streetsblog USA

In American Sign Language, we call our translators interpreters for a reason: direct translation, or transliteration, is often not representative of the true meaning. For instance, the direct transliteration of Vision Zero is “zero vision.” Zero vision is not a good translation of Vision Zero, but it is a great representation of the current state of safe streets in DC and across the United States, especially for people with disabilities.

Vision Zero is a goal led by Swedish and Scandinavian countries, where the goal is to reduce traffic deaths to zero. This was a campaign promise of Mayor Bowser’s in 2014. Unfortunately, 40 people died on DC streets in 2021, the most since 2007.

Disabled people, seniors, and children are disproportionately affected when it comes to road safety. Disabled people use transit more, walk more and are less likely to drive, with both working and non-working disabled people less likely to own a car than those without disabilities.

For a number of reasons, many disabled people are disproportionately put at risk by unsafe sidewalks, overly large, fast and busy streets, and cities that are designed for cars, not people. As a result, disabled people are four times more likely to die in crashes.

What’s the solution?

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