Lehigh Township police chief credits 'Vision Zero' program with reduction in vehicle crashes – 69News WFMZ-TV

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Updated: November 6, 2021 @ 8:04 am


LEHIGH TWP., Pa. – Lehigh Township police say they have cut the number of crashes by nearly 50%.
Township Police Chief Scott Fogel credits a program developed in Europe for the reduction.
“For us to go three years without a fatal crash is actually, it’s a pretty good feat for us, it’s a pretty good milestone. So as unfortunate as it is to see one, we’ve actually come quite a long way on our roadways,” Fogel said.
Fogel says it wasn’t always that way.
“In 2018 we had a bad stretch of multiple crashes, and we had a one-week stretch where there were four deaths that occurred. So for us it became a pivotal moment, really,” Fogel said.
And from that pivotal moment came the implementation of a program developed out of Sweden called “Vision Zero.” The goal? Zero crashes by 2030. The program’s ideology centers on changing the narrative of “traffic deaths are inevitable” to “traffic deaths are preventable.”
The program goes beyond just law enforcement and taking a zero-tolerance approach on speeding and aggressive driving.
“It takes a lot of stakeholders, not just the police, but also our public works department, fire, police, it also has to do with PennDOT assisting with things. The Department of Health helps out,” Fogel said.
They hold meetings quarterly and work together, figuring out better signage and ways to improve roads. There’s a major educational component that is shared on social media.
Fogel says a number of surrounding towns have embraced the program as well. He’s very happy with how it’s been implemented in his community.
“It does work, it helps a lot with traffic mitigation, speeding, aggressive driving, reduces crashes, which we’ve seen a great reduction in crashes in Lehigh Township,” Fogel said.

The crash happened around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in the 500 block of Cherryville Road, authorities said.
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