Beyond the Traffic Report: The News about Road Safety and Vision Zero in San Francisco
One traffic-related death is too many. That is the premise on which Vision Zero—an international movement rooted in collaboration across sectors to eliminate traffic-related deaths and severe injuries, and to ensure safe, equitable mobility for everybody—is built. In 2014, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority (SFMTA) adopted the Vision Zero SF program and set the city on a path toward modeling a community in which safe mobility is the norm for all road users.
How an issue portrayed in news coverage has an important impact on the public's and on policymakers' understanding of and response to that issue. In this report, PHI's Berkeley Media Studies Group and InterEthnica looked at news coverage of traffic safety in San Francisco to understand how the issue is framed and what the implications are for the city's Vision Zero effort to eliminate traffic injuries and fatalities.
Building awareness of and support for Vision Zero SF is a complex multipart process. This initial analysis of the public narrative around traffic safety issues as they appear in news coverage uncovered a number of challenges and opportunities with important implications for eliminating death and injury on our roads.