Traffic Safety

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Vision Zero

Vision Zero LogoThe core message of the Vision Zero traffic safety initiative—adopted as policy by the City Council in 2016—is simple: one death on our city streets is too many. San Luis Obispo families, workers, students and visitors deserve safe streets on which to walk, bike, access transit and drive. Building on the success of the City’s existing Traffic Safety Program, which has already reduced traffic collisions by nearly 60 percent in the past 15 years, San Luis Obispo will work towards a goal of zero traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries by 2030.

In Sweden, the first country to adopt Vision Zero as official road policy, traffic fatalities dropped nearly 50% since 1997.  Other U.S. states and cities have achieved similarly dramatic results through Vision Zero programs. Rather than accepting traffic-related fatalities as “accidents”, an inherent societal cost of travel, the initiative’s philosophy holds that the loss of life is not an acceptable price to pay for mobility.  Rather than singularly faulting road users, the Vision Zero viewpoint places the core responsibility for collision severity on the overall road system design, enforcement and public education.  The premise is that humans are fallible and will make mistakes—properly designed transportation systems can help minimize the consequences and severity of these mistakes when they occur.

With over 30,000 traffic-related deaths per year in the United States, traffic safety has become a significant public health concern in American cities. The public health imperative behind Vision Zero is clear: increasing the safety of our streets for all users not only saves lives, but also creates healthy communities by making it easier and more enticing for people to engage in daily physical activity by walking and biking.

To achieve zero deaths or serious injuries, the City of San Luis Obispo commits to providing a transportation system that is safe and accessible to users of all ages and abilities. We do this through:

  • Data-Driven Analysis of Collision Trends
  • Innovative, Context-Sensitive Street Design
  • Community Education
  • Strategic Traffic Enforcement

 Overall Collision TrendOverall Collisions 2017

 Injury Collision Trend

Injury Collisions 2017 


Maps and Data

Annual Traffic Safety Report – The City’s annual Traffic Safety Report (TSR) reviews citywide collision trends, identifies patterns and rates at high-collision locations, and recommends specific actions and improvements at high-crash intersections and corridors.

Current Safety Projects – Click here to see what traffic safety projects are in progress or completed in your neighborhood.

Vision Zero Crash Map – This interactive map summarizes recent citywide collision data, highlighting locations where fatal and severe injury collisions have occurred. [COMING SOON]

Vision Zero Community Input Map – This interactive tool allows members of the community to provide comments and tag locations where they have perceived traffic safety issues. Click here to view the map and all comments. Add your own comments to the map here.

Vision Zero Community Input Map

How You Can Help

Safety Tips for Drivers, Pedestrians and Bicyclists – Whether you are walking, biking or driving to get around the city, click here to review some basic tips to make your trip safer. 

Report Concerns

Neighborhood Traffic Safety Toolkit

Speed Radar Trailer Program – City transportation staff deploys two radar trailers every week to different locations around the city. The radar trailer displays a vehicle’s speed on a reader board and has been effective in decreasing vehicle speed in many areas of San Luis Obispo by encouraging motorists to reduce speed. The radar trailers are set up at a location typically from Monday to Friday. You can participate in this program by contacting City Transportation Staff at and request that your neighborhood be added to the rotation list for the radar trailers.

Traffic Enforcement Unit – The goal of the Traffic Safety Unit is to use education and enforcement to increase traffic safety in San Luis Obispo. The unit is staffed with officers who work from fully marked police motorcycles, with an emphasis on vehicle code enforcement. The Transportation Division works closely with the Traffic Safety Unit regarding enforcement issues, and we rely on input from the community to reveal problem areas. Please report any traffic-related enforcement issues to the Traffic Safety Unit by emailing

Red Curb Program – The City has a no-fee Red Curb Permit Program allowing residents to paint and maintain a portion of curb on either side of their private driveway. The goal of this program is to discourage cars from blocking driveways and to increase the visibility when cars are backing onto the road. To participate in this program, contact City Transportation Staff at

Engineering Studies – City transportation staff conducts various studies within a neighborhood to analyze traffic issues and safety. Studies may include vehicle volume counts, speed surveys, sight distance studies, and a review of collision patterns.


  • How does the City determine installation of different colored curb?
  • Someone in our neighborhood has left a basketball hoop on the street creating parking restrictions. What can be done about this?
  • What is the small bicycle symbol in the traffic lane at a signalized intersection?
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