Vision Zero

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VisionZeroLogoCOLORVision Zero is a traffic safety policy that takes an ethical approach towards achieving safety for all road users. The goal is to achieve a reduction in the number of fatal and serious injury crashes to zero in Tempe, because everyone deserves to get home safely.





Public input opportunity for setting speed limits

Tempe is looking to lower speed limits in an effort to make our streets safer for all road users. Aligned with Tempe’s Vision Zero initiative to eliminate traffic fatalities and reduce serious injury crashes, Tempe is looking to institute a “safe systems” approach when it comes to setting speed limits. The “safe systems” approach recognizes that people make mistakes and seeks to design a system that allows for these mistakes, rather than expecting perfect driving behavior. Lowering speed limits reduces the chances of injury when involved in a crash. In Tempe, one in five high-severity crashes are attributed to driving too fast for road conditions.

Residents are invited to join us at four informational sessions to discuss proposed speed limit changes and provide feedback. Online comment is available Nov. 16 to Dec. 28, 2019. View the presentation from the speed limit meetings PDF. 

  • Nov. 16: 9:30-11:30 a.m. @ Arizona Community Church – Building G1, 9325 S. Rural Road
  • Nov. 21: 5:30-7:30 p.m. @ Arizona Community Church – Building G1, 9325 S. Rural Road
  • Dec. 11: 5:30-7:30 p.m. @ Tempe Public Library – Meeting Room A, 3500 S. Rural Road
  • Dec. 14: 9:30-11:30 a.m. @ Tempe Public Library – Meeting Room A, 3500 S. Rural Road

Public input opportunity for Intersection Improvements

In an effort to advance Tempe’s Vision Zero goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injury crashes, Tempe is looking to improve the intersections at Rural Road and University Drive and at Rural Road and Rio Salado Parkway. Residents are encouraged to attend two public meetings on:

  • Jan. 22: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Tempe Transportation Center, 200 E. Fifth St.
  • Jan. 25: 9 to 10:30 a.m. at the North Tempe Multi-Generation Center, 1555 N. Bridalwreath St.

The proposed improvements are aimed to increase capacity and enhance safety. Improvements include construction of additional turn lanes, new traffic signals, updated sidewalk ramps (ADA) and improved transit stops. Online comment will be available Jan. 22 until Feb. 14, 2020



Vision Zero Dashboard

Crash Statistics Dashboard: 2012-2017

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Tempe passes new rules for bike and scooter riders

TEMPE, Ariz. (Aug. 15, 2019) – There are new rules for operating bikes and scooters in Tempe. Here is what you need to know.

  • Bikes, e-bikes and scooters must use a bike lane when one is provided.
  • Bikes, e-bikes and scooters must ride in the street when the speed limit is 25 mph or below.
  • Bikes, e-bikes and scooters are allowed on the sidewalk when there are no bikes lanes available and the speed limit is greater than 25 mph.
    • E-bike motors must be disengaged.
  • Minors, with the consent of, or accompanied by a parent or guardian, may ride on the sidewalk at all times. Parents and guardians may also ride on the sidewalk when accompanying a minor.
  • Bikes, e-bikes and scooters must ride with the flow of traffic.
  • Bikes, e-bikes and scooters must yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian; slow down to 5 mph; and give an audible signal before passing.
  • Riders must be over the age of 16 to operate all non-human powered vehicles (scooters and other electric mobility devices).
  • Riders under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet if operating a human-powered or non-human-powered vehicle.

Studies continue to show that riding on the sidewalk increases a bicyclist’s risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash.  That risk increases even more when riding on the sidewalk against the flow of traffic.

The Tempe City Council voted unanimously to approve these safety measures, which included repealing Chapter 7 and expanding and amending Chapter 19. 

The enacted changes were designed to align with Tempe’s Vision Zero policy. Changes will go in to effect in 30 days.

To view the full ordinance, please visit

Tempe approves Vision Zero Action Plan

TEMPE, Ariz. (May 29, 2019) – Tempe’s Vision Zero Action Plan was approved by the Tempe City Council. The plan seeks to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injury crashes by using crash data and developing strategies in several key areas, including distraction, pedestrians and intersections.

“This is game changing,” said Mayor Mark Mitchell. “Public safety has always been a priority for the city and Vision Zero reinforces that commitment. It’s great for our community, great for our residents.”

While the plan was being developed, Tempe took a proactive approach to implementing a few Vision Zero strategies, including adopting a distracted driving ordinance and the installation of LED streetlights improving nighttime visibility.

“Now the work really begins,” said Tempe Traffic Engineer Julian Dresang. “Our next steps will be to work with lead agencies to implement the Vision Zero Action Plan strategies. Some will be easier than others, but we have to implement all of the strategies together to achieve our goal of eliminating traffic fatalities.”

View the Vision Zero Action Plan PDF

Comment on the Draft Action Plan

Public meetings were held March 23 and 27, 2019 and online comment was available March 23 to April 6, 2019.

Tempe's distracted driving ordinance updated to primary offense

Tempe, Ariz. (March 1, 2019) – On average, it takes five seconds to send or read a text message.  It also takes about five seconds to travel the length of a football field while driving 55 mph. In 2016, nine percent of all fatal crashes in the U.S. were reportedly related to in-vehicle distractions.

As part of Tempe’s Vision Zero efforts to eliminate traffic fatalities, the City Council approved changes to the city’s Distracted Driving Ordinance at last night’s Regular Council Meeting. 

The new changes, which take effect immediately, allow Tempe Police to cite drivers for holding, typing on or operating a mobile device while driving. Devices must be used in hands-free or voice-operated modes. Removing the distraction associated with handheld mobile devices will allow drivers to better focus attention on driving, resulting in improved safety for all roadway users. There will be a 30-day education period before any citations are issued.

Get more information here

Tempe officially recognized as first Vision Zero city in Arizona

TEMPE, Ariz. (Feb. 6, 2019) – The Vision Zero Network officially recognized Tempe as the first Vision Zero city in Arizona. 


Tempe moves forward with Vision Zero planning 

TEMPE, Ariz. (Jan. 31, 2019) – Tempe is continuing its effort to create a Vision Zero action plan that will help eliminate all fatal and serious injury crashes in the city.

In June, three working groups were formed to continue developing strategies in the following areas: education, engineering and enforcement/emergency response. These groups met in August and October to further develop strategies that will achieve the Vision Zero goal.

This past month, the stakeholders from all three working groups gathered to narrow down the selection of strategies that will be part of the Vision Zero Action Plan. View the powerpoint presentation PDF.

Tempe holds Vision Zero Workshop


TEMPE, Ariz. (June 19, 2018) – Bike safety clinics, roundabouts, and seatbelt education. Just a few of hundreds of ideas discussed at Tempe’s Vision Zero Visioning Workshop. Over 50 stakeholders, including residents, students and employees, attended to brainstorm strategies that will help eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injury crashes in Tempe. The next step is creating working groups that will establish goals and strategies for the following areas: education, enforcement, engineering and emergency response. View the Workshop powerpoint presentation PDF. Read the Vision Zero Workshop Summary: June 2018 PDF.

Operation Safe Roads interviews Julian Dresang

Tempe first Arizona city to adopt Vision Zero resolution

Ensuring safe streets for all pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists

TEMPE, Ariz. (March 17, 2018) – In the past six years more than 60 people have lost their lives on Tempe streets and more than 400 were seriously injured due to traffic accidents. Earlier this year, the Tempe City Council unanimously voted to adopt a Vision Zero framework resolution PDF, becoming the first city in Arizona to do so.

Vision Zero is a traffic safety policy that takes an ethical approach towards achieving safety for all road users. The goal is to achieve a reduction in the number of fatal and serious injury crashes to zero in Tempe, because no loss of life is acceptable.

Vision Zero started in Sweden in the late 1990s and has since expanded around the globe, including major U.S. cities such as Los Angeles and New York City. It is the belief that traffic deaths are preventable and often other severities can be reduced.

The Tempe Transportation Division is developing a comprehensive framework, with the goal to have it completed in the next 12 to 18 months.  As part of the development, Tempe will work with numerous stakeholders, including Tempe police, fire medical rescue, schools, hospitals and businesses.

Vision Zero aligns directly with the Council’s Safe and Secure Communities priority to achieve a reduction in the number of fatal and serious injury crashes to zero.


Bicycle, scooter and pedestrian safety

Shelly Seyler, Deputy Engineering & Transportation Director
480-350-8854 •

VZ crash data