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Scholarship Promotes Vision Zero Traffic Program for Boston

traffic deaths

BOSTON -- June 30, 2014: An inspired idea from Sweden to reduce traffic deaths to zero has already been adopted in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York City. Vision Zero is a multi-pronged attack on the causes of traffic accidents. It uses improved road safety (design-focused measures), driver education, and increased enforcement of traffic laws. This combination has been shown to dramatically reduce the number of traffic fatalities, and Boston Attorney John Sheehan is trying to raise awareness of the potential by offering a scholarship to students willing to focus on the issue of traffic safety.

The $1000 Auto Accident prevention scholarship will be awarded to a candidate from Massachusetts in their first or second year of law school who can demonstrate a perfect driving record.

An accident and ticket-free driving record is no small accomplishment – especially for those navigating Boston's tortuous roadways. "We rarely talk about driving records – because so few of us have an unblemished history," said Sheehan, who practices injury law and sees the tragic results of poor roads and even poorer driving habits.

In 2011, there were 13 fatal car crashes in the Boston area, down from 18 in 2012. There were many more non-fatal accidents resulting in serious injuries. Mr. Sheehan believes we can reduce this number to zero by applying the principles in the Vision Zero program.

"Government has a place in fixing the infrastructure and instituting higher standards for driver education. They also have an enforcement duty. But drivers share an equivalent burden when it comes to safety. The point of this scholarship is to reach students who are still developing driving skills and are still teachable, rewarding those who have demonstrated good habits."

Vision Zero type programs have already shown dramatic results, with a drop in traffic deaths even as traffic volume has increased.

Applications for the Vision Zero Auto Accident Prevention Scholarship can be found at Mr. Sheehan's website: Applications will be accepted until July 1st, and the scholarship will be awarded August 31st. Students entering a law program this fall are eligible, but will have to submit proof of school acceptance.