New street-safety campaign aims to educate drivers, pedestrians

'It's Your Life, It's My Life.' part of San Antonio's 'Vision Zero' initiative

SAN ANTONIO – City officials on Wednesday unveiled a campaign aimed at reducing traffic-related fatalities to zero.

The campaign, It's Your Life. It's My Life, targets pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.

"We're reminding people that they have to pay attention to the traffic laws and they have to pay attention to their neighbors," District 5 City Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales said. "San Antonio has one of the highest fatality rates for pedestrians, in particular, in the country. And so we need to change that."

Gonzales has been at the forefront of a larger initiative called Vision Zero. The new educational campaign is part of that initiative.

According to a news release, Vision Zero involves a combined approach using five elements for a safe transportation system: education, encouragement, engineering, enforcement and evaluation.

Gonzales said some of the work in the engineering segment has been underway for some time.

"We've done something all over the city called Z-Crossings, and they're new to San Antonio," she said.

The city also has $15 million earmarked in its budget this year for improvements, including new sidewalks, school zone upgrades and pavement markings.

Gonzales said the new campaign will involve the use of billboards, ads, public service announcements and other tools to spread the safety message.

A stark reminder about traffic-related fatalities was on display at a news conference Wednesday. Volunteers stood in a line, holding signs that said "Mother" and "Father" to represent all 154 people who were killed in crashes in San Antonio last year.

"Crashes will happen, but what we're trying to eliminate is that people will die in those crashes," Gonzales said.

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