City of Somerville header
File #: 23-1664    Version: 1
Type: Resolution Status: Approved
File created: 11/6/2023 In control: City Council
On agenda: 11/9/2023 Final action: 11/9/2023
Enactment date: 11/9/2023 Enactment #: 216244
Title: Commending the actions taken to improve the safety of the municipal fleet.
Sponsors: Jake Wilson, Willie Burnley Jr., Lance L. Davis, Beatriz Gomez Mouakad

Agenda Summary


Commending the actions taken to improve the safety of the municipal fleet.


Official Text

WHEREAS:                      Communities in the United States face an increasing epidemic of vehicle crashes, with an estimated 42,795 people killed in car crashes in 2022, with 434 traffic fatalities in Massachusetts; and

WHEREAS:                      Approximately a quarter of the victims of car crashes in Massachusetts were either riding bicycles or pedestrians, with 9 bicycle riders and 98 pedestrians killed; and

WHEREAS:                      Speeding is estimated to be a factor in 29 percent of fatal crashes, and was the primary factor in 11,057 deaths in 2021; and

WHEREAS:                      Even non-fatal impacts can cause serious injury and psychological trauma, and according to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation crash data portal there were a total of 707 crashes, with 31 pedestrians and 47 bicycle riders struck, in 2022 on Somerville’s streets; and

WHEREAS:                     Somerville recognizes that Safer Vehicles and Safer Speeds are key elements of the Safe System Approach in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s 2022 National Roadway Safety Strategy and are consistent with Somerville’s Vision Zero Action Plan; and

WHEREAS:                      Vehicle safety technology continues to advance. After-market technology known as intelligent speed assistance (ISA), is available to retrofit vehicles to use GPS to adhere to posted speed limits; and

WHEREAS:                      The City has a responsibility to model safe practices for the community, and a focus on the safety of vehicles operated by the City can help reduce traffic fatalities and injuries to all road users, including vehicle operators and members of the public; and

WHEREAS:                      The City has already taken steps to pilot ISA and in the fiscal year 2024 budget the Fleet Management division included a goal to increase the number of speed limiters from 9 to 17; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT

RESOLVED: That the Somerville City Council commends the actions already taken by the City to improve the safety of the municipal fleet and encourages the administration to provide the City Council with an implementation policy and timeline for pilot programs for ISA and other vehicle safety technology, to make a report to the City Council on any data gathered from such pilots, and to update criteria for new vehicle acquisition to include proven safety technology such as ISA and automatic emergency braking that detects and responds to people in the roadway.