Even one traffic fatality is unacceptable — especially for a Vision Zero city — and yet Philadelphia ended 2023 with record high pedestrian and bicyclist deaths. No one wants this year to follow that terrible trend, and we’ve been closely monitoring crash data to see how 2024 compares to the beginning of 2023.

Philadelphia adopted Vision Zero in 2016, when then-Mayor Kenney signed an executive order creating a goal of eliminating traffic fatalities by 2030. On Thursday, March 21st of this year, Mayor Parker recommitted Philadelphia to Vision Zero and moved the goal of zero traffic fatalities to 2050. Her executive order sets a goal of adding traffic improvements on every mile of the High Injury Network by 2030. (The High Injury Network is the 12% of streets in Philadelphia with 80% of the total serious and fatal crashes.)

To recap, Philadelphia ended 2023 with a total of 126 traffic fatalities; 57 of those were pedestrians, 10 were bicyclists, and 43 were hit-and-runs. Since 2020, Philadelphia has seen only a slight decrease in total fatalities; however, that is offset by a record high number of pedestrian and bicyclists deaths.

So far in 2024, there have been 16 traffic fatalities, 10 of those pedestrians, no bicyclists, and 7 were hit-and-runs. As you can see from the below graph, this is the lowest recorded number of fatal crashes in the first quarter of the year since 2019.

However, the largest impact is still on vulnerable road users — almost 60% of fatalities this year are pedestrians.

Jan-Mar 2019-2024

The Bicycle Coalition will continue to monitor fatal crash data as the year continues. We are encouraged by the overall decrease in fatalities compared to previous years, but according to past crash data, warmer months show an increase in total traffic fatalities. Philadelphia is not alone in these trends. (Read more about how we compare to national trends.)

The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia houses Families for Safe Streets Greater Philadelphia (FSSGP) which is comprised of victims of traffic violence and families whose loved ones have been killed or severely injured by aggressive, reckless, or careless driving, behavior enabled by a dangerous street design. We represent the full range of greater Philadelphia’s rich diversity and collectively demand an end to traffic violence. If you’re interested getting involved please email nicole@bicyclecoalition.org for more information.

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