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As Charlotte's goal for zero traffic deaths by 2030 inches closer, traffic fatalities only increase

Flickr user/Charlie Cowins

Several years ago, the city of Charlotte made a pledge to end traffic deaths by 2030.

But it’s an ambitious goal as traffic fatalities have increased in recent years. From 2008-2012, there were an average of 39 deaths from vehicle crashes and pedestrians being hit. In 2020, there were 81 fatalities.

One potential factor in the increase may be due to the decline in speeding tickets. In 2008, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police wrote one ticket for every 22 Charlotte residents. In 2018, police wrote one ticket for every 68.

Proposed solutions include implementing red-light and speed cameras or even redesigning streets to make them less conducive to speeding.

But traffic fatalities are not just a local problem, as more than 6,000 pedestrians were killed by vehicles on American streets in 2019, an increase of 46% from 2010.

We speak with researchers and a Charlotte City Council member to analyze traffic deaths in the Queen City and beyond to consider what it will take to get the green light for safer streets.


Julie Eiselt, mayor pro tem of Charlotte

Ely Portillo, assistant director of outreach and strategic partnerships for the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute

Wes Kumfer, engineering research associate for the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center

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Jesse Steinmetz is Producer of Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Before joining WFAE in 2019, he was an intern at WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut and hosted a show at Eastern Connecticut State University.