Traffic calming has brought forward an encompassing reduction in road violence. The initial objective of bringing the number of traffic related deaths down to zero has been fulfilled thanks to the enforcement of municipal prevention and control policies. With the new mobility model, casualty figures have declined dramatically.
With fewer passenger vehicles driving around the city center and the introduction of road violence deterrence measures, there has been a remarkable improvement in key safety indicators, which is backed by the official accident rate figures released by national oversight public bodies. While 69 people were hit by cars in 1999, there were only 4 accidents with pedestrians involved in 2013, and much less severe. As for serious road traffic accidents, the figures are quite revealing: 129 back in the year 2000 and only 12 accidents in 2015.
Half of the people run over by cars driving at 50 km/h die because of the injuries they sustain in the accident. Up to 80% die if the car is driving at 60 km/h. However, only 5% die when the car is driving at 30 km/h. In addition, the introduction of life-saving road bumps and the implementation of mobility designs that give pedestrians absolute priority lead to friendlier, safer cities.
The physical configuration of the streets and squares of Pontevedra, as well as its unique citywide pedestrian priority system contribute to a greater public perception of safety. Regarding child mobility, most parents in Pontevedra declare that they notice how much more aware they need to be of their children’s actions when they visit a different place: public spaces and pedestrianized areas in Pontevedra are perfectly safe for unsupervised children to play outdoors.
In a model where private passenger cars, the public transport network, cyclists and pedestrians no longer compete for the same space and where priorities are distinctly clear for all users, there is no mobility mode that feels especially vulnerable or at risk. Riding a bicycle around Pontevedra is not only safe and healthy, but also practical and extremely time-efficient.