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San Francisco had 20 traffic deaths in 2017

That’s the lowest figure on record since 1915

Cars on the street in the SF financial district, seen from above. Photo by danielo

San Francisco’s Vision Zero program—which hopes to one day reduce traffic deaths in the city to zero—reported last week that 20 people died from vehicular-related crashes in San Francisco in 2017.

The San Francisco Chronicle notes that’s the lowest figure since the city started recording traffic deaths back on 1915 (there were 68 that year), and therefore possibly the lowest in city history since the popular introduction of the automobile.

According to Vision Zero’s preliminary end of year report, this is how SF traffic deaths in 2017 broke down:

  • 14 pedestrians.
  • Two cyclists.
  • Four motorcycle drivers.
  • Zero car drivers/passengers.

The same report provides totals from the previous three years for comparison: The city saw 31 traffic deaths in 2014 and 2015, and 30 in 2016.

A corresponding map shows where the fatal incidents happened.

Note that these figures represent only deaths on city-maintained streets. “Data does not reflect freeway deaths occurring on grade-separated freeways/roadways under Caltrans jurisdiction,” according to Vision Zero. (SF Weekly’s count has the number at 23.)

The city report card also points out that this excludes two cyclists whose cause of death is still under investigation by the Medical Examiner’s Office. And although only a few dozen people die on SF streets most years, thousands of crashes and injuries still occur.

Still, all told that’s roughly one death per roughly 43,200 residents for the year, based on an estimated SF population of about 864,000 people.

For comparison, in Los Angeles of 2016, 226 people died in traffic crashes, about one per 15,292 residents. New York City had 229 traffic deaths the same year, roughly one per 37,283. Neither city has yet released 2017 figures.

Vision Zero