Report: Rate Of Mass. Traffic Fatalities Surpasses Pre-Pandemic Levels

Photo: Courtesy of the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition.

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — With World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on Sunday to recognize those lost in crashes, a coalition based in Massachusetts reports that vehicle-related deaths in recent years have outpaced pre-pandemic levels.

The Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition came out with a report that said that out of the one million traffic crashes that have happened in the Commonwealth since 2015, 2,905 resulted in fatalities and 18,280 caused serious injuries as of November.

In the five years leading up to the pandemic, the Bay State had an average of 336 traffic deaths a year. In 2021, that number rose to 418, and officials at MVZC say that this year's number may be even higher.

To remember those lost, the MVZC is laying down yellow flowers at the State House on Beacon Hill, one blossom for each victim in 2022. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is recognizing World Day of Remembrance by lighting the Zakim, Longfellow, Burns Memorial, and Fore River Bridges yellow Sunday night, the coalition says. Officials say Boston City Hall and the Government Center Station will be colored yellow as well.

Read More: One Brandeis University Student Dies In Waltham Bus Crash, Dozens Injured

MassBike, a member of the MVZC, says eight bicyclists have died on roadways so far in 2022.

The MVSC released a toolkit for residents who may not be able to attend in-person events and are interested in recognizing World Day of Remembrance at home.

  1. Light a candle at home and have a moment of silence
  2. Connect with friends or family who have been impacted by traffic violence
  3. Share your story on social media and tag #WDoR2022 
  4. Send a letter to legislators pushing them to prioritize traffic safety in your community. This could look like asking for lower speed limits on dangerous roads, changing road design, or education campaigns.

The Coalition also sent a letter to legislators on Sunday to demand the passage of a bill to improve traffic safety named "An Act to reduce traffic fatalities."

WBZ's Charlie Bergeron (@CharlieBergeron) reports.

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