Fremont Vision Zero

Vision Zero Overview

Vision Zero is a transportation engineering approach that considers the loss of life from traffic crashes to be unacceptable and identifies safety as the highest priority for the transportation system. The bold goal of Fremont’s Vision Zero program is to eliminate fatalities and significantly reduce severe injuries.  A Vision Zero approach accepts that people make mistakes and that crashes will happen, but seeks to design and operate the transportation system so that these crashes do not result in life altering injuries or death.  Vision Zero cities proactively use data to address high risk locations and behaviors; integrate efforts in the areas of engineering, education, and enforcement; and use low-cost improvements to make swift safety interventions.

The Fremont City Council approved a Vision Zero policy in September 2015 and became the 7th city in the U.S. (and the first midsized city) to adopt a Vision Zero action plan in 2016.  Fremont’s City Council approved the current Vision Zero Action Plan in April 2021.

2021 Major Crash Update

Fremont has seen significant declines in major crashes (those resulting in loss of life or a life-altering injury) since adopting its Vision Zero policy in 2015, however in 2021 this trend unfortunately reversed.  Fremont saw a concerning rise in major traffic crashes in 2021, though major crashes remain below the levels seen prior to adoption of Vision Zero.  In 2021, Fremont experienced 24 major traffic crashes, including 9 fatal crashes and 15 severe injury crashes, which exceeds the average number from 2018-2020.  This increase mirrors an increase in fatal traffic crashes that has been seen nationally since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Fremont has undertaken significant efforts to improve traffic safety in the past 5 years as part of its Vision Zero traffic safety program, including engineering measures to address previously identified issue such as general speed management, nighttime visibility, and better facilities for vulnerable users such as pedestrians and bicyclists.  Notably, the increase in major traffic crashes in 2021 reflects a new set of societal issues.  In particular, the major crashes in 2021 include a striking number of crashes involving reckless speeding (25 mph to 40 mph over posted speed limits) and crashes involving homeless individuals walking in roadways.  Together, reckless speeding and crashes involving homeless individuals account for 6 of 8 fatal crashes in 2021.  These issues will require a holistic approach to address, including new partnerships and tools to enforce speed limits and create a culture of safety and building on existing City initiatives to provide services and stable housing to individuals experiencing housing insecurity.

Click here for more information on 2021 major traffic crashes.
Fremont Crash Trend Chart - 1-20-22

Vision Zero Action Plan

Fremont’s Vision Zero Action Plan includes actions in the areas of Safer Streets, Safer People, and Safer Vehicles.  

FVZ 2025 Action Plan Graphic
Click on the pictures below for more information on recently completed and upcoming safety projects and actions in these areas.
Safer Streets
Safer People
Safer Vehicles


Fremont’s Vision Zero program has received recognition from a number of national-level professional organizations:

  • Fremont’s Vision Zero Program was recognized by the Institute of Transportation Engineers as the National Safety Achievement of the Year and as the Transportation Project of the Year for the Western District.
  • The Vision Zero Network, a national organization promoting efforts to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries across the country, featured Fremont in a webinar and a Q&A blog.
  • Fremont was invited to present a poster on its Vision Zero program at the national meeting of the Institute of Transportation Engineers in August 2018. 
  • Fremont was invited to present on its Vision Zero program at the 2019 Institute of Transportation Engineers Western District meeting; the presentation was recognized as one of the best overall in the conference.
  • Fremont was featured in an article in the Washington Post on the spread of Vision Zero to suburban communities nationally.

Further Information

For additional information on Vision Zero and related “safe systems” traffic safety programs, please see these organizations.