A Vision for Smarter and Safer Cities

As the world adopts smart lights, smart homes, smartphones, and smart cars, the real question we need to ask is this: Today?s cities are ?smarter? than ever, but are they safer?

By Dave Braunstein

Safer cities are often associated with crime rates, but this fails to include an integral aspect of public health and safety: our roads. Transportation is an overlooked but important determinant of how safe a city is. Road safety is not just limited to car crashes and aggressive driving but includes near-misses, as well as motorcycle, bicyclist, and pedestrian collisions that cost life and limb and billions of dollars in medical care, property damage, and lawsuits each year. In the United States alone, traffic crashes are a leading cause of death in people aged 54 and below. To put it into perspective, that is 40,000 deaths annually and 4.4 million injuries requiring medical attention ? a significant majority of which can be prevented.

Ensuring road safety is a shared responsibility among all road users, and both public and private sector stakeholders have roles here. At