In August 2022, Apex Town Council adopted the Vision Zero Action Plan, a comprehensive and holistic approach to achieving the goal of zero fatalities on Apex roadways by 2035.
As part of its Vision Zero Action Plan, the Town of Apex will use a "Five E Approach" to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries on our streets:
Have you noticed an area in town that presents a safety concern for pedestrians, bicyclists, or vehicles? We rely on members of our community to report your concerns that can bring us closer to Vision Zero.
The Resolution to Support Vision Zero Apex was approved by the Apex Town Council on July 21, 2020 affirming the Town’s commitment to eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries. It also provided a framework for Town departments and community stakeholders to work together to achieve this goal.
Vision Zero started in Sweden in the 1990s. It has been adopted by many countries around the world and cities within the United States. North Carolina adopted the Vision Zero program in 2015, and launched NC Vision Zero as a resource for municipalities.
Approximately 6,709 motor vehicle-related crashes occurred in Apex over a 5-year period from 2015-2019 resulting in 237 severe injury crashes and 4 fatalities. Crash data analysis and mapping will be updated and published annually as part of implementation of the Actionable Strategies outlined in the Action Plan.
Programs and activities managed by the staff committee members and those in which members are actively involved contributing to the goals of Vision Zero Apex include the following:
BikeSafe NC (Lead department: Police)
The Apex Police Department supports and is an active in the BikeSafe - NC. This program invites motorcyclists to participate in rider skills sessions that offer rider assessments on driving skills and provides recommendations to help make rider safety a priority. Experienced motorcycle officers from local and state law enforcement agencies deliver this program. The unit conducts several BikeSafe courses within our community annually to enhance rider skills.
Buckleupnc.org Partnership (Lead department: Fire)
The Apex Fire Department participates in child passenger safety seat education, which includes educating parents on the proper procedures for installing child safety seats. Currently the department has 18 Nationally Certified Car Seat Technicians that provide these services through our permanent checking station located at Fire Station 3.
Crosswalk Lighting Improvement Program (Lead department: Planning & Community Development)
This program began in 2020. Planning staff prioritize locations through use of GIS and take measurements on site. Public Works staff confirm recommendations for Electric staff to install/upgrade lighting.
Community Risk Reduction (Lead department: Fire)
Apex Fire Department reviews all requests for traffic calming devices based on the provisions of the North Carolina Fire Code. Additionally requests for no parking signs are validated by fire department staff when roadways are too narrow to allow emergency vehicle access.
The Town of Apex has adopted the North Carolina Fire Code as the basis for ensuring that our community is appropriately protected from fire from a code education and enforcement perspective. Due to the necessity for fire apparatus to have the ability to access all structures throughout our community, the 2018 NC Fire Code states that an approved fire access road shall be provided for every facility, building or portion of a building. In Chapter 5: Section 503 Fire Apparatus Access Roads, approval authority for particular elements of road design and features rests with the fire code official. Roadway elements that are specifically addressed in the NC Fire Code include: Roadway dimensions, Roadway surface, Turning radiuses, Dead ends, Bridges and elevated surfaces, Grade, Angles of approach and departure, Roadway obstructions, Traffic calming devices, Gates or barricades, including security gates.
Data-Driven Approach to Crime and Traffic Safety Model (Lead department: Police)
Data-Driven Approach to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS) is a law enforcement operational model supported by a partnership with the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as well as two Department of Justice agencies, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). The Apex Police Department has integrated this Data-driven approach into its operations. DDACTS has allowed the Apex Police Department to incorporate location-based crime and traffic crash data to determine the most effective methods for deploying law enforcement and other resources. Drawing on the deterrent value of highly visible traffic enforcement and the knowledge that crimes often involve motor vehicles, the goal of DDACTS is to reduce crime, crashes, and traffic violations across the country.
GoApex Bus Service Implementation (Lead department: Planning & Community Development)
This initiative began 2019. Planning staff, in collaboration with other departments and regional partners, have been working to implement the Town’s first local bus route. An implementation study was primarily completed in 2019, work to design and build bus stops will take place over 2020-2021 and the route is anticipated to begin operating in 2021. The local route will serve the areas with the greatest need for transit in Apex and connect to regional routes between Apex and the Town of Cary, City of Raleigh, Town of Holly Springs, and Research Triangle Park.
Long Range Transportation Planning (Lead department: Planning & Community Development)
Advance Apex: The 2045 Comprehensive Transportation Plan and Bike Apex: The Comprehensive Bicycle Plan were developed concurrently and adopted in early 2019. These plans are not financially constrained – rather they establish a vision for the Town’s transportation network and establish a framework for prioritizing projects. Crash data inform the facility type and prioritization recommendations in both plans.
Look Before You Lock (Lead department: Fire)
Every year dozens of children across the country die from head exposure in vehicles. Apex Fire Department collaborates efforts with the Administration for Children and Families along with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to attempt to reduce these deaths by reminding parents and caregivers about the dangers of heatstroke and leaving children in hot cars. In an effort to increase awareness, the Apex Fire Department purchased an educational Hot Car Display for use at public events. In 2018, 53 children died in hot cars in the United States. It was the deadliest year on record in the past 20 years. Since 1998, more than 800 children have died from vehicular heatstroke; 24% occurred in employer parking lots while the parent or caregiver was at work. Parents and caregivers can act immediately to end these preventable deaths.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) (Lead department: Police)
The Apex Police Department supports and has established a partnership with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). This organization and the Apex Police Department collectively seek to stop drunk driving, prevent underage drinking and strive for stricter impaired driving laws, whether the cause of impairment was from alcohol or drugs. The Apex Police Department Traffic Safety Unit is actively involved in MADD’s Power of Parents and Power of Youth Education Programs. The programs target middle and high school students and their parents and focuses around the dangers of the consequences of underage drinking. Power of Youth is taught at every driver’s education class at both Apex high schools.
North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program (Lead department: Police)
The Apex Police Department supports and is an active partner with the Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP). The GHSP provides support and resources to law enforcement agencies to reduce traffic crashes and promote highway safety awareness through a variety of grants, traffic safety/awareness messages and safe-driving initiatives. The program addresses such issues as impaired driving, seat belt use, speeding, distracted driving, motorcycle safety, bicycle safety, pedestrian safety and other aspects of highway safety. In addition to this partnership, the Patrol Captain represents law enforcement on the NC GHSP Traffic Safety Symposiums board. This board develops the biennial training symposium to keep law enforcement abreast of current traffic related trends and enhances their training on enforcement and crash reduction.
Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) Crosswalks (Lead department: Transportation & Infrastructure Development)
The first RRFB in Apex was installed for the crosswalk across Apex Barbecue Road at Scotts Ridge Elementary School in 2016. In 2019, three additional crosswalk locations received RRFBs, and at least two more locations will receive RRFBs in 2020. RRFBs allow pedestrians to press a button that activates a flashing warning to alert oncoming motorists. This device provides enhanced visibility for crossings with higher pedestrian volumes and serves as a potential countermeasure where data has shown a crash history despite warning signs and markings.
Safe Kids North Carolina (Lead department: Fire)
The Apex Fire Department partners with Safe Kids, a worldwide agency dedicated to reducing accidental death and injury for children, keeping kids safe on the road with risk areas that include; In and Around Cars, Seatbelt Usage, Getting Ready to Drive and School Bus Safety. Apex Fire Department Staff works to educate families, raise awareness, create safer environments and advocate for improved laws to protect children.
Safe Routes to School Improvement Program (Lead department: Planning & Community Development)
This program began in 2018. The initial study identified gaps in infrastructure for 17 schools. Recommendations from the report along with ongoing evaluation are used to inform the CIP with annual SRTS expenditures over $250k /year. Requests for state funding is also based in part on this program. Improvements include new and enhanced facilities (crosswalks, sidewalks, paths, and greenways) to promote walking and biking to school.
School Zone Time of Day Flashing Beacon System (Lead department: Transportation & Infrastructure Development)
This town wide system became operational in 2016. Ten (10) schools are currently served by time of day flashing school speed reduction beacons. The beacons provide enhanced visibility and more accurate warnings based on actual varying school bell times compared to static signs. Access to the system via desktop computer and mobile app with real-time adjustments based on alerts from the school system makes the beacons both flexible and easy to monitor.
Traffic Calming Program (Lead department: Transportation & Infrastructure Development)
The Apex Unified Development Ordinance provides for traffic calming requests to be studied and implemented when warranted on residential streets as well as evaluation for proposed residential streets in the plan review process.
Traffic Incident Management Systems (TIMS) (Lead department: Police)
Traffic Incident Management Systems (TIMS) is a national program that uses a planned and coordinated process to detect, respond to, and remove traffic incidents and restore traffic capacity as safely and quickly as possible. The program is designed through its implementation to prevent secondary crashes. The Apex Police Department, Apex Fire Department and other Town of Apex resources utilized this traffic management program to respond to and resolve traffic incidents within Apex. All sworn personnel and Fire personnel are trained in this national program.
Traffic Safety Improvement Program (Lead department: Transportation & Infrastructure Development)
This program began in 2012. Staff summarize information from the annually published North Carolina Highway Safety Improvement Program lists below, tracking from year-to-year, and request Police input. Locations identified are compared to planned local and state projects and considered for possible countermeasures. Improvements identified are proposed for funding through the Capital Improvement Program.
VIP for a VIP Program (Vehicle Injury Prevention for a Very Important Person) (Lead department: Police)
The Apex Police supports and participates in the VIP for a VIP Program (Vehicle Injury Prevention for a Very Important Person). This program educates teen drivers about the dangers of driving impaired and/or distracted driving. The program exposes high school students to a mock fatal vehicle crash embedding the consequences into the minds of teenage drivers. The vision is that, by the end of the day, students will have a realistic picture of what can happen due to a moment of inattention and/or impaired driving. Volunteers from local fire, EMS, Police as well as the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, deliver this program. This program is typically offered twice a year at both Apex high schools.
Watch For Me NC Program (Lead department: Police)
The Apex Police Department is committed to the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists within our community and has partnered with Watch For Me NC Program to help enhance pedestrian and bicycle safety. The program focuses on safety and educational messages directed towards drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists, and high visibility enforcement in an effort to reduce violations of traffic safety laws in Apex.
A staff committee manages the various programs contributing to Vison Zero Apex and meets monthly to discuss progress, exchange ideas, and work toward the goals of Vision Zero. The committee is comprised of members from the Administration, Transportation & Infrastructure Development, Planning & Community Development, and Police Departments.
Stakeholders have a key role in guiding the program, reviewing information, providing public input, and assisting the staff committee with public outreach. Stakeholders to the Vision Zero Action Plan are at the state, regional, and local levels.