RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Despite the City of Richmond’s efforts to reduce traffic fatalities, 2022 proved to be the most deadly year in recent memory — doubling the death toll from the year before.

The City’s “Vision Zero” strategy, introduced in 2015, aims to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries across the city.

“The initiative aims to change the long-held belief and mindset that traffic fatalities and serious injuries are inevitable,” the City’s website reads. “Vision Zero espouses the belief that traffic related deaths and serious injuries are preventable.”

According to data gathered by the City, there were 26 traffic-related deaths in Richmond last year — nine of them were pedestrians.

Traffic fatality data collected as part of the Vision Zero strategy. (Courtesy of the City of Richmond)

The death toll for 2022 was double what it was in 2021 and the highest recorded number of deaths since the start of the Vision Zero strategy in 2015.

The data also shows there was a reduction in the number of crashes in Richmond last year — 4,317 in comparison to the three-year average of 4,397. There were also fewer injuries with 2,133 people injured in 2022 compared to the three-year average of 2,133.

Crashes, injuries and deaths: Traffic data collected as part of the Vision Zero strategy. (Courtesy of the City of Richmond)

In April 2022, 8News reported that Virginia DMV’s Highway Safety Office had announced that crash fatalities in 2021 had reached a 14-year record high in the Commonwealth. The office’s 2023 Highway Safety Plan explained that some of the reasons for the increase in fatalities were owed to a lack of manpower and legislative changes that were made in 2020.