A 12 volt non-profit organization is being established to raise awareness of aftermarket driver safety products from ALL suppliers. The group will be part of a national drive by cities and states to reduce traffic fatalities.
Brandmotion President Jeff Varick is launching the non-profit called the Vision Zero Automotive Network. It will join with a larger Vision Zero program currently in effect in cities across the country. It will work city planners, police, and fire chiefs, capitalizing on their marketing dollars to raise awareness of traffic safety. The group plans to form the automotive aftermarket component of the Vision Zero program being adopted by close to 3 dozen US cities.
Varick points out that a 2015 study found that 10,000 of the approximate 35,000 traffic deaths a year could be prevented if every car on the road had the same safety technology available in new cars. The study was performed by the Boston Consulting Group.
“The only group or industry that can help with that is the aftermarket. So we’re setting up a non-profit Vision Zero Automotive Network. We’re going to partner with these state and city transportation offices and we’re going to help to really try to educate the public. People don’t know you can add all this new safety technology to cars,” Varick said.
“There’s seven ADAS [Advanced Driver Assistance Systems] modern safety technologies that the Boston Consulting Group studied including 360 vision, blind spot warning, backup cameras, collision avoidance, night vision, and adaptive headlights,” he continued. “There’s only one that the aftermarket doesn’t do, which is adaptive headlights. People need to know.”
Consumer education will take place on the Vision Zero Automotive Network web site with a dealer locator as well as blogs. The group will also participate in local events, again, tying into city and state budgets allocated for traffic safety. Also dealers can go to their city hall and state capital and say that they want to help in the Vision Zero efforts. “They can say, we’re helping; we want to be part of the conversation; don’t exclude the car,” said Varick. The new non-profit group will also raise funds.
He added, “We wanted the non-profit to be separate from Brandmotion and to have a life of its own and a much bigger scope…All suppliers are encouraged to join as this is about saving lives and uniting our industry.”
The greater Vision Zero program started in Sweden in 1997. It was successful in reducing fatalities in Europe and is now spreading in the US. Under the program cities share winning strategies for reducing deaths and educating the public. As examples, Boston is reducing the speed limit in some neighborhoods. Freemont, CA reduced traffic deaths by 25 percent. It studied traffic fatalities and found that 90 percent occurred on just 10 percent of Fremont streets. The City then prioritized funding for safety projects in those areas.
Brandmotion will announce further details about the Vision Zero Automotive Network at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, October 31- November 4 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.