Families for Safe Streets: About Us

Mission and Vision

Families for Safe Streets is comprised of victims of traffic violence and families whose loved ones have been killed or severely injured by aggressive or reckless driving and dangerous conditions on New York City’s streets. We represent the full breadth of New York’s diversity and demand an end to traffic violence. We banded together in early 2014 to turn our grief into action and were instrumental in lowering the citywide speed limit in New York City, among other critical safety initiatives.

We bear witness to our pain and suffering to press for the elimination of fatalities and injuries on our streets. Through our stories and advocacy, we seek cultural and physical changes on our streets and the rapid implementation of Vision Zero. We envision a city where pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles safely co-exist, and children and adults can travel freely without risk of harm – where no loss of life in traffic is acceptable. As families whose loved ones have been killed or maimed by reckless behavior and dangerous conditions on New York City’s streets, we demand an end to traffic violence.

We also offer a network of personal support and resources for traffic violence victims and their families.

Families for Safe Streets receives support and guidance from Transportation Alternatives – New York’s most effective advocates for walking, cycling and public transportation – though our members make all decisions regarding our initiatives.

Core Values

  1. Commitment to Common Goals – Although the circumstances that brought each member to the group may differ, we commit to work together on issues that have the most impact on saving lives and reducing serious injuries due to traffic violence.
  2. Decision-Making – FSS seeks to make decisions as collectively as possible. We recognize that as volunteers we need a formal decision-making structure and have created a Steering Committee to provide leadership and guide the group.
  3. Actions/Tactics – The group will jointly set a strategic plan annually that will lay out a series of actions and tactics tied to agreed upon goals designed to bring about systematic change. 
  4. Representing the Group – FSS’ Steering Committee will create tools and provide resources on the group’s identified actions so that all members can respond effectively to the media, elected officials, and others.  We recognize that while all of our stories are unique and provide the power to make change, we must all deliver a consistent message if we want to be successful in our advocacy efforts.
  5. Inclusivity and Diversity – We strive to represent the breadth of New York City since traffic collisions impact individuals of all backgrounds from diverse neighborhoods across the five boroughs. We also welcome individuals who were injured or lost loved ones who were here to visit or work.
  6. Movement Building - We strive to build mutually–beneficial partnerships with other traffic safety organizations and community-based groups.
  7. Compassion & Understanding – We recognize that everyone comes to FSS as a result of traumatic loss or injury. We commit to support one another and understand that we all bring to this work a mix of anger, sadness, and an ability to work that may ebb and flow as we travel along our grief journey. We all strive to treat one another with respect, listen attentively, and work to overcome any differences that may arise.
  8. Achievements – We take pride in our collective successes, and when our actions are not successful, we refocus our energies so that we achieve maximum effectiveness.