Who We Are
The Vision Zero Youth Council is a youth-led organization that engages community members under the age of 29 in road safety advocacy through partnerships with schools, elected officials and government representatives, and other organizations. We believe that youth are the leading force for positive change in our society, and that we become stronger when we work together. For this reason, our purpose is to create a network of youth activists to support Vision Zero efforts across the world.
The Vision Zero Youth Council was born in December of 2014 in New York City. Our founder, Alison Collard de Beaufort, created the organization after three of her classmates were killed by reckless drivers. These deaths severely impacted the entire community, bringing together the founding group in hopes of stopping these horrendous, and extremely preventable, crashes.
The group began hosting monthly meetings at a local middle school to educate their peers on the statistics of road safety, how to be safe road users, and how to be vocal advocates for change. By partnering with other local organizations, the newly-formed Vision Zero Youth Council began speaking up for safer streets at the local, state, and national levels.
In 2016, a few of the members represented their high school in the National Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Competition. With their project of creating a smartwatch app that would alert its user if it detects cars moving towards them at unsafe speeds, the team of four became one of five National Winners. Winning $120,000 for their high school, they also received large amounts of attention from the media and press, helping them spread awareness for traffic safety.
In May of 2019, Governor Cuomo from New York signed into law a speed safety camera bill, which expanded the pilot program from 140 school zones to 750, with extended hours of use. This bill was the outcome of four years of hard work, spearheaded by Families for Safe Streets. The Vision Zero Youth Council took part in lobbying days at the New York State Senate in Albany, and organized a petition that received over 600 signatures from high school students across the city in just three days.
In February of 2020, Alison attended the 2nd World Youth Assembly and 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in Stockholm, Sweden as a youth representative of the United States, and as a representative of the Vision Zero Youth Council. Based off of the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the Global Youth Statement was adopted at the World Youth Assembly. Then, during the Ministerial Conference, the Stockholm Declaration was presented.
Since these events, the Vision Zero Youth Council has continued to grow across the world, as pictured by the map below!