WINTERVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Winterville’s Town Council voted unanimously Monday night to support a Vision Zero policy. Vision Zero is a strategy to reduce all traffic fatalities and serious injuries. It’s the town’s hope to be an example for other cities.

“We’re known right now as one of the fourth safest cities in North Carolina,” said Winterville Mayor, Ricky Hines. “And having something like Vision Zero, when someone gets ready to move into their day doing their research to see what city they want to live in, and they see one of them, you know, our motto is a slice of the good life so we want to provide all those things.”

Mayor Hines said there hasn’t been traffic fatalities in Winterville, but as the downtown area grows with more vehicle and foot traffic, it’s important to make sure they keep safety a priority.

“We want to make sure that we got their proper lighting, we want to make sure our crosswalks are there. And having something like Vision Zero is going to help enhance these things and help us to be able to write grants to get new lighting and markings for our crosswalks, better intersections, so that people can see clearly,” said Mayor Hines.

Mayor Hines added different stakeholders, such as the police, fire, recreations departments and NCDOT will make recommendations that will be brought to the town council to be voted on. He said it’s a community effort in gauging what’s needed for not only the town, but Pitt County.

“Anything that we can do, hopefully that we can then be an example so that it can spread throughout Pitt County. It’s not just about us, but also about the county. Because as we go, so does the county,” said Mayor Hines.

Winterville is the first local government in Pitt County to put Vision Zero in place. The policy is still in the early phase, but officials are working towards the next steps.