Vision Zero: The Movement to End All Traffic Fatalities within the Next 10 Years

31240164_lIn 1997, Sweden adopted a policy called Vision Zero. The goal was to end all traffic fatalities, and 10 years later they had cut their fatality rate in half. The current goal is zero fatalities by 2020. Several U.S. cities have begun adopting plans to end traffic fatalities within the next 10 years, using Sweden’s Vision Zero principles. At the core of Vision Zero is the concept that even one traffic fatality is unacceptable and unnecessary.

Accepting Human Error

If the idea of eliminating traffic fatalities seems impossible, it is because our primary focus has always been on changing human behavior. Vision Zero is based on a completely different approach.

It begins with accepting the fact that people are going to make mistakes. That factor can never be eliminated. So, it relies on system design to reduce the damage that can be caused by those mistakes. Instead of setting a goal of preventing accidents, the goal is to prevent serious injuries and fatalities, even when accidents occur. That is accomplished by first knowing how much external violence the human body can withstand, and designing systems to keep the violence within those limits.

For instance, controlling speed is crucial, but it is not accomplished by simply changing the speed limit. Speed bumps and other design elements are incorporated to reduce speed.

Enforcement is still part of the equation, but it takes a backseat to designing safer roads.

Vision Zero vs. Other Approaches

In the U.S., New York City, San Francisco, and Portland, Oregon have adopted Vision Zero policies, setting a goal of no fatalities within 10 years, and using the principles used in Sweden’s program.

Several states and jurisdictions have also adopted programs and policies to progressively reduce fatalities, but they are not as ambitious and they place a greater emphasis on changing driver behavior and enforcement.

For more information, check out Vision Zero online or learn more about motor vehicle accidents.

Altrumedia About Altrumedia

Altrumedia operates an extensive online network to connect people in need with qualified help and information. Although we specialize in legal web marketing, we can help any business increase traffic and develop new leads. Services include: Web Design, Social Media Marketing, Custom Videos, eNewsletters, Display Ads, Directory Listings, and more.