Vision Zero

What is it?

Vision Zero is a multi-national traffic safety initiative, which was founded in Sweden in the late 1990s. It is based on the philosophy that no one should be killed or seriously injured within the road transport system. Ultimately, the main goal of Vision Zero is to achieve zero fatalities or serious injuries on the road.

How is this Done?

Vision Zero is based on a system of shared responsibilities among all of those involved in the road system, including politicians, planners, police, community organizations, vehicle manufacturing companies, companies and organizations that purchase transport services, and all road users. Main areas of focus include:

  • Reducing impaired driving
  • Implementing safer speed limits
  • Increasing the use of seatbelts
  • Introducing safer car design
  • Improving road infrastructure
  • Enhancing pedestrian and cyclist safety

Key Activities

  • Advocacy for policy change
  • Enhanced regulation
  • Road infrastructure changes
  • Providing information about dangers of risk factors

What are the Results? 

As a result of Vision Zero, Sweden has one of the world’s lowest traffic-related fatality rates:

  • Fatalities involving pedestrians in Sweden have fallen by almost 50% in the last 5 years
  • The number of children killed in traffic incidents has also been reduced in Sweden
  • Between 1997 and 2009, reduction in road traffic fatalities by 34.5%

Vision Zero has achieved international recognition and was identified as an effective policy to prevent road traffic injury by WHO in 2004. The Public Health Agency of Canada’s Canadian Best Practice Portal also references Vision Zero as a evidence-based solution for promoting health and wellbeing.

Regardless of the differing contexts of road safety issues across the world, Vision Zero has been adopted and implemented globally:

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