The Solution: Vision Zero

Vision Zero takes a systems approach to motor vehicle collisions.

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.

Areas of focus and key activities

Vision Zero is based on an approach of shared responsibilities among all of those involved in the road framework, 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 for everyone
  • Enhancing pedestrian and cyclist safety

Key Activities

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

Changing the way we look at accidents

Learn more: Watch Matts-Ake Belin, Project Manager at the Swedish Transport Administration, present the importance of Vision Zero at our event Vision Zero: A lecture on the future of road safety, in December of 2015.   

 
 

Edmonton was the first city in Canada to commit to Vision Zero. As a part of their campaign they created a PSA video on how Vision Zero approaches collisions differently. This video shows our traditional approach to accidents and how we must strive for zero. 

 
 

 Does Vision Zero Work?

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 five years
  • The number of children killed in traffic incidents has also been reduced in Sweden. Road deaths of children under seven have plummeted—in 2012 only one was killed, compared with 58 in 1970.
  • Between 1997 and 2009, road traffic fatalities have been reduced by 34.5%

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