One million people die in traffic-related incidents around the world every year. By 2030, that number is expected to rise making road traffic fatalities the fifth leading cause of death worldwide.
Vision Zero is an initiative created to prevent collisions and give citizens the right to safe mobility.
Now a global movement for safety, Vision Zero is focused on an ambitious goal: achieving zero road fatalities. The Vision Zero initiative sums this up on their website with these words: “No loss of life is acceptable.”
What Is Vision Zero?
It all started in 1997, when the government of Sweden passed a Traffic Safety Bill that officially introduced Vision Zero into law. The initiative aims to view collisions as preventable with the help of a data-driven and targeted approach. Based on ethics, the founders believe no one should be injured or killed by a road collision, and whereas humans can make mistakes, the road system should be designed for efficiency and safety.
Safety Is a Shared Responsibility
Vision Zero aims to educate citizens and advocate that responsibility for safety is shared not only between those who use the road transport system, but also those who design it.
The system designers, police, road managers, the automotive industry, legislative bodies and politicians are all obligated to support safety and help ensure all components in the transport system are functioning well together.
How Are Vision Zero Cities Different from Other Cities?
To become a part of Vision Zero, a city must meet the following requirements:
- The mayor has committed to Vision Zero on a public platform.
- A strategy and Vision Zero plan has been put in place.
- A goal of eliminating severe injuries and traffic fatalities has been set.
- Public health, transportation, police and other significant city departments are committed.
The main areas of focus for Vision Zero cities include: reducing impaired driving; enhancing pedestrian and cyclist safety; introducing safer car design; improving road infrastructure; increasing the use of seat belts; and implementing safer speed limits.
The cities partnered with Vision Zero are working toward enhanced regulations in the city, advocating for policy change. Educating residents and policy makers is most important regarding the dangers, risk factors and analyzing road infrastructure for changes.
From Saskatoon to San Francisco and Beyond: List of Vision Zero Cities
What started with a small town in Sweden has now become a global phenomenon. In the U.S, Vision Zero began with 10 early adopter cities which laid the foundation. Boston, Chicago, Washington, Seattle, San Francisco, Portland, New York, Fort Lauderdale, San Diego and Los Angeles were chosen as the focus cities through a competitive process to accelerate Vision Zero in the United States.
Through leadership development and peer-to-peer networking, the U.S. Vision Zero Network is advancing the cause of road safety across the country.
Map of Vision Zero Cities in North America (already implemented and considering).
Although many countries have began working together to promote the goal of zero road-related incidents and deaths, we still have a long way to go. USA Fleet Solutions is working to further that goal in partnership with Geotab.