According to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, every individual has the right to life, liberty, and security of the person. In terms of road safety, this includes the right to safe mobility made possible through well designed transportation systems. This is the essence of Vision Zero.
Vision Zero as a concept originated from the Swedish government in attempt to eliminate accidental deaths and serious injury from roadways. Since its launch in 1997, Sweden’s Vision Zero has cut traffic related deaths in half, all while capturing attention of various countries globally.
In comparison to Sweden, Canada has more than twice the number of deaths per capita, and lands in 28th place in global road safety. In order for Canada to transition to a road safety model that promotes Vision Zero, we must transition from what is called a shared responsibility paradigm, to a safe systems approach. The focus of a safe systems approach is designing transportation systems for humans, and not vehicles. This is done through infrastructure, regulation, and speed limits designed to protect and serve all types of road users. This creates a shift in responsibility from road user to system designer. When roads are designed for various types of transportation users, they are safer and are more likely to accommodate active transportation!
Vision Zero. (2021). Vision Zero Principles. Retrieved from https://visionzero.ca/
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