Sweden’s road safety record is amongst the best in the world.
In 1997, the Swedish Parliament, with all-party support, adopted its radical Vision Zero policy. The policy introduced a future in which no-one is killed or suffers disabling injuries on the roads, and introduced gradual but radical change in how safety is approached and managed.
In the Vision Zero model, the safety of the road system becomes a shared responsibility between road designers, vehicle manufacturers and road users, governed by the following rules:
- The designers of the system are always ultimately responsible for the design, operation and use of the road transport system, and are thereby responsible for the level of safety within the entire system;
- Road users are responsible for following the rules for using the road transport system set by the system designers (e.g. wearing seat belts, being sober, obeying speed limits);
- If road users fail to obey these rules owing to lack of knowledge, acceptance or ability, or if injuries occur, the system designers are required to take necessary further steps to counteract further deaths or serious injuries.
Vision Zero has had profound implications for road and vehicle design, not least in giving road designers more responsibility for the consequences of a crash and ensuring that routine and predictable events are engineered out. The most recent change in Sweden has been to reset speed limits based on these principles, alongside the introduction of a major systematic programme of improvement of road protection that will enable 75% of travel to be to minimum 3-star EuroRAP standards by 2020, with 100% by 2025.
- Active Member: Motormännens Riksförbund (since 2003)
- Accredited Supplier: SWECO