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What is Vision Zero?

Vision Zero is the long-term goal of zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries. Vision Zero increases safety as we move about our communities and our city and enriches our sense of place and security.

Vision Zero is not a slogan or even a program. It is a fundamentally different way to approach traffic safety. Traffic-related deaths and serious injuries are not inevitable. They are preventable.

Vision Zero annual reports

Where it Began

Vision Zero began in Sweden in 1997 and that country now has the lowest rate of traffic fatalities in the world. More recently, Vision Zero has been adopted by those considered to be leaders in traffic safety including countries such as Australia and England, and numerous major cities in the United States. In January 2016, Canada adopted Vision Zero as a federal strategy.

Those who have embraced Vision Zero recognize that striving toward zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries is the only ethical goal that makes sense for our citizens.

Vision Zero Principles

  • No loss of life is acceptable
  • Traffic fatalities and serious injuries are preventable
  • We all make mistakes
  • We are all physically vulnerable when involved in motor vehicle collisions
  • Eliminating fatalities and serious injuries is a shared responsibility between road users and those who design and maintain our roadways
Traditional Road Safety  Vision Zero
Isolated interventions Safe System combines elements to produce an effect greater than the sum of the individual interventions
Reactive to incidents  Proactively and systematic approach to build a safe road system
Try to prevent all crashes Prevent crashes that result in fatalities and serious injuries
Reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries Zero fatalities and serious injuries
Crashes are caused by non-compliant road users People make mistakes and are physically vulnerable in crashes so infrastructure and operating speed should provide guidance and safety
Individual road users are responsible for their own safety Safety is a shared responsibility between those who design, maintain, and use the roads

How Will We Achieve Vision Zero?

Vision Zero is a long-term strategy. Making changes to infrastructure and traffic-safety culture takes time. However, we will get there through a Safe System Approach.

The Safe System Approach is a holistic framework that allows us to assess, guide and improve traffic safety by taking into account the interaction of all aspects of the transportation system.

We will save lives and eliminate serious injuries through the application of a Safe System, evidence-based approach, and the 5 E’s of traffic safety:

“A Safe System is based on a multidimensional approach that investigates and improves the road traffic system as a whole.” — Zero Road Deaths and Serious Injuries, OECD

Vision Zero Edmonton

In 2006, there were 8,221 people injured, 507 of them seriously injured, and 25 killed in collisions on Edmonton streets.  The City responded by creating the first municipal Office of Traffic Safety in North America that year. 

In September 2015, City Council approved Edmonton’s Road Safety Strategy 2016-2020, making Edmonton the first major Canadian city to officially adopt Vision Zero.

Comparing 2018 numbers to 2015, the year before Vision Zero Edmonton started, serious injuries declined by 17% and fatalities by 41%. Pedestrian injuries declined by 21%; cyclist injuries by 29%, motorcyclist injuries by 26%, and injuries to vehicle occupants dropped by 11%. 

Vision Zero makes Edmonton safer no matter what neighbourhood you live in and how you choose to travel.

Why Should You Get Behind Vision Zero?

We all want our loved ones to get home safely.

For More Information

Traffic Safety




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