Vision Zero for NYC: De Blasio Looks Toward Sweden for Road Safety

Tailoring policies to a goal of eradicating all
traffic deaths and serious injuries.

Matt Flegenheimer
(The New York Times, May 13, 2014)

“Across [Sweden]…a simple figure rules: Zero. It is the number of people permitted to die in Swedish traffic, according to national law. For nearly two decades, every rising barrier and reduced speed limit has been tailored to this seemingly impossible goal, of eradicating traffic deaths and serious injuries, and its guiding premise: Every inch of street space must anticipate, and accommodate, human error. While roadway deaths have not been eliminated, the country’s rate of fatalities has been whittled down to an international low. Now…New York City…Mayor Bill de Blasio has put the strategy, known as Vision Zero, at the forefront of his transportation and policing agendas, targeting 2024 as the first year with no traffic deaths…While Sweden’s population — more than 9.5 million — is only slightly larger than New York’s, the country has imposed sweeping reforms involving road construction, pedestrian protections and other policies with relatively little conflict. The Swedish Parliament adopted Vision Zero in 1997 as the national foundation for all road safety operations, heeding the calls of transportation planners who warned that the country’s traffic strategy was ill equipped for the next century. The result has been a sort of social contract between state and citizen: If residents follow the most basic traffic laws, engineers can design roads to guard against all fatalities.”
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Full Article

Related story:
A Safety Plan With Swedish Logic and City Smarts
Matt Flegenheimer
(The New York Times, May 14, 2014)
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See also:
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Noelle Swan
(Christian Science Monitor, May 15, 2014)

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Dana Moukhallati
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