ROADPOL Members Enlightened
On Swedish Vision Zero Approach
15 OCT - A Vision Zero introduction course was held during the latest ROADPOL Autumn Annual Meeting in Madrid, Spain.
The course was led by ROADPOL Swedish Police representatives and Swedish Transport Administration (STA) experts. It was hosted by meeting organizers of Spain’s Guardia Civil.
ROADPOL members were first acquainted with the concept of the Vision Zero approach - an ethical standpoint that no-one should be killed or suffer lifelong injury in road traffic. Swedish experts explained that Vision Zero was presented publicly in Sweden for the first time in 1995 and in 1997 the Swedish Parliament made a historic decision - it was decided that Vision Zero should be the basis for all road safety work in Sweden and a joint expression of political direction for the whole society.
The course included several presentations by Kenneth Svensson, Special advisor at STA, sheding light to Sweden’s firm Commitment to Vision Zero and its Action Plan for safe road traffic. Svensson presented the priority areas of the Plan – safe speeds, sober driving, safe cycling, safe pedestrians, suicide prevention and leadership for safe organized transports. Among the measures pointed out were installation of road safety cameras on additional 1700 kilometers of roads, general decrease of speed limits on state road network from 90 km/h to 80 km/h, active work of Police against speeding, ensuring safe speeds of cars at crossings for pedestrians, active work with external stakeholders to knowledge-raising sebinars/webinars, installation of suicide barriers on at least 8 bridges on state road network.
A presentation by Lars Ekman of STA gave insight on the Data Driven Approach which lies beneath Vision Zero accomplishments. Ekman informed the audience of the in-depth study of fatal road collisions which has been a routine in Sweden since 1997. According to Ekman this is a detailed investigation into each fatal road accident with the main objective to identify what exactly caused the fatal injuries.
From STA’s Peter Larsson’s presentation on “Management By Objectives” ROADPOL members envisaged the necessity of sharing objectives and sharing responsibilities between stakeholders including politicians, legislators, the Police, road network owners, NGOs, health sector, work environment sector, private companies and public entities which buy or sell transport services and vehicles, insurance companies.
The “Models for For Safe Traffic” was another enlightening presentation during the course, followed by “Road Design And Traffic Environment” both by Lars Ekman of STA. The main line in these was that the design of the road transport system should guide the road user to an as safe behaviour as possible, but still mitigate the consequences of common human errors since these will always occur.
A special presentation on “Suicide In The Transport System” was made by Kenneth Svensson pointing out that since 2010 Sweden has been collecting statistical data on suicides in road traffic separately from fatalities caused by collisions.
“It was a wonderful initiative to integrate the Vision Zero introduction course at the meeting in Madrid for which we are thankful to ROADPOL management. ROADPOL members have always been keen to learn and I believe the array of presentations will be of great value to them in their professional endeavours”, said ROADPOL Operational Working Group member Ursula Edström, Police Inspector and Traffic Strategist at the Swedish Police Authority.
For all VisionZero course presentations, please, contact respective national ROADPOL representatives.