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A car on the road.

Key innovations based on Vision Zero

Median barriers and cameras are innovations that have increased the level of safety on Swedish roads. Older solutions such as roundabouts and alcolocks have been developed and have acquired greater importance since Vision Zero was established.

Vision Zero emphasizes the fact that all the different components of the road transport system belong together and influence each other. If an accident leads to serious personal injuries, it is because the various components of the road transport system do not work together.

Human-beings are the fundamental component

The three basic components of the road transport system are the road, the vehicle and the human-being. We human-beings are the fundamental component in the system, which must be sized and designed with due consideration to the tolerance of the human body against external forces and the fact that human-beings sometimes make mistakes.

The system approach that was adopted by Vision Zero involved a new way of thinking, which has in turn led to a change in the focus of road safety work. In those innovations that are developed in the spirit of Vision Zero, there is collaboration between the design of vehicles and road environments, and they are made with the basic starting-point of our limitations as human-beings.

Both new and old

Different solutions have been developed in order to preserve the level of safety within the system. It is a question of both pure innovations and old solutions, which are used in a new way.

Solutions that help drivers maintain the right speed are traffic cameras and ISA, while alcolocks prevent people who are under the influence of alcohol from starting their vehicles. Centrally-separated 2+1-lane roads make the roads collision-free, which means that head-on collisions are avoided and that speeds can be increased. Roundabouts at road intersections give rise to a natural reduction in speed and the risk of head-on collisions is avoided.

Related publications

Belin, M-Å., Tillgren, P. (2012). Vision Zero - How a Policy Innovation is Dashed by Interest Conflicts, but May Prevail in the End. Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration 16 (3): 83-102. (External link)

Belin, M.-Å., Tillgren, P., Vedung, E., Cameron, M., Tingvall, C. (2010). Speed cameras in Sweden and Victoria, Australia: A case study. Accident Analysis & Prevention 42 (6): 2165–2170. (External link)

Healy, D., Regan M. A., Tingvall, C., Williams, L. (2000). Investing in new technology to reduce accidents and improve safety in transport. Journal of Australasian College of Road Safety 557-63 (External link).

Krafft, M., Kullgren, A., Lie, A., Tingvall, C. (2006). The Use of Seat Belts in Cars with Smart Seat Belt Reminders: Results of an Observational Study. Traffic Injury Prevention (7): 125–129. (External link)

Magnusson, P., Jakobsson, L., Hultman, S. (2011). Alcohol Interlock Systems in Sweden: 10 Years of Systematic Work. American journal of preventive medicine 40 (3): 378-9. (External link)

Swedish Work Environment Authority (2006) Road safety: A work-environment issue. Stockholm: Swedish Work Environment Authority. (PDF-file, 0,5 MB, opens a new window)

Svedlund, J. Belin, M.-Å., Lie, A. (2009). ISA implementation in Sweden: From research to reality. Australasian Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference. 2009 Intelligent Speed Adaptation Conference: Program & abstracts. 10-13 November 2009, Sydney, Australia. (External link)