When the concept of Vision Zero was introduced in 1995, it turned the traditional view of road safety work upside down. From a focus on the prevention of accidents, the present direction is that no-one should die or be seriously injured in traffic.
The basic starting point for Vision Zero is the ethical standpoint that no-one should be killed or suffer lifelong injury in road traffic. This means that the view of safety in the road transport system concurs with those values that apply for safety in society as a whole. In working life, and within the rail, shipping and air transport sectors, it goes without saying that no deaths should occur as a consequence of accidents.
According to Vision Zero, the main problem is not that accidents occur – it is instead whether the accidents lead to death or lifelong injury. Vision Zero stresses the fact that the road transport system is an entity, in which different components such as roads, vehicles and road users must be made to interact with each other so that safety can be guaranteed. In order to prevent serious results from accidents, it is essential for the roads, and the vehicles they carry, to be adapted to match the capabilities of the people that use them.