SAFER STREETS FOR MACON-BIBB COUNTY
What is Vision Zero?
Vision Zero is a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. First implemented in Sweden in the 1990s, Vision Zero has proved successful across Europe — and now it’s gaining momentum in major American cities.
Vision Zero starts with the ethical belief that everyone has the right to move safely in their communities, and that system designers and policy makers share the responsibility to ensure safe systems for travel.
Vision Zero is a significant departure from the status quo in two major ways:
1.Vision Zero recognizes that people will sometimes make mistakes, so the road system and related policies should be designed to ensure those inevitable mistakes do not result in severe injuries or fatalities. This means that system designers and policymakers are expected to improve the roadway environment, policies (such as speed management), and other related systems to lessen the severity of crashes.
2.Vision Zero is a multidisciplinary approach, bringing together diverse and necessary stakeholders to address this complex problem. In the past, meaningful, cross-disciplinary collaboration among local traffic planners and engineers, policymakers, and public health professionals has not been the norm. Vision Zero acknowledges that many factors contribute to safe mobility — including roadway design, speeds, behaviors, technology, and policies — and sets clear goals to achieve the shared goal of zero fatalities and severe injuries.
Why is Macon-Bibb County developing a Vision Zero plan?
Core Principles of Vision Zero
The Vision Zero concept was created in Sweden in 1997 and is widely credited with a significant reduction in fatal and serious crashes on Sweden’s roads since that time.
Cities across the United States are adopting bold Vision Zero initiatives that share common principles:
- Traffic deaths are preventable and unacceptable.
- Human life takes priority over mobility and other objectives of the road system. The street system should be safe for all users, for all modes of transportation, in all communities, and for people of all ages and abilities.
- Human error is inevitable and unpredictable; the transportation system should be designed to anticipate error so the consequence is not severe injury or death. Advancements in vehicle design and technology are necessary to avoid the safety impacts of human errors and poor behaviors.
- People are inherently vulnerable and speed is a fundamental predictor of crash survival. The transportation system should be designed for speeds that protect human life.
- Safe human behaviors, education, and enforcement are essential contributors to a safe system.
- Policies at all levels of government need to align with making safety the highest priority for roadways.