The United States has something called Vision Zero, a goal that, by the year 2024, Washington, DC will reach zero fatalities and serious injuries to travelers, through more effective use of data, education, enforcement, and engineering. Sweden has a similar campaign with the same name. According to CityLab, their policy comes with a Traffic Safety Strategist, a guy who works to prevent fatalities and serious injuries. And apparently that guy, Matts-Åke Belin, is doing a good job because Sweden is an leader in the area of road safety. When Vision Zero first started, the country had seven traffic fatalities per 100,000 people; today, despite a significant increase in traffic volume, that number is fewer than three. In comparison, the number of road fatalities in the United States is 11.6 per 100,000.

 Belin recently Spokane at a Vision Zero symposium on cultural differences between Sweden and the United States, the role of human error, the responsibility of the road engineers, and the loneliness of the New York pedestrian. You can read the interview here.

 

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