How do we reach Vision Zero in the light of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals?
By collaborating and taking example of Sweden's Vision Zero initiative that started in 1997. Road traffic safety is on the international agenda. United Nations has identified it as one key goal in the sustainable development goals and many jurisdictions and cities are integrating safety in the development of society. In this session the status of modern road traffic safety is elaborated in an international policy perspective.
Recently, the Vision Zero Network conducted a study entitled "The central role of public health in Vision Zero" where it assessed efforts in Chicago, New York, and San Francisco to implement the Vision Zero plan using tools and strategies associated with public health.
Healthy Chicago 2.0 is a plan developed by the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and more than 130 local organizations that seek to guide the work of the institution until 2020. The decision to include the other organizations was made because organizers believe that doctors and healthcare professionals alone cannot affect how safe people feel in relation to their neighborhoods and surroundings, despite recognizing it as an important factor for mental health.
With the cooperation of the Chicago Department of Transportation they tried to identify the elements that contributed to this situation. They determined violence, poor street maintenance, violence, and street designs that aren’t user focused do not encourage feelings of safety within communities.
They decided to establish the Vision Zero plan as a core strategy of the Healthy Chicago 2.0 plan to correct that.
In 2000, New York adopted its first Vision Zero policy. That year there were 381 deaths in traffic accidents, compared to 701 people in the 1990’s.
While the initial results were positive, maintaining and improving them over time was not an easy task if implementing the plan wasn’t viewed as a priority.
A decision was made to survey the workers of different departments of the city and the result was a series of questions that allow further comprehension based on the premise that traffic collisions are not accidents, but events that can be avoided.
The San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) saw that after a collision, police didn’t always record the details of where an incident occurred or what caused it. Likewise, they noticed that a quarter of the patients who suffered injuries as pedestrians or cyclists were not included in the database.
As a result, the city was losing valuable information that would help determine how often accidents occurred, the most dangerous intersections, and the severity of people’s injuries.
In response to this, the people in charge of Vision Zero created a new card to use in hospitals to collect data pertaining to traffic accidents.
The full case study can be downloaded here (PDF).