Vision Zero

How Safe Are Our Roads

We want to hear from you

The City of Hamilton is exploring Vision Zero to determine whether it’s feasible to implement the approach on Hamilton’s roadways.  Tell us what you think about the safety of Hamilton’s roads by taking the online survey

Your thoughts and opinions will assist in gaining understanding of how residents perceive the current state of road safety and issues in Hamilton. 


What is Vision Zero

Vision Zero is a global movement transforming the way we use, interact and travel on our roads. It has a simple and clear goal: ZERO fatalities or serious injuries on roadways. Vision Zero aims for safer streets through improved education, enforcement, engineering, evaluation and engagement.

Vision Zero is a Swedish approach to road safety thinking. The Vision Zero concept makes human error part of the road safety equation, and has an ultimate goal of no deaths or serious injuries on roadways. Vision Zero is not about reducing accidents, it’s about road safety reform wherein no loss of life or serious injury is acceptable.

Road systems are based on the fact that drivers make mistakes. Vision Zero is about recognizing that traffic deaths and injuries are preventable, and improving the safety of roadways through education, enforcement, engineering, evaluation and engagement.


A New Way of Thinking

Many cities around the world have adopted or are considering the Vision Zero approach, this approach is part of the Canada's Road Safety Strategy 2025 and the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario Vision.

Currently, Hamilton is exploring Vision Zero and asking the community for their opinions about road safety in Hamilton. Please help us to ensure Hamilton the safest place to raise a child and age successfully.


  • Vision Zero is an engaging and open program, which embraces the community and supports local prosperity by striving towards a safe, reliable road network.  
  • Vision Zero encourages active modes of transportation by addressing road safety for vulnerable road users of all ages and abilities – reducing Hamilton’s contribution to climate change and encouraging a healthy lifestyle.

Vision Zero

  • Focus on fatalities and serious injuries
  • Flaws in the transportation system identified as cause of collisions
  • Focus on perfecting road system for imperfect human behavior
  • Safety initiatives reduce societal costs

Traditional thinking

  • Focus on overall collision rates
  • Human error identified as cause of collisions
  • Focus on perfecting human behavior on an imperfect road system
  • Safety initiatives are costly

Data and information gathering

This information shows the average over 5-year period (2011-2015), including police reports and self reports.

Vehicle collisions in Hamilton

By severity (reported and unreported collisions)

  • 7900+ total collisions a year in Hamilton
  • 7490 (95% ) are vehicle-only collisions
  • When a vehicle only collision occurs, a fatality or injury occurs 20% of the time

​Vulnerable road users collisions in Hamilton

By severity (reported and unreported collisions)

  • 7900+ total collisions a year in Hamilton
  • 420 (5%) are with vulnerable road users (pedestrians and cyclists)
  • When a vulnerable road user is involved in a collision, a fatality or injury occurs 87% of the time

Cost of collisions in Hamilton

Average collision types per year

  • Fatalities - 16 or 0.2%
  • Non-fatal injuries - 1824 or 23%
  • Property damage only - 6060 or 77%

Average cost to society per year (estimated at $608 million)

  • Fatalities - $395 million
  • Non-fatal injuries - $152 million
  • Property damage only - $61 million

This value is based on the Transportation Canada Analysis and Estimation of the Social Cost of Motor Vehicle Collisions in Ontario Final Report

  • To date 2040 people have responded to the City’s on-line safety survey
  • 91 % agree Hamilton roads could be safer
  • 60% have been in a collision
    • 39% resulted in no injuries
    • 48% resulted in mild injuries
    • 10% resulted in moderate injuries
    • 3% resulted in severe injuries

Safety concerns on Hamilton roads

As part of the survey, respondents were asked to identify their top three safety concerns.
The results are listed in order of most to least concerned.

  • Distracted drivers
  • Motorists ignoring the laws
  • Other motorists driving too fast
  • Cyclists ignoring the laws
  • Pedestrians ignoring the laws
  • Unsafe road design
  • Not enough road safety enforcement
  • Lack of segregated bike lanes
  • Too many large vehicles on streets
  • Unsafe bike lanes
  • Unsafe sidewalks and pedestrian crossings
  • Speed limits too high
  • Not enough road safety "education/advertising"
  • Lack of signalized pedestrian crossings
  • Impaired drivers
  • Lack of safety signage
  • Identify effectiveness of system for collecting, analyzing and sharing traffic and collision data
  • Identify areas where other data could be obtained
  • Evaluate available data  and identify trends related to safety and co-ordinate response
  • Evaluate effectiveness of the engineering, education, enforcement and engagement programs as a cohesive and collaborative effort
  • Through regular reviews, get to the root causes behind traffic related fatalities and severe injuries
  • Road safety assessments on all new or rehab projects, including new development
  • Priority Safety Projects
  • Traffic volume data collection programs
  • Speed Studies and Safe Speeds programs
  • Recommendations on changes to policies or design standards with an emphasis on safety first
  • Investigate opportunities to include cost of collisions in capital works budget / asset management - return on investment for all new and rehab works
  • Comprehensive review of current cross-sections
  • Targeted safety enforcement programs
  • Expanded Red Light Camera Program
  • Research on other safety initiatives
  • Identification of possible changes to policies and legislation to improve road safety

Study steps

  1. Council directive received in January 2016
  2. Data and information gathering 
  3. Engagement 
  4. 5-Year action plan
  5. Report to Council

Public engagement 

A public engagement session was held on November 22, 2016 to collect feedback from residents.