Driving & Traffic

Vision Zero - Roadway Safety

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

Vision Zero - Safe drivers, safe speeds, safe roads, safe vehicles

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

Vision Zero - Key Themes

Safe Speeds
Driving at an appropriate speed reduces the likelihood of a collision, reduces the severity of injuries if a collision does occur, and provides a safety buffer by giving motorists enough time to stop in an emergency.

Safe Vehicles
Safer vehicle designs are outside the responsibility of the municipality, but advances have been implemented by the automotive industry over the last number of decades. Inflatable seat belts, centre air bags, crash avoidance systems, forward-collision warning, traffic sign recognition, adaptive headlights, lane-departure systems, intelligent speed assistance, fatigue-monitoring, pedestrian detection are all examples of new technologies that will increase the safety of vehicles.

Safe Roads
Safe roads play an important role in bringing Vision Zero to life. The design of a road can help manage a driver’s speed, guide a motorist to do the right thing, reduce collisions and allow for human error. Traffic engineers design roads with tools like stop controls or other traffic calming measure to help reduce collisions or other roadway incidents.

Safe Drivers
Driver error is commonly a contributing factor in collisions. Educating drivers and enforcing the rules of the road are critical to reducing injuries and deaths, and achieving Vision Zero.