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Road Safety Vision, Plans, and Targets
A central theme in the Swedish road safety vision is the Vision Zero concept. Historically, road safety work has been comparatively successful in Sweden, making it one of the safest countries in the world. Nevertheless, fatalities and serious injuries are regarded to be unacceptable. In 1997, Swedish Parliament approved this policy goal and the Vision Zero Programme. The Vision Zero can be described as follows: "Nobody should be killed or seriously injured within the road transport system. The road transport systems' structure and function should be brought into line with the demands that this goal entails." The Vision Zero goal is indeed a vision. It is unlikely that all fatalities and serious casualties can be avoided. The main change instigated by Vision Zero is the new way of dividing responsibilities for road safety.
Vision Zero strategic principles
The approach is:
In 1999, an 11-point programme was devised, covering:
The target for the year 2000 was to reduce fatalities by 25% (base year 1996 (537 fatalities), with a maximum of 400 fatalities). The actual figure of 591 reveals that this target was not met. The target for 2007 is a reduction by 50%.
Road Safety Priorities
Various road safety priority measures have been identified under the Vision Zero concept:
Road Safety Management Organisation
The Swedish Road Administration (SRA) sets road safety targets. The national government and municipalities fund safety work benefiting road users and road infrastructure. In late 1999, a committee of inquiry was appointed to examine the responsibility of the public and industrial sectors for safe road traffic. Taking Vision Zero as a starting point, this committee is to analyse what is missing from current legislation in terms of the responsibility of systems designers for a safe road transport system. Systems designers are those responsible for the design and functioning of the road transport system. The committee report will set out in detail the safety regulations that apply to products and services found within other modes of transport and in the working environment. Based on these findings, the committee will recommend rules suited to the road transport system. In its report, the committee will propose new or revised regulations, sanctions and systems of inspection emanating from the recommendations. The committee will also inquire into the establishment of an independent road traffic inspectorate, including proposals as to how such a body should be organised, its tasks and power of authority, and how it should be financed.
Road safety research backup is provided by the Swedish National Road and Transport Institute (VTI), and by various universities, covering areas such as mobility and safety, road design safety standards, vehicle crashworthiness, telematics, and traffic analysis.
Road Safety Programme Monitoring
The Swedish Road Administration (SRA) and the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute are the agencies responsible for evaluation. Annual evaluations are being carried out based on a detailed programme with many sub-areas, each with specific targets. Main aim is to extract crash, casualty and fatality prediction curves.
Road user behaviour that is monitored, includes: drink-driving, excess speeds, other violations, use of safety equipment in cars (e.g. seatbelts and child restraint systems), visibility of pedestrians and cyclists, and the use of helmets.
Other items that are being monitored, cover: vehicle crashworthiness, emergency services rescue times, safety opinions of the general public, and surveys to evaluate if roads are built to safe standards.
CTR, http://www.infra.kth.se/ctr/eng/ the Centre for Traffic Simulation, was founded in 1995 by the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI). CTR is located at the Infrastructure department of KTH in Stockholm, Sweden.
http://www.its-sweden.com Swedish organisation of industries and authorities working on developing ITS activities in Sweden
Intelligent Speed Adaptation, http://www.isa.vv.se/index.en.htm The world’s largest trial involving ”Intelligent Speed Adaptation”, called ISA, was conducted in four Swedish cities. Several thousand cars were equipped with intelligent technology to help drivers keep the right speed. It is conceivable that ISA could become standard in the smart, safe cars of the future.
NTF - The National Society for Road Safety http://www.ntf.se/ is a non-governmental organisation that works to improve road safety. NTF believe that:
The Traffic and Road divisions are part of the Department of Technology and Society, Lund Institute of Technology, Lund University
http://www.trafikkontoret.goteborg.se/gotic/ Gotic Research is an R&D project in which research and practical trials in the information sector – specific to public transportation – are conducted in association with researchers and suppliers involved in the sector. The overall object is to improve the quality and efficiency of public transportation in the interest of economy, the environment and road safety, as well as the wellbeing of the travelling public.
Transport Research Institute http://www.tfk.se/en/index.asp.
As the Swedish finances now are booming, the demand for public and freight transports will increase. The traffic departments and the industries have all reasons to think of how the traffic system of the future will look like. The increasing demand creates more and more crowding in the streets and railways, at the same time the demands for punctuality and mobility are increasing. Not only the transport supplies in the cities but also the boarder crossing transports will lead to problems. Therefore it is important to use the existing infrastructure in a rational way. Here ITS, that is to say, Intelligent Transport Systems, give positive contributions, and within TFK´s traffic area the possibilities of the information technology are studied to handle the apparently impossible equation – increased mobility and trade in a society mean with transports. The organisation of TFK´s office in Borlänge has also resulted in strategic planning models within the traffic research work, where TFK co-operates with among others the National Road Administration, the Rail Administration and SIKA (Swedish Institute for transport and Communications Analysis).
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