The traditional approach to road safety assumes that mobility always involves a certain percentage of personal injuries. According to Sofia Salek de Braun, PTV Road Safety Ambassador, one of the greatest challenges in road safety is the fact that people have accepted this large number of road fatalities. “We did a calculation which showed that the number of road fatalities per day is roughly equivalent to the number of passengers in seven fully occupied Boeings 747s,” she says. “Would we simply accept it, if seven planes crashed every day? Probably not!”

The Safe-System approach

“Vision Zero” starts right here. It is based on the ethical principle that no one shall be killed or seriously injured when moving within the transport system. In a nutshell: The endangerment of human life is unacceptable.

“We need a paradigm shift away from the traditional focus on road safety and compliance with the “road traffic regulations” towards a more systematic approach (safe-system). People make mistakes. The traffic system must be designed in such a way that this has no fatal consequences, “explains the PTV expert.

Vision Zero is based on the safe system approach, which focuses on people and takes a holistic approach to traffic safety. Safety is no longer just the responsibility of the individual road user, but of all actors in the transport system. Safe vehicle technologies are just as much a part of this as comprehensive speed management or the establishment of safe infrastructure.

Analysing road crashes

“Traffic accidents do not usually happen randomly are not accidental events but can be traced back certain causes. These must be analysed and understood – the first step towards Vision Zero.”, says Sofia Salek de Braun. “Ideally, therefore, all elements should work together in an integrated safety chain, where all players interact with each other and thus avoid accidents – even if one or more elements fail.”

If you are interested in the topic of road safety, you should read the following article: How one woman managed to put road safety on the agenda in Bolivia

Analysing and understanding road crashes is the first step towards Vision Zero.

About the Author

Sustainable forms of mobility like cycling, autonomous driving, road safety and strategies for the last mile: Steffi is fascinated by the variety of different topics mobility has to offer. She is always looking for new and exciting stories to write about.

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