The concept of “Vision Zero,” imported to the United States from Sweden, has been showing up in more and more American cities, from New York to Seattle. In its most basic form, the policy is this: to adopt, as an official goal, the reduction of traffic deaths and serious fatalities to zero through a combination of engineering, education, and enforcement.
In the U.S., Vision Zero campaigns have so far emphasized what happens on city streets. But what many Vision Zero proponents in North America might be surprised to learn is that in the Swedish capital of Stockholm, the policy is not a major factor when it comes to urban planning. Rather, Vision Zero has for the last 20 years focused on cars and drivers, making their trips safer on major roads and in non-urban areas, in large part through design.