What Is Vision Zero?

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Vision Zero is a worldwide movement, started in Sweden, to eliminate all traffic deaths. While traditional traffic safety campaigns have focused on changing human behavior to reduce accident risks, Vision Zero takes a fundamentally different approach by instead putting the responsibility on government to manage the streets using evidence-based strategies to prevent fatalities and serious injuries. Vision Zero is data-driven, outcome-focused and collaborative across agencies and departments.

With the release of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation’s (LADOT) first ever strategic plan in September 2014, the department firmly embraced Vision Zero, calling for an end to traffic fatalities in the city by 2025. Vision Zero is a core objective under “Safety First” in Mobility Plan 2035, adopted by the City Council in August 2015, codifying it in the City’s general plan.

Successful implementation of Vision Zero in Los Angeles requires a drastic change in approach—where moving cars is no longer the main imperative for streets—as well as public understanding and support, both broadly and for specific projects.