Fort Saskatchewan has adopted Vision Zero as the guiding strategy for traffic and transportation safety in the city.
With the adoption, the Fort joins a number of municipalities around the world, including Edmonton, in working to prevent collision-related deaths and injuries.
"We know there's going to be collisions but our objective is to prevent the injuries and the harm that comes about to the community," explained director of Protective Services, Brad Ward.
The program began in the '90s as a Swedish traffic safety program.
"It's a belief that fatal and serious collisions are preventable and it uses a safe system approach to make sure that all the necessary interventions occur to prevent those things from occurring."
It works on the four guiding principles of a safe system approach to traffic safety:
- The limits of human performance: In every situation, even the best drivers can fail but the road system should not.
- The physical limits of human tolerance to violent forces: Humans are physically vulnerable when involved in a collision.
- Traffic safety is a shared accountability between road users and those who design, maintain and operate road transportation components.
- Forgiving road and vehicle systems: when collisions happen, other components in a safe road system must minimize the consequences of the collision if death is to be avoided and serious injuries minimized.
All of that means that roads must be designed and engineered to take into account all possible motorist mistakes. It goes down to the sloping of the road, the design of intersections and even the speed and timing of traffic lights.
Achieving Vision Zero could save the city over $100 million in direct collision cost savings by 2028.