The project involved extensive consultation with key stakeholders in UK, Sweden, European Commission and selected EU Member States. In addition, a backcasting scenario analysis was undertaken based on the OECD Environmental Sustainable Transport methodology.


  • To provide a thorough review of the Vision Zero policy in Sweden.
  • To determine the acceptability of a Vision Zero policy in other European Union countries and by international organisations.
  • To identify the circumstances leading to its adoption, the risks associated with such a policy, the costs and benefits for the UK of adopting such a policy and to consult key stakeholders to test the acceptability or otherwise of such a policy.
  • To undertake a full risk assessment of the UK adopting a zero road traffic accident fatality and serious injury policy.
  • To carry out a backcasting analysis to identify a policy implementation schedule that would result in achieving a Vision Zero target in 30 years.

Project rationale

At the time of the project the UK had an excellent record in reducing road traffic accident (RTA) fatalities and serious injuries. However this excellent performance had not produced visibly safer streets and there are still serious concerns that more could be done. In 1997 the Swedish Parliament introduced a “Vision Zero” policy that requires that fatalities and serious injurious are reduced to zero by 2020. This was a significant step change in transport policy at the European level.

This study is relevant to the on-going road safety and casualty reduction activities of DfT. It provides an opportunity to “think out of the box” and fast forward this work 30 years to examine whether or not it would be prudent, effective and desirable to adopt a Vision Zero strategy in the UK. The project’s importance lies in its intrinsic policy significance and in the likelihood that Vision Zero might be broadly adopted as best practice across Europe.