Multi agency partners from across Wales are travelling to Sweden to learn more about ‘Vision Zero’.
The delegation of emergency service representatives and the Welsh Government are visiting the Swedish Transport Administration as part of efforts to explore ways to reduce the number of serious and fatal collisions of the nation’s roads.
The delegation hopes to learn more about ‘Vision Zero’ – first introduced in Sweden in 1997. The initiative is summarised in one sentence: ‘no loss of life is acceptable’.
During the period 2000-2009 road deaths in Sweden halved.
South Wales Police says the Swedish approach – a combination of design, enforcement, communication and legislation – has ‘created a culture where serious or fatal collisions are becoming a rarity’.
Figures show that Sweden’s roads have become the world’s safest, with only three of every 100,000 Swedes dying on the roads each year, compared with 5.5 per 100,000 across the European Union.
Sergeant Christopher Grey, South Wales Police, said: “Being able to share best practice from the best in the world offers us an opportunity to create real change.
“For many years, police forces across Wales have come together with partners to deliver campaigns, operations and interventions, educating road users and taking action on those that break the law.
“Looking at serious and fatal collisions across Wales, it is important that a new approach is adopted to continue work being delivered by partners in the attempt to see serious or fatal collisions disappear from roads across our country.”
Dermot O’Leary, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s road safety champion, said: “Sweden’s roads are considered some of the world’s safest, and this is a golden opportunity to meet with the authorities to take inspiration from their work and share best practice.
“A great deal of work is being undertaken in Wales to reduce road traffic collisions, but even one death is one too many.
“We’re keen to learn as much as we can from the Swedish Transport Administration about the initiatives they have in place so that we can follow in their footsteps in Wales.”