The Vision Zero concept has been slammed by the Alliance of British Drivers (ABD), who says it is ‘obvious that zero road casualties is an impossibility’.
First introduced in Sweden in 1997, Vision Zero is based on the premise that ‘no loss of life is acceptable’.
Vision Zero has been adopted in London, with the mayor of London, TfL and the Met Police aiming to eliminate all road deaths and serious injuries by 2041.
In a strongly worded press release, the ABD – which describes itself as a ‘voluntary organisation promoting the interests and concerns of Britain’s drivers’ – says Vision Zero is ‘simply an attempt to further reduce speed limits to levels that are economically and socially ruinous’.
Adding that ‘nothing good ever comes from policies based on unrealistic targets’, the ABD says that even if vehicles could be prevented from colliding, or could collide without causing injury, cyclists will ‘still injure or kill themselves by falling off their bikes’.
The press release continues in a similar vein, saying ‘nothing seems to have been learned from the failure of 20mph limits to reduce casualties’ or the ‘continued flat-lining of casualty reduction due to the speed camera one-trick road safety pony’.
With regard to ‘safe road use’ within the safe system approach, the ABD says all road users have a responsibility to ensure that their actions do not put themselves or others at risk.
It adds that while cooperation and courtesy between road users should be encouraged, transport policies adopted by many local authorities in recent years have ‘alienated road users from one another’.
The campaign group also calls for the contribution drivers make to the economy to be recognised – and for road safety education, including that of future drivers, to be ‘compulsory in all schools’.
In conclusion, the ABD recommends that transport policies should be reviewed, especially where ‘road space has been reallocated disproportionately to non-motorised road users for ideological reasons’.