ITE Journal - May 2020 - 28

Resources. The Prioritizing Safety efforts have already produced
a number of resources including Safety Culture and Safe System
recorded webinars, identification of key resources applicable in the
North America, and an initial Safe System resource webpage, an
explanation and framework. More information can be found on
the Road to Zero webpage hosted by the National Safety Council
at https://www.nsc.org/road-safety/get-involved/road-to-zero.
The Safe System related material is also on the ITE website under
https://www.ite.org/technical-resources/topics/safe-systems/.

RTZ 2.0 - Prioritizing Safety
As described in the RAND report, "prioritizing safety requires
methods to facilitate change. Key among these are creating a safety
culture and adopting a Safe System approach. A pervasive safety
culture is an essential ingredient for reaching zero roadway deaths
and can be nurtured through awareness, education, and constant
reinforcement."2
Safe System. A Safe System approach can help us get to zero
fatalities through the aggressive use of roadway design and
operational changes, shared responsibility for transportation
safety, and protecting all users (pedestrians, bicyclists, older,
younger, disabled, etc.) of the transportation system. Sweden was
the first country to enact a Vision Zero policy as a formal goal to
reduce roadway deaths and serious injuries to zero in 1997 (more
information at http://www.welivevisionzero.com/vision-zero). This
marked a fundamental shift to a shared responsibility and system
based approach to improving safety, with increased attention on the
design and designers of the roadway to prevent crashes and limit
their severity. Following the introduction of Vision Zero in Sweden,
numerous countries (Canada, Australia, New Zealand Sweden, The
Netherlands, and the United Kingdom) and international organizations (i.e., World Road Association [PIARC/WRA], Organisation for
Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD], World Resources
Institute [WRI], World Health Organization [WHO], World Bank,
FIA Foundation, International Road Federation) have explored and
applied below principles and experienced success through a Safe
System. The concepts that underpin the Safe System approach are:
ƒ	 Human beings can make mistakes that can lead to road crashes.
ƒ	 The human body by nature has a limited ability to sustain
crash forces.
ƒ	 It is a shared responsibility among stakeholders (road
users, road managers, vehicle manufacturers, etc.) to take
appropriate actions to ensure that road crashes do not lead to
serious or fatal injuries.
ƒ	 All parts of the system must be strengthened so that if one
part fails, road users are still protected.3
ƒ	 A proactive approach should be taken to making the
mobility system safe, rather than waiting for events to occur
and reacting.
28

May 2020

i te j o urnal

Figure 1. Prioritizing Safety Wheel.
ƒ	 No death or serious injury should be accepted in the
mobility system, and lack of safety should not be a trade-off
for faster mobility.4
ƒ	 It is critical that the key risk factors that contribute significantly to crashes are identified and understood.5
Safety Culture. As demonstrated in the Prioritizing Safety
Wheel (Figure 1), Safety Culture must surround all we do and
be advanced in parallel with the adoption of a Safe System
approach to achieve maximum benefit. Safety Culture is defined
as "the broad set of attitudes and beliefs that underlie people's
decisions," according to the Road to Zero report.2 "Safety culture
affects judgment about priorities in individual behavior and
support for collective decisions about what is most important in
our communities. Getting to zero deaths will involve countless
individual and collective decisions, and a strong safety culture is an
essential prerequisite." Safety culture must be advanced both within
organizations responsible for protecting public safety and within
the community itself.

Safe System Framework
A Safe System framework for achieving zero deaths by 2050 marks
a shift in the way transportation professionals think about road-related crashes, injuries, and fatalities. Traditionally, responsibility
has been placed largely on the user for driving safely (or walking,
or biking, etc.), unimpaired and without distractions. In a Safe
System approach, specific roadway and vehicle design techniques


https://www.nsc.org/road-safety/get-involved/road-to-zero https://www.ite.org/technical-resources/topics/safe-systems/ http://www.welivevisionzero.com/vision-zero/ http://www.welivevisionzero.com/vision-zero

ITE Journal - May 2020

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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G100155_ITE_December2018
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G99495_ITE_October2018
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