A future with zero serious injuries or deaths on our roads.

Vision Zero is a multi-national traffic safety initiative, founded in Sweden in the late 1990s. It’s based on the philosophy that no one should be killed or seriously injured within the road transport system. Ultimately, the main goal of Vision Zero is to achieve zero fatalities or serious injuries on the road.

In Canada, Parachute has taken the national lead to co-ordinate and share best practices among all the municipalities and communities seeking to improve road safety. On social media, we use the hashtag #ParachuteVZ to share information and encourage public support of Vision Zero.

Parachute Vision Zero works to:

  • Create and disseminate evidence-based Vision Zero resources and best practices in road safety.
  • Support urban and rural jurisdictions in their understanding and adoption of Vision Zero.
  • Connect key road safety stakeholders to increase the overall awareness and effectiveness of the Vision Zero approach.
  • Support data-driven approaches to road safety.

“This was not an accident”

When we call road collisions “accidents”, we step away from anyone having any responsibility, and any urgency to make the changes in behaviour, laws, and environment that will lead to fewer deaths and injuries on our roads.

Parachute has mounted a national awareness campaign to help Canadians take the first step on the Vision Zero journey: to understand, and agree, that when it comes to road collisions, “This was not an ‘accident’.”

Over the summers of 2018 and 2019, media partners Media City, Astral and Outdoor Media have supported this campaign by donating digital billboard space in B.C, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.

Image of flowers tied to a lamp post, a roadside memorial, overprinted with the words "This was not an accident" - Find out why parachutevisionzero.ca
Billboard campaign for “This was not an accident”, driving awareness about the Vision Zero approach to road safety.

Why Canada needs Vision Zero

Transport Canada reported that in 2017, there were:

  • 1,841 Canadians killed on our roads
  • 9,960 seriously injured.
  • 511 pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists killed.

Speeding, distracted driving and impaired driving

  • 80 per cent of fatally injured drivers ages 18-34 were speeding, according to the Traffic Injury Research Foundation
  • 48 per cent of fatal/serious injury collisions involved distracting, according to Transport Canada
  • 4 Canadians die, on average, each day in collisions involving drugs or alcohol, as reported by MADD

International results for Vision Zero

Sweden made a Vision Zero commitment more than 20 years ago and, as a result:

  • Pedestrian fatalities have fallen nearly 50 per cent in the last five years.
  • Road deaths of children under seven have plummeted-in 2012 only one was killed, compared with 58 in 1970.
  • Between 1997 and 2009, road traffic fatalities have been reduced by 34.5 per cent.

In 2015, Edmonton became the first Canadian city to adopt Vision Zero, and between 2006 and 2018, traffic-related injuries and fatalities had dropped by 60 per cent, as reported by The City of Edmonton.

Vision Zero has achieved international recognition and was identified as an effective policy to prevent road traffic injury by the World Health Organization in 2004. The Public Health Agency of Canada’s also references Vision Zero as an evidence-based solution for promoting health and well-being in Canadian Best Practice Portal.

The Vision Zero difference

Vision Zero critically analyzes the road system, reinventing system-wide design, practices and policies to lessen the severity of collisions and prevent serious injury and death on our roads.

Built on a systems-based approach, Vision Zero holds everyone accountable for their role in traffic safety.

  • Road users are responsible for abiding by the systems, laws and policies of the road.
  • Policymakers publicly voice their commitment to road safety and demonstrate this commitment in all policies.
  • Law enforcement strictly and equitably enforce road safety laws, such as those aimed at speed management and deterring impaired and distracted driving.
  • System designers work diligently to design or improve road infrastructure, redesigning it when it fails to keep road users safe.

The Vision Zero commitment

Components of a strong commitment

  • Action plan
  • Co-operation and collaboration
  • Community engagement
  • Data-driven
  • Equity
  • Multi-disciplinary leadership
  • Political commitment
  • Systems-based approach
  • Transparency

Key activities

  • Advocacy for policy change
  • Enhanced regulation and enforcement
  • Raising public awareness and commitment to road safety
  • Road infrastructure changes

Focus areas

  • Continued leadership, collaboration and accountability among all stakeholders
  • Enhancing the safety of vulnerable road users
  • Leveraging innovative technology (red light cameras, automated speed enforcement)
  • Improving road infrastructure for all road users
  • Increasing enforcement of laws to manage safe speeds and reduce impaired and distracted driving
  • Positioning road safety as a top priority in policy-making
  • Strict vehicle regulation and testing