The Economist reported this week that the number of road deaths in Sweden has fallen by four-fifths since 1970. Only three in every 100,000 Swedes die on the roads each year, “compared with 5.5 per 100,000 across the European Union, 11.4 in America and 40 in the Dominican Republic.”
All western countries have reduced road deaths substantially over the last 40 or so years, but Sweden is one of a handful of out-performers. One statistic in particular caught the attention of social media: only one child aged under 7 years died on Swedish roads in 2012, compared with 58 in 1970.
The Economist says Sweden’s success is down to a culture of zero-tolerance for road deaths. The Vision Zero program instituted in 1997 prioritised safety in the design and management of roads over speed or convenience.
More at the Urbanist.