What is Vison Zero?

Vision Zero is Montgomery County’s initiative to eliminate all roadway-related fatalities and serious injuries by the year 2030. Vision Zero was adopted by the County for its proven methods for saving lives. At Vision Zero’s core is the ethical principle that it is unacceptable for people to be killed or seriously injured when moving within the transportation system. The people that design, maintain, operate, and use the roadway network share a responsibility for safety to ensure that mistakes do not result in serious injuries or death.

The Vision Zero concept for roadway safety was created in Sweden in 1997 and is widely credited for significant reductions in fatal and severe collisions on Sweden’s roads, despite increased driving, biking, and transit use. Vision Zero came to the US in 2000 with Washington State adopting its Target Zero plan. In 2014, New York City became the first city to adopt Vision Zero, and the idea has since taken off. As of April 2022, Vision Zero has spread to over 50 jurisdictions across the country.

Road to Vision Zero in Montgomery County

Road to Vision Zero in Montgomery County

Vision Zero Principles

Montgomery County’s Vision Zero Initiative is driven by the following seven principles.

  1. Transportation–related deaths and serious injuries are preventable and unacceptable.

  2. Human life takes priority over mobility and other objectives of the road system. The road system should be safe for all users, for all modes of transportation, in all communities, and for people of all ages and abilities.

  3. Equitably prioritize funding, resources and outreach to communities that experience a disproportionate burden of traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries.  

  1. People will make mistakes. The transportation system should be designed so those mistakes do not lead to serious injury or death

  2. People are inherently vulnerable, speed at the time of collision is a fundamental predictor of crash survival. The transportation system should be contextually designed for speeds that protect human life.

  3. Policies and resources at all levels of government need to align, making safety the highest priority for roadways.

  4. All road users have a responsibility to respect one another, and to behave in a safe manner. Drivers have the potential to do the most harm and have a responsibility to be mindful and respectful of others on the public right of way.