Vision Zero London works for the adoption of a Vision Zero approach to road safety in London.
Every year tens of people are unnecessarily killed and hundreds seriously injured on London roads because of:
- dangerous driving
- poor infrastructure
Reluctance to tackle the causes are due to:
- widespread belief that deaths are inevitable
- widespread bias that motor vehicle use should be prioritised over active travel
Even apologists of present reality admit that “every death on the road
is a death too many”. However present policies are poisoned by the mistaken belief
that it would cost too much to have a perfectly safe system, and therefore a certain number of fatalities is inevitable.
That is not how the airline and railway industries work: they design systems with multiple fail-safe mechanisms which incorporate human fallibility. Fatalities occasionally occur, but they are painstakingly analysed to avoid repeat occurrences.
Contrast this with the road network, where many fatal collisions follow repeated patterns, but authorities are unwilling to fix the causes.
Danger on the roads has catastrophic effects on the health of Londoners and the freedom of the more vulnerable: the young and the old.
Nobody can disagree with the goal of designing roads in a way that no-one dies or is seriously injured.
At the Mayoral elections in 2016, we have proposed the Vision Zero Manifesto. These are the key elements:
- Renunciation of “smoothing traffic flow” as a priority; substitution with “prioritising safe, healthy, convenient and pleasant active travel”.
- Adoption of street design principles that take human fallibility and frailty into account.
- Adoption of 30kph as the default speed limit in the Capital, with reasonable resources directed to its enforcement.
- Establishment of an independent investigating agency, with the task of examining collisions and providing binding recommendations to remove sources of danger.
- Establishment of a Motoring Grid, which allows through motor traffic only on arterial roads, and thus creates safe neighbourhoods and a safe cycling network
- New focus on a permanent Operation Safeway, targeting a. cowboy lorry operators, b. observance of Highway Code Rule 170 and c. 30kph
- Acknowledgement that to comply with the Supreme Court ruling on Air Quality, motor vehicles in London need to be cleaner AND fewer in number
Transport for London will respond to clear guidance from the new Mayor; just as the present policies have been poisoned by the “smoothing traffic flow” priority of the Johnson administration, we envisage a shift of attitudes, with a new administration committed to Vision Zero principles.
We will work with other organisations to ensure that Vision Zero will form part of the Mayor’s transport strategy.