No matter where you are in the world, the topic of road safety is crucial. Every year in Canada, roughly 1,800 people lose their lives due to motor vehicle accidents. Additionally, hundreds of thousands face injuries every year. When it comes to the topic of road safety, preventing death and serious injury is something everyone should move towards. This is why many municipalities and cities across the world are implementing a Vision Zero Plan. So, what is Vision Zero? Which locations in Canada are implementing these practices? How does the Vision Zero plan move towards safer roads worldwide? Let’s take a look at Vision Zero’s top tips for road safety.

What is Vision Zero?

The Vision Zero road safety plan was first implemented by the Swedish government in 1997 when they pledged to eliminate death and serious injury from their roads altogether. Since the program’s launch that year, it has only gained widespread attention. Vision Zero is still successfully reducing traffic deaths – completely in half in only two decades!

With a mindset of “no loss of life is acceptable,” multiple outside resources are offering their assistance. Some examples of these include:

  • Local traffic planners
  • Engineers
  • Policymakers
  • Public health professionals

With the help of these resources, areas are seeing great improvements, such as roadway design, behaviours, policies, and speed limits. Together, these improvements contribute to a safer space for commuting and mobility. The essence of Vision Zero is to continuously and preemptively remove any possibility of serious injury or death from all transportation systems within an area. On top of this, they prioritize the area’s most vulnerable populations. So, whether you are behind the wheel, taking transit, walking, or biking, Vision Zero is there for you to make sure you arrive at your destination safely. Click our blog for more information on Vision Zero and how it improves road safety.

Where in Canada is Vision Zero in effect?

Vision Zero is being implemented in many countries across the globe. From Canada and the United States to England and even India. Canada in particular has been going to great lengths to implement a Vision Zero Canada in its cities. How? By following their tips for road safety guidelines.

Since the launch of Vision Zero Canada in 2015, traffic deaths have decreased exponentially. Edmonton was the first city to officially adopt Vision Zero in September 2015. As a resuly, many are following suit. In Ontario, Hamilton, Mississauga, and Ottawa are currently in the process of a Vision Zero strategy of their own. As of 2016, Toronto included itself in the movement to better our roads. As of today’s date (May 2024), there are currently three provinces, two regions, and 25 cities strategizing a Vision Zero plan. Furthermore, six cities and three regions are working out the logistics of doing so. To view a full map of the areas with Vision Zero, check out this map.

So, what are Vision Zero’s 10 tips for road safety?

According to Vision Zero, its strategy is all about safe systems. With this in mind, the aim is to minimize the conflict of mobility systems. According to Neil Arason, the author of “No Accident” (a book on how to eliminate injury and death on Canadian roads), there are 10 key tips that should be implemented to greatly improve the safety of our roads. These are as follows:

1. Make road safety a top priority

Road safety should be made a top priority in Canada, no matter where you live. A federal multi-disciplinary public safety agency should be in place to significantly reduce injuries and fatalities from motor vehicles. The aim was to eliminate both of these by 2023.

2. Ensure vehicles in Canada are made safer

Every motor vehicle that is sold in Canada after 2020 should not be able to kill or seriously injure any road user. This includes pedestrians and cyclists. To do this, we should ensure that vehicle regulations apply to more cars entering the country. Automakers should have to track deaths and injuries from their vehicles. With this information, the goal is to create programs and incentives that ensure the proper maintenance or removal of vehicles from the road, when necessary. This is a crucial road safety tip to follow!

3. Focus on cycling infrastructure

A focus should be put on cycling infrastructure. Federal legislation should pass to set a percentage of highway funding for pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure. We should be looking at former US laws, such as the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity (SAFETEA), and what it accomplished.

4. Install more sidewalks

Install more sidewalks and traffic islands. This includes better crosswalk design and improving those that are outdated. When people consider road safety tips, they first think of vehicles, but not the equal importance of pedestrians who use roadways to cross.

5. Focus on separating pedestrians and vehicles.

Busy intersections should have a three to six-second advance walk signal for pedestrians. For cyclists, a specific bicycle signal should be installed at all intersections. On top of this, Vision Zero believes the right-turn-on red rule is outdated and should be banned in cities where it is current.

6. Set speed limits to 30 km/h

The average speed limit should be set to 30 km/h in areas where cyclists and pedestrians mix with cars. Urban road design should be a way to reduce speeds and force more traffic-calming behaviours.

7. Install medians and barriers 

More medians and barriers should be installed in high-speed areas. This is especially crucial for areas where opposite-flow traffic exists. This can include medians, cable barriers, or concrete barriers, as well as crash attenuators. On top of this, speeds should be set so that if a crash occurs, no death or serious injury will happen to the vehicle’s drivers or passengers.

8. Install more roundabouts

The number of roundabouts should be increased within multiple areas. They should be designed in a way that they are easy to use, and prioritize optimal safety for pedestrians and cyclists. Roundabouts are crucial when it comes to road safety due to their ability to increase driver alertness and reduce speeds.

9. Invest in low-cost roadway design measures

Low-cost roadway design measures, such as rumble strips and lane markings, are small (but crucial) improvements to improve roads and make them safer. On top of this, anti-skid pavement surfacing and signage improvement can make a great difference. Driving should be made as simple as possible to align with the imperfections many real-world drivers have.

10. Assist drivers in obeying the rules of the road

Drivers should be assisted when it comes to obeying the rules of the road. Technology, such as automated speed cameras and red light cameras should be made more apparent. Additionally, traffic enforcement units should be out more to crack down on unsafe drivers and impairment.


No matter where you are in the world, the road safety of all drivers should always be a top priority. Though Vision Zero strategies have a massive impact on reducing traffic deaths and injuries; safer roads can’t be obtained without your help! When it comes to being safe on the roads, having the proper insurance coverage in case of an accident is crucial. Contact us or request a quote today!

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