Safe Road Users

Road safety traditionally centred on road users. Individual responsibility was key, especially that of victims. Road safety plans were organised by casualty mode, with change expected from the likely victims.

Safe Systems changed that. It accepted the inevitability of human fallibility. Designing out danger became the responsibility of transport system designers, operators and policy makers rather than that solely of road users.

The Safe Systems approach does not expect compliance of road users with traffic regulations. This means the risk of simple error is expected to be designed out so that it does not lead to death or serious injury.

London’s Vision Zero Action Plan (July 2018) and the more recent Vision Zero Action Plan Progress Report (November 2021) are a joint plan with both Transport for London and the Metropolitan Police. So there is much in it about enforcement as shown below (Chapter 5) that makes use of a three-tier approach.

AVZ believes this means that policy makers need to know how many and which collisions are due to human error, and which are due to risky behaviour. The latter may not be able to be designed out and will need enforcement as a deterrent.

In London, the Vision Zero Action Plan was jointly produced by the Mayor and the Police, and included much in this chapter on traffic law enforcement. The focus, as elsewhere in the plan, was on reducing road danger and targeting danger at source.