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‘Vision Zero must include road safety for motorcyclists’

Swedish motorcyclists’ organisation SMC: “No one should be injured or die due to deficiencies in the infrastructure”.

On 26 and 27 June 2023, the Swedish Transport Administration organized the Zero Vision Conference, which was held in Stockholm and was opened by Infrastructure Minister Andreas Carlson. Two days of international knowledge exchange, capacity building and in-depth discussions about road safety and the zero vision. The motorcyclists point of view was represented by SMC.

Road safety is an integral part of the United Nations Agenda 2030, where health, climate and justice are the main headings. Road safety also has its own goal (sub-goal 3.6: halve the number of deaths and injuries in traffic), which in turn enables other improvements in society.

For many years, Swedish motorcyclists’ organisation SMC (a member of FEMA) has conveyed how motorcycles and mopeds can contribute to a better environment in our cities and a better life for many of us who ride a powered two-wheeler. In a global perspective, in many countries around the world, a motorcycle is the first vehicle a family can afford to buy to go to work, drive children to school or reach medical care that is available in another city.

‘The human being must be at the centre of all road safety work.’

SMC’s Dominique Faymonville and Jesper Christensen

For SMC, it was important to attend the conference to bring up the perspectives of motorcyclists and moped riders and their contribution to the UN’s sustainability goals in every discussion. Although all speakers agreed that road safety should apply to all road users, SMC would like to emphasize the importance of the unprotected road users and the special aspects of road safety for us motorcyclists.

The expectations are high that the development will contribute to achieving our goals with road safety and drastically reduce the number of fatal accidents and collisions. However, the development of technology requires a better maintenance of our roads: how else can the future autonomous car follow white lines if they are no longer present or invisible under a layer of gravel?

For SMC, the human being must be at the centre of all road safety work: in the end, it is us who ride who must judge and adapt our riding to each situation using our skills and experience. However, a big responsibility lies with decision-makers to put the right resources in infrastructure that follows the principles of vision zero and that integrates motorcyclists. Maintenance should follow the same principles: no one should be injured or die due to deficiencies in the infrastructure.

Vision Zero is a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. Vision Zero was first implemented in Sweden in the 1990s.

Vision Zero recognizes that people will sometimes make mistakes, so the road system and related policies should be designed to ensure those inevitable mistakes do not result in severe injuries or fatalities. This means that system designers and policymakers are expected to improve the roadway environment, policies (such as speed management), and other related systems to lessen the severity of crashes.

Vision Zero is a multidisciplinary approach, bringing together diverse and necessary stakeholders to address this complex problem. In the past, meaningful, cross-disciplinary collaboration among local traffic planners and engineers, policymakers, and public health professionals has not been the norm. Vision Zero acknowledges that many factors contribute to safe mobility – including roadway design, speeds, behaviours, technology, and policies – and sets clear goals to achieve the shared goal of zero fatalities and severe injuries.


Written by Wim Taal

Source: SMC

Top photograph courtesy of

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