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Vision zero

Traffic Safety in Montréal

Road safety has always been a priority concern in Montréal. The time has come to consider new means of ensuring traffic safety and harmony for all on our roads. By subscribing to the Vision Zero approach, Montréal is taking steps to further improve the consistency of responses and mobilize all the partners concerned.

Why is Montréal adopting Vision Zero?

The measures put in place in conjunction with the Transportation Plan 2008 made it possible to reduce fatal traffic accidents and serious injuries by more than 50%. The conventional approach had reached its limits, and a renewed impetus was required. Vision Zero traffic fatalities & serious injuries is the product of that fresh impetus.

What’s more, Montréal has earned kudos for its population’s growing use of cycling and walking as a mode of transportation, and that’s why the city pays special attention to cyclists and pedestrians, the road network’s most vulnerable users.

Number of fatalities and seriously injured in Montréal

Users deceased in road collisions in 2017

Users seriously injured in 2017

Vision Zero: A Global Movement Finds a Home in Montréal

Drawing on the principle that no one should perish or suffer serious injury on our roads, Vision Zero recommends that action be taken across a set of components of the road traffic system in order to guarantee the safety of all road users: pedestrians, cyclists, drivers and passengers of all ages and in all conditions. The planning, design and management of infrastructures, regulatory provisions, traffic surveillance and control tools, technological innovations, education and awareness-raising – all are dimensions that must be taken into account and merit the full attention from each of the parties concerned.

Vision Zero thus calls for a multidisciplinary response and a sharing of responsibilities.

This approach differs from the traditional approach on several levels.

Traditional approachVision Zero approach
Focuses on all accidents Focuses on fatalities and serious injuries
Is predicated on typical (perfect) behaviour Recognizes that humans are fallible and vulnerable
Onus of responsibility placed on the user Responsibility shared between the system’s designers, managers, decision-makers and users
Prioritizes “accidentogenic” locations Constitutes an overall, systemic approach

The Vision Zero approach also calls for a change of behaviour.

What lessons can be learned from cities that have adopted Vision Zero?

Montréal can draw from the experience of cities that have successfully adopted Vision Zero to establish specific benchmarks.

First, it is crucial to get all stakeholders involved and secure their collaboration in order to minimize conflicts. It’s also necessary to come to an agreement, based on the data and facts, on which problem should take priority when the time comes to implement a set of solutions. All must share a common vision and pool their efforts, in accordance with their respective duties, and all must cooperate and accept the changes required to further ensure safety.

Vision Zero will bring about changes in the way things are done. It constitutes a long-term approach, therefore, one that will be implemented gradually in Montréal. These changes will be achieved through coordinated efforts.