The vision thing: actors, decision-making and lock-in effects in Swedish road safety policy since the 1990s

This paper investigates the introduction of and consequences of the "Vision Zero" (Nollvisionen) that was part of a law passed in 1997 and called for a radical reduction of deaths caused by road traffic. We try to answer the question why the Vision Zero has failed to reach its goals for the last ten years. The introduction of the Vision Zero can be explained with a combination of changes in traffic policy and welfare policy, together with a reorganization of the transport sector that created new opportunities for old interest groups. Our main conclusion is that the strong idealistic and visionary political goals in the Vision Zero are in line with a Swedish tradition of over-arching visionary national goals for the transport sector in general. Idealistic goals suppressed critical objections, but at the same time there were insufficient resources for investments and lack of approval for the policy from actors within the sector, which can create lock-in effects and actually prevent effective policies from being implemented. This might explain the relative ineffectiveness of the policy, and the slim chances of the Vision Zero to ever being achieved. (A).


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  • Accession Number: 01102671
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: TRL
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Jun 16 2008 8:16AM