Learning from the Swedish Model
A contingent of multi agency partners across emergency services and Welsh Government have travelled to Sweden to explore how to reduce the number of serious and fatal collisions.
The ambition is to make Welsh roads the safest in the world, through learning from partners and pioneers, and visiting the Swedish Transport Administration. Their national approach, through design, enforcement, communication and legislation has created a culture where serious or fatal collisions are becoming a rarity due to their “Vision Zero initiative”, which aims to eliminate deaths and serious injuries on the country’s roads.
Sergeant Christopher Grey, South Wales Police said:
“Being able to share best practice from the best in the world offers us an opportunity to create real change. For many years, police forces across Wales have come together with partners to deliver campaigns, operations and interventions, educating road users and taking action on those that break the law.
“Looking at serious and fatal collisions across Wales, it is important that a new approach is adopted to continue work being delivered by partners in the attempt to see serious or fatal collisions disappear from roads across our country.”
Dermot O’Leary, Welsh Ambulance Service’s Road Safety Champion and Rhyl based Paramedic said:
“Sweden’s roads are considered some of the world’s safest, and this is a golden opportunity to meet with the authorities to take inspiration from their work and share best practice.
“A great deal of work is being undertaken in Wales to reduce road traffic collisions, but even one death is one too many.
“We’re keen to learn as much as we can from the Swedish Transport Administration about the initiatives they have in place so that we can follow in their footsteps in Wales.”
Sweden’s roads have become the world’s safest, with only three of every 100,000 Swedes dying on the roads each year, compared with 5.5 per 100,000 across the European Union, 11.4 in America—and 40 in the Dominican Republic, which has the world’s deadliest traffic.
Commenting on the Wales Fire & Rescue Services (FRS) involvement with this work, Chair of the Wales Fire & Rescue Services Road Safety Group, Corporate Head of Prevention & Protection for Mid & West Wales FRS, Mr Mydrian Harries added
“An integral part of the Welsh Government’s Road Safety Framework is to reduce road deaths and serious injuries across Wales. As a Service, we now attend more road traffic collisions than fires, which highlights the need to address the issue urgently.
A significant amount of work is already being undertaken across Wales to reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads but there is more that can be done to bring about a positive and long lasting change to enable Wales to become one the safest countries in the World to drive in.”