Towards Vision Zero at Zebra Crossings: A Case Study in Malmö, Sweden on Traffic Safety and Mobility for Children and Elderly

Charlotta Johansson, Per Gårder, Lars Leden

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Abstract

The Swedish Vision Zero's goal is to eliminate all fatalities and incapacitating traffic injuries. One step towards Vision Zero is through traffic calming. Code changes are also part of this effort. The Swedish Code concerning car drivers' responsibility to give way to pedestrians was strengthened in 2000. The aim of this study is to evaluate the short-term effects of the change in Code as well as of the reconstruction of urban intersections to do away with overtaking and speeding over 30 km/h. The focus of the evaluation is on children and elderly as pedestrians and cyclists. Between 1995 and 1999, an average of seven pedestrians was killed and around 60 seriously injured at unsignalized zebra crossings. In 2001, those numbers were eight and 70, respectively, despite some crosswalks being eliminated in connection to the change of Code. The conclusion is that the change of Code has not improved safety. Field studies in the City of Malmö regarding behavior, speed, and conflicts, as well as analysis of crash data, show that the effect of the Code change is increased mobility also for cyclists while motor vehicles' speeds did not change significantly. The reconstruction increased mobility further and, at least based on indirect measures, improved safety. Also, "safe" traffic behavior expressed as looking sideways increased somewhat at the reconstructed intersections, but stopping at the curb before crossing the street decreased. Children and elderly did not benefit more than other age groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-74
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number1828
Publication statusPublished - 2003
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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Keywords

  • traffic safety

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