Mayor too pedestrian on pedestrian safety
The London Assembly today asked the Mayor to adopt a Vision Zero approach to road danger.
Assembly Members unanimously agreed a motion urging the Mayor to help change cultural attitudes, which are too accepting of road death and injury.
Valerie Shawcross CBE AM, who proposed the motion said:
“London has always been a pedestrian friendly city, but it ought to be a safer city for those who chose to walk. Whilst the Mayor’s target to halve the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads is welcome, it falls far short of what he should be aiming for.
An ambitious Vision Zero strategy, which vigorously enforces traffic law, improves road engineering, and works to discourage dangerous behaviour on the roads, is the only true route to boosting pedestrian safety. All the evidence points to regular walking as crucial to good health; the Mayor should be promoting walking as a way to tackle our obesity crisis and be doing more to make London a pedestrian friendly city.”
The full text of the Motion is:
“This Assembly notes the positive environmental and health effects of walking and wishes to see London become a safer city for pedestrians.
This Assembly notes the Mayor’s target to halve the number of people killed or seriously injured on London's roads by 2020 compared to the Government base line of 3,627.
This Assembly believes that a target of 1,813 people, or fewer, being killed or seriously injured on London’s roads by 2020 is still too high.
This Assembly believes that the Mayor should adopt the Swedish Vision Zero approach to road danger, which incorporates five key principles:
- Safety: road traffic systems should take account of the fact that people make mistakes and should minimise both the opportunity for error and the harm done when they do occur.
- Ethics: human life and health have highest priority.
- Responsibility: those who design and manage road systems share responsibility with road users.
- Mechanisms for change: We must all be ready to change to achieve safety.
- Active travel which encourages healthy forms of transport such as cycling and walking.
This Assembly further notes than Vision Zero combines strong enforcement of traffic law and better roadway engineering with campaigns to discourage dangerous behaviour on roads. It also aims to raise the profile of traffic safety problems and help change cultural attitudes, which are too accepting of road death and injury.
This Assembly calls on the Mayor and TfL to take a bold approach to pedestrian safety. We need ambitious targets to drive forward progress on pedestrian safety, the political will to make difficult decisions, and clear leadership to build the momentum to change our roads and streets for the better. Adopting Vision Zero principles for London’s road safety policy could change public perception of road dangers as an inevitable part of modern city life. It would remind people that death and injury on our roads can be avoided if a serious effort is made to tackle the causes of the problem.”
Notes to editors
- The motion was agreed unanimously.
- The full webcast will be available shortly.
- Valerie Shawcross CBE AM who proposed the motion is available for interviews. Please see contact details below.
- As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.
For media enquiries, please contact Alison Bell on 020 7983 4228. For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officer. Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.