An Interview with ATS & The Vision Zero Advocate Institute

1.     What is the Vision Zero Advocate Institute and how does it relate to ATS? How do you work with the Parachute Vision Zero Network?

The Vision Zero Advocate Institute is the natural evolution of 50 years of traffic safety solutions. Supported by ATS Traffic, the Institute is a network of coaches, experts and Vision Zero innovators. Working with the Vision Zero Advocate Institute provides access to experts in traffic safety, program design and media, as well as opportunities to learn from established Vision Zero communities and organizations. 

The Vision Zero Advocate Institute is excited to work with the Parachute Vision Zero Network through the expansion of Vision Zero knowledge and action across Canada. With complimentary objectives, the Institute believes in supporting the work done by  the Parachute Vision Zero Network to achieve the ultimate goal: zero serious injuries and fatalities on our roadways.

2.     What is the role of the Canadian private sector in the road safety realm? 

The private sector is an integral part of the Vision Zero solution- it supports the innovation required to change the way we think about roadways, while engaging in meaningful public-private partnerships, resulting in sustainable action.

The private sector is also made up of individuals who are road users—it is a tremendous opportunity to start education within the private sector industries, keeping employees safe at work, but also within the communities they live in.

3.     How do community road safety advocates/champions effectively connect with the right people to get VZ started? 

Creating change in your own community can feel like a daunting task—it is important to recognize that there are others who are also invested in this goal. Vision Zero communities build task forces that include local levels of government, public safety, transportation and infrastructure to create comprehensive and inclusive partnerships.

The Vision Zero Advocate Institute has developed a guide detailing how to start Vision Zero in your community—check out www.visionzeroai.com or email us at info@visionzeroai.com for more information, or support to launch your Vision Zero program.

4.     Specific to the implementation of Vision Zero, what are communities doing right and what could they be doing differently? 

Municipalities that have a Vision Zero strategy demonstrate a clear commitment to eliminating serious injuries and fatalities on the road, tackling that through systemic changes focused on safer users, speeds, roads and vehicles. Data driven at their core, Vision Zero traffic safety plans are data driven and are rooted in best practice strategies, which means they are proven to work.

Where the Vision Zero Advocate Institute sees struggle is in communities that launch the Vision Zero banner but face difficulties maintaining momentum. We support them through that launch phase with a clear and defined plan, ensuring that the launch is a starting point, not a flash in the pan.

5.     Our Canadian cities are built for speed and the car is king. Based off this principle, how do you persuade the non-believers?

The Vision Zero Advocate Institute was developed to support communities in Canada and around the world, recognizing that each community has its own unique traffic safety needs. This is one of the biggest changes in transportation, and it will take time. But it will also require sensitivity to the Canadian context, where cars are a main mode of transportation. We are actively working with stakeholders to develop a Vision Zero that works for Canada, one that reimagines automobiles as part of the solution. The objective is to create a system that supports all road users, and protects them when they fail—the ultimate goal of zero serious injuries and fatalities is a very convincing counterpoint for those hesitant about changing their driving styles.

6.     For more information:

The Vision Zero Advocate Institute can be found online at www.visionzeroai.com, and you can contact us at info@visionzeroai.com with any questions. We look forward to hearing from you!