April 29, 2011

Vision Zero: Towards Zero Deaths

Time

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m

Location

1065 Kemper Hall, UC Davis

Speaker(s)

Peter Lyndon Jacobsen, Consulting Professional Engineer

Abstract

The new safety paradigm, Vision Zero is built around the basic idea that even if not all traffic crashes can be avoided, all severe injuries can, in principle, be avoided. Building a “safe system,” where all predicted crashes have tolerable health losses, requires a new roadway design philosophy. This new philosophy calls for shifting from the traditional preventing crashes to preventing health harm. This shift calls for switching from designing roads to have space for evasive action to managing the kinetic energy transferred in crashes to human bodies to be within its injury tolerance.

Biographical Sketch

Peter Jacobsen is an engineer with a strong interest in the health impacts
of transportation policy. His published work ranges from injury prevention to activity promotion.
He wrote an article for traffic engineers explaining that the physiology of young children
prevents them from coping with the dangers of traffic and hence the engineers need to adopt
residential streets to the needs of children. His influentual article, Safety in Numbers, showed
that the risk of pedestrians and bicyclists being hit by a motorist decreases as more people walk
and bicycle, and hence the health goals of injury prevention and activity promotion can work
together to synergistically improve health. His current efforts bring state-of-the-art roadway
engineering to improve health by encouraging physical activity and reducing severe injuries.

Peter Jacobsen is an engineer with a strong interest in the health impacts of transportation policy. His published work ranges from injury prevention to activity promotion. He wrote an article for traffic engineers explaining that the physiology of young children prevents them from coping with the dangers of traffic and hence the engineers need to adopt residential streets to the needs of children. His influentual article, Safety in Numbers, showed that the risk of pedestrians and bicyclists being hit by a motorist decreases as more people walk and bicycle, and hence the health goals of injury prevention and activity promotion can work together to synergistically improve health. His current efforts bring state-of-the-art roadway engineering to improve health by encouraging physical activity and reducing severe injuries.