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Swedish road safety is gaining ground all over the world through ÅF’s Claes Tingvall

Just over twenty years ago, Claes Tingvall introduced Vision Zero, work that was to save thousands of lives. The vision of zero dead and seriously injured in traffic has spread to all corners of the globe, and Claes is continuing his mission.

Claes TingvallAfter a long career at the Swedish Transport Administration, Claes is now working at ÅF on both projects and research in the fields of road safety and sustainable transport operations. 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the successful Vision Zero, and road safety is in the spotlight more than ever. As is Claes Tingvall.

In addition to contributing to the book Nollvisionen 20 år (Vision zero 20 years) and commenting on road safety from the morning TV sofa, during the year Claes has given opening addresses at numerous trade fairs and industry gatherings, and has received many acknowledgements for his tireless work. It is worth noting that Claes was appointed chairman of the jury for the prestigious Prince Michael Road Safety Awards, which has been presented since 1987 in recognition of performances and innovations for better road safety all over the world.

“It’s incredibly pleasing and an honour to be able to study work on improved road safety in this way. Seeing these projects and innovations, all for a safer traffic environment, is incredible.” - Claes Tingvall.

A focus on road safety in New York and Atlanta

The Vision Zero Network features a growing number of cities working together to increase road safety through the sharing of knowledge and experience. This year’s conference in New York recognised the Swedish Vision Zero, and Claes presented Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York, with the book Vision Zero 20 years. In Atlanta, Claes was presented with an honorary doctorate at Emory University – a leading university in research into road safety and a city that puts a major focus on public health. Despite the size of the university with more than 30,000 employees, it is unusual for anyone to be presented with an honorary doctorate – let alone a Swede.

Claes was presented with an honorary doctorate at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

The important work continues

In Antwerp in September, Claes gave the opening address at the In the Pursuit of Vision event, which was named after Vision Zero. The event was held by Euro NCAP, The European New Car Assessment Programme, which celebrated 20 years of safety tests in connection with car crashes. Claes received a prize from Global NCAP for his efforts as one of the founders of the European section, as well as for his time as chairman of the programme in the period 2004-2010.

Claes with the prize from Global NCAP at Euro NCAP, 6 September 2017.

Work on road safety now has a strong link with the UN’s sustainable development goals and Agenda 2030. Vision Zero is a large element of the agenda’s objective that safety shall be absolute and be combined with clean air, freedom from fossil fuels, security and accessibility for all. Claes’ work at ÅF involves looking for new solutions with his team to realise and achieve these goals. Not only in research projects and think tanks, but also in actual assignments for ÅF’s customers.

“In the past people always balanced safety against mobility. We see no trace of this in the UN’s goals now, and that may be the biggest step we’ve ever taken.” – Claes Tingvall