This content was published in the period between 21 January 2019 and 8 July 2021

Together for a safer transport system


Road safety is one element of a sustainable society, and Swedish road safety efforts are based on the Vision Zero concept. Vision Zero is the long-term goal that no one should be killed or seriously injured in the transport system, and that the transport system must be gradually adapted to this.

  • A man speaks in a microphone at a meeting.

    Minister for Infrastructure Tomas Eneroth presents the potential content of the 2020 ministerial conference

    ITF Summit 2019.

  • Logotype of the conference.

    Government Offices of Sweden

The goal of Swedish policy is for the number of deaths in the road transport sector to be halved between 2007–2020, with the number of people who are seriously injured reduced by one quarter. The Vision Zero concept is an ambitious and visionary objective, which also entails a systemic change in Swedish road safety efforts. Vision Zero means that the traffic system is adapted to people, rather than inducing people to adapt to the traffic system. In September 2016, the Government adopted a comprehensive policy document for future road safety efforts – a new start for Vision Zero. The Vision Zero approach has been adopted by countries and cities around the world.

Sweden to host a global ministerial conference on road safety

Sweden’s results in the area of road safety, together with our approach based on Vision Zero, have attracted a great deal of attention around the world. On 19–20 February 2020, Sweden will host the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety. The conference is expected to gather minister-led delegations from some 80 countries. It will be organised together with the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Swedish road safety is an example for the rest of the world and, in connection with the conference, Sweden has the chance to strengthen its image. The conference is also an opportunity to show more countries around the world that Vision Zero is a successful concept.

Many traffic fatalities, but the trend can be reversed

Each year, 1.4 million people die in traffic. This means that 3 500 people lose their lives in traffic every day. Traffic accidents are currently the world’s eighth most common cause of death, and the most common among young people (5–24 years of age). More motorisation around the world has led to a rise in deaths, and this is expected to rise even further as traffic increases. The WHO predicts that traffic accidents will be the fifth most common cause of death globally by 2030.

“Despite the gloomy situation and the major challenges, there is still cause for optimism. Many countries have shown that it is possible to reverse the trend, and Sweden is one such country,” says Minister for Infrastructure Tomas Eneroth.

“When Sweden hosts the world’s largest road safety conference, we will also make sure that more countries follow our lead, understand the idea behind Vision Zero efforts and are inspired by Sweden,” Mr Eneroth continues.

Global efforts for safer road traffic

Even at global level there is cause for optimism. In 2009, world leaders reached agreement on road safety issues. At the First Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in Russia, a ‘Decade of Action for Road Safety’ was launched for the period 2011–2020. The aim was to highlight road safety issues politically and encourage world leaders in the area to take action to reduce road fatalities.

The 2030 Agenda was introduced in 2015, and target 3.6 states that the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents is to be halved by 2020. However, road safety issues have a clear bearing on a number of other sustainability aspects of the 2030 Agenda, such as gender equality, democracy, public health, urban development and innovation.

The aim of the conference is to create global support for a forward-looking declaration with guidelines for continued global road safety efforts up to 2030. The conference will be highlighted during the ITF Summit.

The conference will receive attention at the ITF Summit

At this year’s high-level International Transport Forum (ITF) in Leipzig, the Ministry of Infrastructure will organise a session about the Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, hosted by Minister for Infrastructure Tomas Eneroth. The focus will be on jointly discussing the challenges and needs, the upcoming conference in February 2020 and how continued road safety work should be conducted up to 2030.

3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety on 19–20 February 2020

On 19–20 February 2020, Sweden will host the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, with the theme ‘Achieving Global Goals’. The aim of the conference is to follow up and summarise the global traffic safety work carried out by the UN and the WHO and its Member States, as well as to set a direction for continued work. Under the UN resolution, the conference is to adopt a forward-looking declaration on global traffic safety work. The aim of the conference is to achieve global consensus on guidelines for continued international collaboration on road safety up to 2030. The conference and declaration should result in clear recommendations on how the global road safety efforts should be conducted from 2020 onwards.
Previous versions of the Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety were held in Moscow in 2009 and Brasilia in 2015. The conference marks the end of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety.

International Transport Forum (ITF) Summit

An international conference where transport and infrastructure ministers from all over the world gather to discuss global challenges.