Picture of Claes Tingvall
​Claes Tingvall​​​
​Photo: Rune Borgström

Will develop new global goals for road safety

Claes Tingvall is best known as the man behind the Vision Zero, a strategy that revolutionized road safety in Sweden and many other countries. This adjunct professor at Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Mechanics and maritime Sciences, division of Vehicle engineering and autonomous systems has now been appointed chairman of an international expert group that will propose a new global goal for road safety within the framework of Agenda 2030.
He is an internationally recognized traffic expert, a widely used lecturer and inspirer who has worked with road safety for more than 40 years. In his world of road safety, the post of chairman of the international expert group is something that tops a very successful career. 

“I’ve been given the privilege to get responsible roles during my life, but this time it’s breathtaking. It feels like the peak. At the same time, it’s a completely crucial opportunity to be able to make an effort for the world's population together with other experts” says Claes Tingvall. 

Claes Tingvall will gather the expert group consisting of 14 researchers and experts from all over the world. A mix of epidemiologists, engineers, medical professionals and social scientists at the highest possible level. Together, they will develop a renewed global goal for road safety within the framework of Agenda 2030, the UN's 17 global goals for the world's development. They should also present a number of recommendations on how states, organizations and companies can make a change. 

Claes Tingvall believes that it’s not a coincidence that Chalmers got the chairmanship. Sweden is one of the most successful countries in the world in terms of road safety. The vision zero was born in Sweden but is now a world standard. It’s based on research and applications of effective methods that have been proven. This means that one must understand the connection between man and machine, in a social system. Engineering is an important part of this. 

“Chalmers has a very long successful history with worthies such as Bertil Aldman and Per Lövsund who led Chalmers' work on road safety. I’ve been involved in building up a research group, specialists in system safety in traffic, and this is the one that forms the very basis for the global overall work that the UN and the World Health Organization need. At Chalmers there is also what is known as the Vision Zero Academy with a number of researchers linked to the future work on road safety.” 

He sees the chairmanship as an acknowledgment that interdisciplinary research belongs at Chalmers and that it is possible to build up extremely successful environments with researchers from different scientific disciplines. This means that Chalmers is a global player in welfare and health issues, which in this case affects all people on earth. 

“We actually have solutions that can eliminate the risk of dying in traffic and that is something we should be proud to share with others in the world.”

The result of the expert group's work is presented at the UN's third, global high-level conference on road safety in 2020. Sweden is the host for the conference.

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Published: Thu 21 Feb 2019.