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Centre for Road Safety

A Safe System is central to moving Towards Zero fatalities and serious injuries on our roads.

The four elements of the Safe System approach, first used in Scandinavia, are safer people, safer roads, safer speeds and safer vehicles. We need to improve the safety of all parts of the system, so that if one part fails, the other parts will protect people from being killed or seriously injured.

With all of these elements working together as a whole, the system is more forgiving of human or mechanical error and the impact of a mistake made on the road does not result in a fatality or serious injury.

The underlying principles of the Safe System approach are that:

  • Road safety is a shared responsibility
  • The human body can only withstand limited forces in a crash before this results in a fatality or serious injury
  • Continuous improvements in vehicles, roads and behaviour will reduce fatalities and serious injuries.

We use the Safe System approach to provide innovative road safety initiatives to help reduce the chance that a small mistake will result in a crash, or worse, someone being killed or seriously injured.

More information

For details on how the four elements of the Safe System approach work together, visit the Towards Zero website.