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The Rationality and Moral Acceptability of Vision Zero Goal and Its Interventions

Time: Tue 2021-10-19 13.00

Location: Videolink, Du som saknar dator /datorvana kontakta Karin Edvardsson Björnberg / Use the e-mail address if you need technical assistance, Stockholm (English)

Subject area: Philosophy

Doctoral student: Henok Girma Abebe , Filosofi

Opponent: Docent Jessica Nihlén Fahlquist, Uppsala universitet

Supervisor: Docent Karin Edvardsson Björnberg, Filosofi; Docent Sven Ove Hansson, Filosofi; Adjungerad Professor Matts-Åke Belin, Filosofi och historia

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This licentiate thesis discusses moral issues associated with road safety work, with a particular emphasis on the Vision Zero (VZ) goal and its interventions. The licentiate thesis contains three articles and an introduction that briefly discusses issues and arguments presented in the articles.

The first article, identifies, systematically categorizes and evaluates arguments against VZ. Moral, operational, and rationality related criticisms against the adoption and implementation of VZ are identified and discussed.

 The second article in this thesis seeks to reconcile the methods of Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) and VZ in road safety decision making. CBA has been and still is a major decision making tool in road transport and traffic safety work. However, proponents of VZ question the use of CBA in road safety and transport decision making on methodological and ethical grounds. In this paper, we locate the philosophical roots of the conflicting views promoted by proponents of CBA and VZ. Then we try to identify ways through which the two methods can be made compatible.

The third and final paper uses VZ as a normative framework to explore and analyse the Addis Ababa road safety work. The aim of the paper is twofold. First, the paper seeks to examine how road safety problems are actually understood by those responsible for road safety at the local level. To this end, government policy documents, reports and other relevant sources where consulted to identify how road safety problems are framed, who is assigned responsibility for addressing road safety problems and through what interventions. Second, the paper aims to examine road safety work in the city from a normative point of view, i.e., what is the best, or most adequate, way of framing the problem, and who should be given the responsibility for addressing the problem and by what measures. It is argued that enhancing road safety in the city requires adopting a broader view of causes of road safety problems, and emphasizing the responsibility of actors that shape the design and operation of the traffic system and the safety of its components.