February 11, 2020

Push to Globally Mandate 30 Km/h Speed for Cities

There’s been a lot of buzz on social media about the societal and cultural shifts  to make streets safer, more sustainable, and more equitable for all road users. This week the Third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety released their recommendations in Stockholm. Under the auspices of the World Health Organization and the Government of Sweden this work highlights the importance of synthesizing road safety, security, climate change and sustainable development goals.

The old model looked at road building, safety and health, and sustainability as separate line items instead of a synergistic model.  The first tenet developed by the Academic Expert Group was the reduction of all road speeds in cities to 30 kilometers per hour unless a “higher speed” can be proven safe. This provides more equity and less health risk for pedestrians and cyclists without the opportunity cost of fatalities and serious injuries.

Secondly globally road safety should have a more holistic approach involving  utilities, businesses, and cities, broadening the traditional responsibility of governmental authorities.

The need for oversight and quality assurance for all users of transportation corridors is is vital for citizens and sustainability, especially when transit and highway systems are controlled by one entity.

The list of participants in the process of developing these recommendations include top public health practitioners, and Dr. Fred Wegman, the inventor of the Safe Systems Approach.

You can watch the interview below of the Academic Expert Group participants as they explore their interests in developing a new road map to safe roads.


Despite their varied backgrounds, experiences and perspectives, the need for safer environments that involve all modes of travel, and allow for safe travel, is paramount.

The document outlining all nine recommendations is available here.


Participants in Waxholm, Sweden:
Prof. Claes Tingvall, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden (Chairman)
Dr. Jeff Michael, former Associate Administrator, NHTSA, USA (Secretary)
Dr. Maria Segui Gomez, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA
Prof. Shaw Voon Wong, Universiti Putra, Malaysia
Dr. Maria Krafft, Swedish Transport Administration, Sweden
Prof. Fred Wegman, TU Delft, Netherlands
Dr. Meleckidzedeck Khayesi, WHO
Samantha Cockfield, Transport Accident Commission, Australia
Peter Larsson, Swedish Transport Administration, AEG Secretariat
Anders Lie, Special Adviser Swedish Ministry of Infrastructure, Observer
Matteo Rizzi, Swedish Transport Administration (special workgroup Motorcycles)


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  1. Often, when heading east on the 45th Ave Bikeway from Central Park, I’m hitting speeds of probably 40km+ in this 30km zone, on my bicycle.
    I can almost guarantee, that if I don’t take the lane, motorists will go over the yellow line to pass – and then brake in front of me at the roundabouts.
    There are so many places that motorauders are hell-bent to pass no matter what.
    Hate them.
    And today some clever passenger almost doored me when she decided to hop out and punch the bicycle crossing button. Mindless.

  2. 30 kph = 16 mph
    I can cycle considerably faster than that & I’m 74 ……

    Editor’s note: 30 km/h is actually 18.6 mph.