Creating Safer Systems and Healthier Communities: Resource Hub

Transportation practice informs research, and research informs practice. Part of the work of the Collaborative Science Center for Road Safety (CSCRS) is to share and develop a stronger understanding of Safe Systems principles and systems science in order to showcase how these principles can be applied in a variety of real-world scenarios and integrated into injury prevention programs such as Vision Zero. This webpage is intended to serve as a hub for research-to-practice innovation. The list of resources shown here is by no means exhaustive, and CSCRS welcomes suggestions at for other resources to add.


Tools and Applications for Strengthening Safety Systems

——— For those just getting started ———

Building a Coalition: Identifying Partners tool
This resource, adapted from the Center for Health and Healthcare in Schools, provides a template for reflecting on current and potential agencies, organizations, or local groups within a community that should be considered as individuals’ form or strengthen road safety-related coalitions. This tool provides prompts to help individuals and coalitions think through the best methods and timing for engaging a wide variety of partners. We recommend starting with identifying six to eight partners to engage or re-engage.

The Diverse Roles for Achieving Vision Zero
The following six (6) reports are meant to orient readers to the diversity of professional skills and potential contributions needed to support Vision Zero implementation across a wide range of sectors. Each report includes: an overview of the sector, case studies that highlight the role of the sector in road safety, sector-specific resources, and a list of concrete skills, knowledge, and resources that professionals from that sector brings (or can bring) to Vision Zero.

Community Readiness Assessment Guide for Vision Zero work
  – CRA one-page summary guide
  – Video on how to conduct a Community Readiness Assessment (link to YouTube)
This manual, adapted from the Tri-Ethnic Center for Prevention Research, will provide a guide to the understanding and assessing the complex process of community change for Vision Zero. The manual and accompanying Interview Guide and Scoring Sheet provides all the information and instructions needed for measuring a community’s readiness for implementing Vision Zero. The Community Readiness Model assesses “readiness” along several dimensions to help determine where to focus efforts and increase the likelihood for success.

Voices of Vision Zero across the U.S.
The following 5-minute videos provide a brief introduction to the ways in which communities across the country have incorporated a Safe Systems approach to their Vision Zero initiatives. The interview clips feature Vision Zero leaders representing a variety of sectors–from elected officials to town planners to public health professionals and more.

——— For those looking ahead and planning ———

Vision Zero Plans by State
A visual map that provides links to Vision Zero Plans by state. The plans include entities at the municipal, county, and metropolitan planning organization (MPO) level.

Vision Zero Implementation Milestones Checklist
Organized as a series of benchmarks, rooted in the science of program implementation, the checklist offers a suggested continuum of phases and milestones to help coalitions mark their progress toward full Vision Zero implementation. This checklist was developed by NC Vision Zero coalition members with the support from the NC Governor’s Highway Safety Program.

Guide to Developing a Vision Zero Plan
A Vision Zero Plan provides the vision for future efforts to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries. This Guide was developed to assist communities in the creation and updating of their Vision Zero Plans. It was informed by research that involved review and evaluation of plans across the US, which are now housed in our Vision Zero Plan Library. Briefs are available that highlight key takeaways from the Guide. They provide succinct information on:

——— For those working better together ———

Shaping the narrative around traffic injury: A media framing guide for transportation and public health professionals (Second Edition)
  – One-page summary guide
Based on prior research that has shown the negative impact of current road collision reporting frames on public perception of the problem, this guide proposes a new framework that integrates Safe Systems principles. It is targeted at professionals who work in injury prevention and transportation planning and design to encourage them to coordinate with journalists and reshape the narrative around traffic injury in our communities toward more proactive attitudes. View the complete CSCRS research project R29

Systems Thinking tools for Vision Zero collaboration, planning, implementation, and research
Systems thinking is an approach to problem-solving and understanding complex problems by analyzing the patterns, dynamics, relationships, and feedback loops among various elements of a system. In this set of resources, researchers from the Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety (CSCRS) have developed systems thinking-based content and guidance materials to strengthen the implementation of Vision Zero (VZ) and Safe Systems approaches. These tools and resources introduce the systems thinking framework, and provide guidance on using systems thinking and collaboration tools to support VZ planning and coalition building efforts.

Teaching, Training, and Talks

CSCRS Summer Learning Series
This series aimed to create space to unpack complex concepts, examine the nuances, and share in a constructive dialogue on what supports are still needed for Safe System approaches to be successful in meeting community safety, health, and equity needs.

Unpacking Safe Systems concepts to inform our research and practice
At the NCDOT Research & Innovations Summit, researchers from CSCRS explored key themes of the Summer Learning Series during this interactive panel discussion.

Strengthening Existing and Facilitating New Vision Zero Plans
This webinar discusses the findings from the Vision Zero plan analysis and provides actionable feedback for communities creating new Vision Zero plans or updating current Vision Zero plans.

Safe Systems Summit
This conference was held in Durham, NC, offering a learning environment to explore the underlying systems driving the national rise in traffic deaths, share findings from innovative new research, and develop insights into reducing transportation injuries and fatalities by utilizing both Safe Systems and systems thinking principles, tools, and techniques. A Summit recap is available as well as presentations and slide decks.


CSCRS Research on Vision Zero and Safe Systems

Implementing Safe Systems in the United States: Guiding principles and lessons from international practice
This project examines the state-of-the-practice in Safe Systems, unpacks key concepts, and reviews practices from four countries with established Safe Systems programs.

A systems approach to pedestrian safety
This project applied system-thinking concepts to develop a simulation model that can be used as a learning tool to explore the pedestrian safety impacts of specific, current policy approaches, including Vision Zero and congestion pricing programs.

US Vision Zero Implementation
This project is assessing how Vision Zero is being implemented nationwide, with or without a plan, both at the regional and municipal levels. Check back on the project page for more information as research continues.


Other Favorite Resources

National Center for Rural Road Safety

National Transportation Safety Board Safe Systems Approach Discussion Series

US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, The Safe System Approach

Vision Zero Cities Conference

Vision Zero Network

CSCRS’s Top 10 Safe System implementation pitfalls, and suggestions for how to avoid them


For more Information

This list of resources was curated by CSCRS consortium researchers, who have also contributed to the development of several items shown. For more information about the research, tools, case studies, and programs, please contact Elyse Keefe at