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Responsibility Ascriptions and Vision Zero
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy.
2006 (English)In: Accident Analysis and Prevention, ISSN 0001-4575, E-ISSN 1879-2057, Vol. 38, no 6, 1113-1118 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Vision Zero is a traffic safety policy that was adopted by the Swedish Parliament in 1997. Similar policies have been adopted in Norway and Denmark. In essence, Vision Zero states that it is unacceptable for anyone to die while using the road transport system. The policy also introduces an explicit distribution of responsibility for traffic safety, in which the system designers are ultimately responsible. In this article, it is argued that the proposed new distribution of responsibility can be better understood if we distinguish between two general types of responsibility ascriptions, namely backward-looking and forward-looking responsibility ascriptions. Both types include some kind of causal responsibility and whereas backward-looking responsibility implies an element of blame, forward-looking responsibility implies potential blame, meaning that in cases where the agent who was ascribed responsibility did not achieve the expected result, we are likely to blame her. Vision Zero still ascribes backward-looking responsibility and to some degree forward-looking responsibility to individuals, but adds the explicit forward-looking responsibility of the system designers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 38, no 6, 1113-1118 p.
Keyword [en]
responsibility, Vision Zero, traffic safety, ethics
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8116DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2006.04.020ISI: 000241854300011Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-33749063854OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-8116DiVA: diva2:13350
Note
QC 20100831Available from: 2008-03-18 Created: 2008-03-18 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Moral responsibility and the ethics of traffic safety
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Moral responsibility and the ethics of traffic safety
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

The general aim of this thesis is to present and analyse traffic safety from an ethical perspective and to explore some conceptual and normative aspects of moral responsibility. Paper I presents eight ethical problem areas that should be further analysed in relation to traffic safety. Paper II is focused on the question of who is responsible for traffic safety, taking the distribution of responsibility adopted through the Swedish policy called Vision Zero as its starting point. It is argued that a distinction should be made between backwardlooking and forward-looking responsibility and that Vision Zero should be understood in terms of this distinction. Paper III discusses responsibility ascriptions in relation to public health problems like obesity and lung cancer. It is argued that what makes discussions about who is responsible for such problems complicated is that we have two aims when ascribing responsibility to someone. First, we want responsibility ascriptions to be fair and morally justified. Second, we also want to achieve progress and solve problems through ascribing responsibility to someone. It is argued that the two aims influence debates concerning who is responsible for problems like obesity and lung cancer and that we should attempt at striking a balance that is both perceived as fair and that is efficient. Paper IV discusses two potential arguments against the suggestion that alcohol interlocks should be mandatory in all cars, namely 1) that it displaces the responsibility of individual drivers, and 2) that it constitutes a paternalistic interference with drivers. The first objection is found unconvincing, while the second only has limited bite and may be neutralized if paternalism is accepted for the sake of greater net liberty. It is argued that if technological development can make mandatory interlocks cost-efficient, the policy seems a commendable public health measure. In Paper V, the question discussed is to what extent individuals should be ascribed moral responsibility for the environmentally damaging consequences of their actions. It is argued that responsibility depends on the reasonableness of the alternatives open to an individual when acting. The lack of reasonable alternatives should reduce the degree of individual responsibility.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2008. viii, 22 p.
Series
Theses in philosophy from the Royal Institute of Technology, ISSN 1650-8831
Keyword
moral responsibility, ethics, traffic safety, public health, environment
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4670 (URN)978-91-7178-815-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-04-03, Sal F3, KTH, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100831Available from: 2008-03-18 Created: 2008-03-18 Last updated: 2010-08-31Bibliographically approved
2. Moral responsibility in traffic safety and public health
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Moral responsibility in traffic safety and public health
2005 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2005. viii, 14 p.
Keyword
moral responsibility, responsibility ascriptions, traffic safety, public health, pateranlism, privacy, road traffic suicides
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-609 (URN)91-7178-226-5 (ISBN)
Note
QC 20101216Available from: 2006-02-07 Created: 2006-02-07 Last updated: 2010-12-16Bibliographically approved

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