A traffic safety conference underway in Edmonton is bringing together experts in engineering, enforcement and research to help end traffic fatalities and serious injuries.

"Nobody wants to have a lost life," Edmonton City Councillor Bev Esslinger said in her opening remarks.

"We're investing in engineering, and as municipalities, we can do that. But we don't do it in isolation; we need enforcement, we need education, and we need our communities behind us."

The 11th Annual International Conference on Urban Traffic Safety opening ceremonies took place on Thursday.

Speakers and participants from around the world are sharing strategies, research and best practices in promoting traffic safety, including education, enforcement and design.

Esslinger also shared why traffic safety is so important to her personally.

"My brother was killed by an impaired driver. Ten years later, his son was killed by an impaired driver in a 7-Eleven parking lot. And a few years later I lost a nephew in a marked crosswalk, with lights, due to an impaired driver," she said.

"It's preventable when we all work together," Esslinger added.

The main goal is Vision Zero: zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries. Edmonton was the first major Canadian city to adopt Vision Zero in 2015.

Edmonton Police Service Chief Dale McFee told attendees that reaching Vision Zero will require the courage to try different approaches.

"Let's challenge the status quo," McFee said. "Actually think about what we haven't thought about before and bring it to fruition."

The conference continues through August 23.