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What Is Global Road Safety?

July 15th 2022

Did you know that in June 2022, Ministers met for the first-ever “high-level” meeting of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on Global Road Safety?

It is no surprise to anyone that road safety affects everyone – from the motorists driving the vehicles, to cyclists and pedestrians.

According to the World Health Organization, road crashes kill around 1.3 million people every year worldwide. Crashes are also the biggest cause of death in children and young people globally, and it is predicted that crashes will cause approximately 13 million more deaths and half a billion more injuries in the next 10 years [1].

The UN General Assembly has called 2021-2030 a Decade of Action for Road Safety, with the overall target to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries by at least 50% during that period. The following 5 areas are targeted for “how to do it’: financing, speed management, capacity development, technologies and focus on low-and middle-income countries. In terms of “who to do it”, the government, civil society, the private sector, funders, and UN agencies have all been implication [2]. The Global Plan calls on governments and partners to implement an integrated Safe System Approach. According to the Global Plan, a Safe System does the following [2]:

  • anticipates and accommodates human errors;
  • incorporates road and vehicle designs that limit crash forces to levels that are within human tolerance to prevent death or serious injury;
  • programmes to share responsibility for safety with road users, so that when a crash occurs, remedies are sought throughout the system, rather than solely blaming the driver or other road users;
  • pursues a commitment to proactive and continuous improvement of roads and vehicles so that the entire system is made safe rather than just locations or situations where crashes last occurred; and
  • adheres to the underlying premise that the transport system should produce zero deaths or serious injuries and that safety should not be compromised for the sake of other factors such as cost or the desire for faster transport time.

The full plan can be accessed using the link below [2].


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