Road safety experts from around the globe are calling for a paradigm shift in road safety policy.
In a new International Transport Federation (ITF) report launched in Paris, France, 30 experts from 24 countries and organisations argue that current road safety policies are reaching their limits and a different approach is needed to significantly reduce the 1.25 million road deaths annually.
Both the United Nations and the European Union have set targets to halve road fatalities by 2020. The report reviews innovative policies used in pioneering countries such as Sweden, Australia and the Netherlands, which have made it their objective to unilaterally eliminate road deaths (“Vision Zero”), and which underpin this with a “Safe System” approach to road traffic.
At a one-day seminar organised for the launch in Paris, more than 100 experts discussed principles and elements, as well as the different experiences with the journey towards a “Safe System”.
This report describes a paradigm shift in road safety policy, being led by a handful of countries, according to the principles of a Safe System. A Safe System is based on the premise that road crashes are both predictable and preventable, and that it is possible to move towards zero road deaths and serious injuries. This, however, requires a fundamental rethink of the governance and implementation of road safety policy.
According to ITF, every year, 1.25 million people are killed in road crashes and up to 50 million are seriously injured.
Road crashes kill more people than malaria or tuberculosis and are among the ten leading causes of death. Their economic cost is estimated at 2-5% of GDP in many countries. Written by a group of international road safety experts, this report provides leaders in government, administrations, business and academia with emerging best practices and the starting point to chart their own journeys towards a Safe System.