Mr. Todt is fully determined to tackle the road safety crisis, which causes one’s death every 24 seconds, making road traffic injuries the leading cause of mortality for youth aged 5-29.
Since his appointment as the first-ever UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, Mr. Todt has travelled to nearly 80 countries, met with over 150 government officials, including many heads of States, calling for increased attention to the magnitude of the issue, greater national investments and adherence to international best practices. In his efforts to take road safety to an entirely new level, Mr. Todt has constructively and inclusively been mobilizing stakeholders who are willing to respond to one of the most pressing sustainable development issues of our time.
In 2015, UN Member States committed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, where the pledge to address road safety problem was made for the first time in history as part of global goals. However, while ambitious goals had been set, adequate resources were not available. To overcome this gap, Mr. Todt has been working tirelessly towards securing much needed resources by establishing strategic partnerships with governments, civil society, regional bodies, development banks and the private sector.
As a result, there is certainly a considerable new momentum in road safety, signified by the recently launched UN Road Safety Trust Fund as well as greater political commitment to scaling up national-level investments and advancing road safety. Considering the very high cost of road traffic injuries, estimated at as high as 5% of GDP in the most affected countries, the Special Envoy has been continuously advocating for implementing effective and proven preventative measures to avert road crashes. These measures include stronger regulatory framework through the uptake of the UN legal instruments as well as initiatives that facilitate safer behavior on the roads, safer vehicles and infrastructure, and enhancements in post-crash care.
With the plethora of tools gathered through the Decade of Action for Road Safety, Mr. Todt is convinced that the platform and momentum are in place for dramatic improvements in road safety.