Requested by the United Nations General Assembly, the Fifth United Nations Global Road Safety Week was held from 6-12 May 2019. This Week focused on leadership for road safety. It is widely acknowledged that stronger leadership for road safety is needed to achieve the Global Goals. Therefore it launched action through the campaign: Save Lives - #SpeakUp.
The #SpeakUp campaign provided an opportunity for civil society to generate demands for strong leadership for road safety, especially around concrete, evidence-based interventions which will save lives. It also inspired leaders to take action by showcasing strong leadership for road safety within governments, international agencies, NGOs, foundations, schools and universities and private companies.
Leadership is the ability to influence or inspire people to achieve a certain goal. Stronger leadership for road safety is needed at national and local levels to attain road safety targets. The most effective leaders, who hail from all sectors of society, are those who #SpeakUp for road safety and take action. It’s important to recognize that all of us, as individuals, can be leaders for road safety!
Whether we travel as pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists or users of private motor vehicles or public transport, as individuals we can #SpeakUp for road safety. We can behave safely on the road, serve as role models for others, especially young people; advocate for better laws and law enforcement and support those who have been affected by road traffic crashes.
Below are some examples of leaders who have taken action for road safety; they were nominated as leaders by their peers.
To know what to speak up for, people needed to understand the risks they face on the road first. Every day people travel to work, school or visit family and friends. During their daily travels they, or their children, may encounter certain risks on the roads. We encouraged people to assess these risks and start demanding road safety. We asked them to only demand road safety interventions that are evidence-based and are proven to work from our lists of of interventions provided.
The World Health Organization developed the Save LIVES technical package to support road safety decision-makers and practitioners in their efforts to significantly reduce the number of road traffic deaths in their countries. Save LIVES provides an evidence-based inventory of priority interventions.
Speeding is a major risk factor for road traffic injuries, contributing to both crash risk and crash consequences. As average traffic speed increases, so too does the likelihood of a crash. For instance, an increase of 1 km/h in mean vehicle speed results in an increase of 3% in the incidence of crashes resulting in injury and an increase of 4–5% in the incidence of fatal crashes. The higher the speed the greater the stopping distance required, and hence the increased risk of a road traffic crash.
Establish and enforce speed limit laws nationwide, locally and in cities
|Build or modify roads which calm traffic, e.g. roundabouts, road narrowing, speed bumps, chicanes and rumble strips|
|Require car makers to install new technologies, such as intelligent speed adaptation, to help drivers keep to speed limits|
It takes effective leadership to mobilize action for the implementation of road safety policies and strategies. Leaders must ensure there is collaboration across a diverse group of actors including those from health, transport, finance, education and law enforcement agencies.
|Create an agency to spearhead road safety|
|Develop and fund a road safety strategy|
|Evaluate the impact of road safety strategies|
|Monitor road safety by strengthening data systems|
|Raise awareness and public support through education and campaigns|
Traditionally, road infrastructure has focused mainly on motorized transport - often at the expense of safety for pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. Today most countries, while promoting walking and cycling, have not developed infrastructure that reduces the risk of road traffic injuries, and pedestrians and cyclists are forced to share the road with high-speed vehicles. Governments should prioritize updating road design standards and ensure that new roads are planned, designed and operated according to safety standards
|Provide safe infrastructure for all road users including sidewalks, safe crossings, refuges, overpasses and underpasses|
|Put in place bicycle and motorcycle lanes|
|Make the sides of roads safer by using clear zones, collapsible structures or barriers|
|Design safer intersections|
|Separate access roads from through-roads|
|Prioritize people by putting in place vehicle-free zones|
|Restrict traffic and speed in residential, commercial and school zones|
Provide better, safer routes for public transport
Safe vehicles play a critical role in averting crashes and reducing the likelihood of serious injury. The United Nations World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations sets safety standards for motor vehicles and provides a legal framework that Member States may apply voluntarily. Vehicles that meet the requirements of these standards are less likely to be involved in road traffic crashes and, in the event of a crash, are less likely to cause serious injury. However, only 40 countries currently meet all priority safety regulations.
Establish and enforce motor vehicle safety standard regulations related to:
|Establish and enforce regulations on motorcycle anti-lock braking and daytime running lights|
The five main behaviours most likely to result in road traffic injuries are drinking and driving, not using a helmet, a seat-belt or child restraint, and speeding. Although many countries have laws that address these risky behaviours, they may not be fully enforced. When establishing new laws or amending existing ones, consider the evidence on best practices. Laws that do not meet best practice are less likely to have an impact on road traffic deaths or change the behaviour of drivers and passengers.
|Establish and enforce laws at national, local and city levels on:|
Timely and effective emergency care can reduce the consequences of injuries resulting from a road traffic crash, thereby reducing disability and deaths. Effective emergency care begins at the scene of injury with assistance from bystanders and continues through prehospital care and transport to services at an appropriate medical facility.
|Develop organized and integrated prehospital and facility-based emergency care systems|
|Train those who respond to crashes in basic emergency care|
|Promote community first responder training|
During the Week, campaigners filled in a form to map the risks they face on the road and used this information to generate demands to decision makers, calling leadership to account. During this we gathered:
Who spoke up
Pin-pointing the risk on their journey
The types of risks they faced
How many people supported their demands
If they got a response from their decision-maker
All the information people needed was compiled in a handy Get Involved Toolkit to guide them through three easy steps.
People could download a PowerPoint presentation explaining the UN Global Road Safety Week and how people could take part. This presentation was used in a range of settings to inform people about the week and encouraged people to get involved.