A Global Plan for a Decade of Action for Road Safety
To mark the official launch of a Second Decade of Action for Road Safety, Consumers International and the United Nations Road Safety Fund come together to unveil how global change can be achieved.
Road traffic injuries are one of the leading causes of deaths, amounting to 1.3 million fatalities and 50 million injuries each year.
Today marks the official launch of the Second Decade of a Global Plan of Action for Road Safety, coordinated by the World Health Organisation and the United Nations Regional Commissions. The Global Plan is aiming to trigger and align action by encouraging change from national and local government, and any stakeholders who can influence road safety. The target is to half the numbers of road fatalities by 2030.
Most importantly, the Global Plan addresses four key pillars to achieving road safety: safe road infrastructure, vehicle safety, safer road use, and post-crash response. Underpinning these four pillars, it is critical to track and monitor effective change and ensure strong leadership from governments worldwide. Change must also include the promotion of healthy and environmentally friendly modes of public transport to ensure fair, safe, and sustainable road safety for all.
On this day, Consumers International with the United Nations Road Safety Fund (UNRSF) will share global examples of how, together with our respective members and partners, we have been actively driving change in road safety. Cross-sectoral collaboration is vital to spark concrete actions for this Second Decade of Action for Road Safety.
work in this area
The #NoZeroStarCars campaign led by Consumers International is a successful example of consumer advocates securing road safety for those in low- and middle-income countries. The campaign aimed to ensure global car manufacturers would adhere to the UN Vehicle Safety Regulations to tackle the high numbers of road fatalities in Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, and Chile. This resulted in a ‘zero star’ rating car to be terminated in production in 2017.
When consumers buy second-hand car goods, like tires and car accessories, they are at risk of being exposed to products that do not perform to their intended use. Consumers International actively participated in the development of a standard that aims to protect consumers in low- and medium-income countries from used products - ISO 20245 on cross-border trade of second-hand goods.
Top road safety issues from our consumer advocacy Members include:
Regulation - VINASTAS (Vietnam), in collaboration with the Global Road Safety Partnership, provides advice on how the regulations on helmet quality management can be improved. In addition, CAG (India) advocates for the Good Samaritan Law to ensure consumers involved in road accidents receive the support they need to deal with legal issues.
Consumer rights and awareness - IDEC (Brazil) highlights the rights of consumers, to ensure there are redress mechanisms in place when they are purchasing a used car. PROTESTE (Brazil), ODECU (Chile), and El Poder Del Consumidor (Mexico) is part of the Latin American Child Restraint Systems Evaluation Programme (PESRI) to raise consumer awareness of Child Restraint Systems so they can make well-informed and safe purchasing choices.
Urban infrastructures for the environment - In Mexico, El Poder Del Consumidor, campaigns for urban transport to reach high standards of efficiency, whilst also considering the need to reduce pollution emissions, which has an impact on the quality of life for consumers. Similarly, Altroconsumo (Italy) unveils the best choice for electric cars that are environmentally friendly and affordable for consumers.
Product testing – The testing of car safety products is critical to enable consumers to make well-informed choices when purchasing any vehicles. See work from Consumer International members, Choice (Australia) and Consumer Reports (US).
Product recall - The Consumer Protection Agency Ministry of Trade and Industry (Egypt) helped the recall process of a vehicle from the Egyptian market due to the lack of protection found in its gear stick and parking brake, putting consumers’ lives at risk.
United Nations Road Safety Fund's
work in this area
The United Nations Road Safety Fund are channelling partners, financing, and capacity-building projects into low- and middle-income countries for one purpose – to substantially reduce the number of road traffic deaths and injuries.
Projects such as their Safe Roads in Zambia and in Ethiopia are helping to redesign safer and greener cities for non-motorised transport users, benefit vulnerable road users such as pedestrians with better sidewalks.
To improve vehicle safety, we have a Safer and Cleaner Used Vehicles for Africa project which, supports the shifting of used safer and environmentally cleaner vehicles from Europe to Africa, through minimum inspection standards on behalf of both parties.
The UNRSF seek to improve user behaviour through projects such as Supporting the Strengthening Road Traffic Enforcement in Brazil, where their project provides technical assistance to traffic road enforcement officers.
Finally, in response to post-crash care, the UNRSF are strengthening the national capacity for the coordinated delivery of emergency medical services for victims of road traffic injuries in Azerbaijan.
The UNRSF have recently launched their Platforms of Engagement which brings together partners from governments, multilateral lending institutions, mayors, national road safety agencies, media, corporate social responsibility leads, research institutes and other global road safety actors with influence, ideas and experience. The aim is that through their virtual dialogues and brainstorms, the group can further propel the UN Road Safety Fund’s ability to link road safety to other Sustainable Development Goal priorities including gender, climate change and economic growth.
Looking ahead, the Fund’s 10 new projects, launched earlier this month, will target life-saving road safety interventions. Goals of the new projects include, building Rwanda’s capacity to manufacture and test their own motorcycle helmets; ensuring that children in Paraguay have safer ways to get to and from schools; strengthening the medical post-crash response in Bangladesh; developing streets for safer and low-carbon mobility of pedestrians and cyclists in East Africa; and strengthening road safety data management and the design of impactful policies in the Arab world.
There is more to be done. With the number of road fatalities stagnating over the 1 million mark for the last two decades, there is unfinished business. During this Second Decade of Action, we need to make a clearer case of why investing in road safety is investing in a fairer, safer, and more sustainable marketplace for all. Starting with safer access to schools, recreation, and jobs as well as stronger economies and health care systems.
We need more leadership on behalf of countries, starting with prioritised national road safety plans developed through national multi-stakeholder consultations. We also need stronger alignment of available financing and resources to other more popular topics, starting with how greener, more “people-friendly” urban streets deliver on road safety.
The Global Plan of Action is a major step towards a safer and more sustainable future for mobility. Collaboration between countries, stakeholders, private sectors, and NGOs are key to achieving the global target of halving the numbers of road fatalities by 2030. It is what has been shown by Consumers International and the UN Road Safety Fund today – coming together for change.