Global status report on Road Safety 2013
Efforts need to be scaled-up if the world leaders still aspire towards reaching the objectives they have set themselves in March 2010 through declaring the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. This is one of the conclusions that the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) draws from the trend-setting Global Status Report on Road Safety released today by the United Nations World Health Organization in Geneva.
The very comprehensive survey gives a valuable status report on the most recent developments in worldwide road traffic safety. It provides an important input to governments throughout the world to draw conclusions for action and policy decisions to be taken in the second half of the Decade of Action.
From the report emerge two key elements. The first of them refers to the paramount importance of political will and leadership needed in moving towards more safety of the roads. Only a small share of the world’s population (7%) benefits from formalised legislation addressing the key behavioural risk factors for road traffic death and injury*. This finding reemphasises the call to governments to set traffic road safety higher on their priority agenda and reinforce the legal framework that will help to reduce the number of casualties, including the efficient enforcement of the laws in place.
The second element that the report emphasises is the importance of addressing all five pillars defined in the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, i.e. the reinforcement of the overall road safety management capacity, the implementation as soon as possible of ambitious vehicle safety standards, the enhancement of road infrastructure safety for all users, and the improvement of pre-hospital care. With regard to vehicle safety standards, the FIA particularly underlines the importance of more countries adhering to and implementing the legal framework established by the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
*The key behavioural risk factors worldwide include drinking and driving, speeding, and failing to use motorcycle helmets, seat-belts, and child restraints.