FIA and ACC organise a workshop on United Nations Road Safety Conventions in Colombia

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On 14-15 November, the FIA and the Touring y Automóvil Club de Colombia (ACC) organised a capacity-building workshop on the United Nations Road Safety Conventions in Bogotà, Colombia. The workshop was carried with support from the FIA’s Road Safety Grant Programme

road safety workshop, colombia

Gathering experts from the Ministry of Transport, National Road Safety Agency, academia and leading NGOs, the workshop aimed to demonstrate the importance of the ratification of the UN Road Traffic Conventions. The exchange of best practices on compliance and enforcement methods was another element of the workshop.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Alejandro Maja, drew the audience’s attention to the successful results of the National Road Safety Strategy, noting the 8% decrease in road traffic crashes in the past year. “We are experiencing a significant improvement of the national road safety performance but a lot more is yet to be achieved. The establishment of the National Agency for Road Safety as well as a rigorous revision of the National Transport regulations are meant to progress in realising ambitious road safety targets set by the government of Colombia.”

Ricardo Morales Rubio, the President of the ACC, reiterated the message of Mr. Maja, stressing that  greater consistency between the different road safety initiatives is key to improving the situation. “Securing the accession to the UN Road Traffic Conventions would be a significant step forward in this direction”, he added.

The UNECE Secretariat provided an instructive overview of the most important inland transport related legal instruments. “Road safety stakeholders should be better informed to make decisions about motorcycle helmets, vehicle regulations, traffic rules and road signs”, explained Robert Nowak, the Secretary of the UNECE Global Forum for Road Safety. “75 Contracting Parties have already acceded to these Conventions and there is no reason why this number shouldn’t reach 175 contracting parties in the next decade.” 

Experts from LatinNCAP and iRAP Latin America highlighted specific regional challenges that countries face in the process of industrial and urban growth. Improvement of road infrastructure and enforcement of minimum vehicle safety standards were identified as key priorities in the region.

The training was also a good opportunity to present the results of the FIA-ITF Benchmark on the Road Safety Performance and Indicators in Latin America. The data-driven analysis identifies the strengths and weaknesses of each country and proposes paths for improvement. For example, in Colombia, performance indicators of drink-driving, motorcycling safety and quality of road infrastructure were below the global average. “While Colombia has a strong national regulatory framework and appropriate traffic safety policies in place, the enforcement of these regulations remains an outstanding issue that can only be improved by the means of continuous capacity-building and awareness raising programmes”, said Fred Wegman, HLP Road Safety Expert and Professor Emeritus of Traffic Safety at Delft University.