Defining a new vision and framework of action: the FIA High Level Panel for Road Safety meets in Stockholm

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Ahead of the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, the FIA High Level Panel for Road Safety (HLP) called for rethinking how the road safety crisis is addressed.

FIA President Jean Todt opened the meeting by highlighting the core mission of the HLP and its main achievements since its creation in 2015. “The HLP wants to bring road safety to the top of the global development agenda and to have an impact on the ground. It has been able to consolidate itself as a leading platform to foster improved road safety globally”, he said.

Building on the momentum of the upcoming Global Ministerial Conference, he invited the HLP members to take a step further and drive change in the fight for road safety. “After 20 years of stagnation – road fatalities have remained around 1.35 million per year since the turn of the century – we might need to do things differently. Indeed, we will not achieve our goals by doing more of the same. To reduce road deaths and injuries, we need a sea-change in thinking. We need to look behind at core pillars, our approaches to date, and remake the foundations on which they stand. This means laying down safety as a value so fundamental and non-negotiable that it actually becomes a hallmark of the road transport system, an asset.” 

HLP members agreed on the need to be disruptive and identify potential courses of action to promote a new approach no longer based on “interventions” that treat the symptoms of unsafe road systems, but relying on “safety” as a core and fundamental value. They strongly endorsed the idea of approaching road safety as a human rights issue and highlighted that training and education are key elements to achieve such recognition.

Discussions concluded that mobility systems fully based on safety would have a beneficial impact. Doing so would reduce the social and economic toll inflicted by the road safety tragedy, and allow for transport to be more sustainable, accessible and inclusive. To make this happen, several changes are needed. 

At a corporate level, companies should put road safety at the centre of their operations, from their relationship with suppliers to the delivery of services, including the relationship with their employees. The HLP welcomed the work currently being carried out by the FIA to develop a Benchmarking Index to assess the road safety performance of private companies. 

At a government level, this implies ensuring safety is a central concern when it comes to designing and implementing policies and mobility systems, both domestically and internationally. Participants at the meeting called for reinforced public and private alliances to deliver large scale change and make safety the core value of all transport systems.

To further support the call for a shift in paradigm, the Multilateral Development Banks represented in the FIA High Level Panel for Road Safety expressed their willingness to:

  • coordinate road safety activities in their countries of operation and share information in order to contribute to road safety in an effective way;
  • make road safety a priority area of their operations so that projects impacting safety conditions on the road include appropriate mitigation measures to ensure positive outcomes;
  • support the investigation of innovative solutions to channel more private financing into road safety.

Participants also discussed the potential establishment of an innovative fundraising mechanism for the United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund, focusing on the private sector, and welcomed the work being done in that direction. 

You can watch below the video summarising the work of the HLP since its launch presented during the meeting: