Todt in Andorra: “Everyone can do something to reduce road accident casualties before 2020” | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

Todt in Andorra: “Everyone can do something to reduce road accident casualties before 2020”

This afternoon, in his role as the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety.
FIA, Motorsport, Mobility, Road Safety, F1, WRC, WEC, WTCC, World RX

FIA President Jean Todt took part in the final day of the 33rd Andorra Summer University, an event organised by the Principality of Andorra. This year, the event addressed the UN resolution, “Transforming our world: the 2023 agenda for sustainable development,” approved by the General Assembly in September last year. 

Todt’s input to the discussion was focused on how to reach the objective of reducing the number of victims from road accidents by half by 2020, as outlined by the United Nations as part of its Sustainable Development Goals (SDG.) “Most people have no idea that 1.25 five million lives are lost in road crashes annually, or that 50 million more are left seriously injured every year, or that worldwide, road crashes are today the number one killer of 15 to 29 year olds and takes the lives of 500 children each day”- said Todt – “We should not forget either that road crashes not only have a devastating personal impact, they also have a very significant economic cost which can be as high as 5 per cent of national GDP.

Taken together, these figures represent a major health and development crisis. And the problem is only likely to get worse as more and more cars hit the world’s roads.”

It seems that, despite these figures, road safety is not yet perceived as being that worthy of attention, however there are signs of movement on this front and Todt cited some examples, including the actual inclusion of this objective in the list of the 17 SDGs.

“However, there is still much to do: the trends show that the number of road related fatalities is increasing in many low- and middle-income countries, despite the UN Decade of Action’s goal to stabilise and then reduce fatality numbers” – continued the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety – “Many governments are still reluctant to act. They may be unaware of the problem and its impact; they may think reforms will be too difficult to introduce; they may think new measures will be unpopular; they may think that there are higher priorities. We need to work together to challenge that mentality and support them to take action. We need to do all we can to raise awareness of the problem, and to put road safety on the top of political agendas.”

In ending his speech, Todt stressed that everyone can contribute to reaching this goal. “At the national level, we need to support governments to take action, because they have the primary responsibility to introduce effective legislation, and to ensure that rules are enforced.  At the city level, we need to encourage authorities to implement ambitious road safety programmes, and follow the Vision Zero goals which others have set like Mexico City or New York. In October, the first Habitat meeting in 20 years on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development will be held in Quito which will be an opportunity to highlight the need for improved road safety in cities. At the regional level, we need to encourage cooperation with all multi-lateral banks and institutions to improve data collection, to improve the coordinated use of funding, and to learn from the experience of other neighbouring countries. And at the global level, we need to ensure road safety is included as a key political priority, and treated at the same level as other challenges like AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. There is progress being made around the world to further road safety. My role is to help ensure that the momentum is harnessed and accelerated. We can succeed. Many parts of the world have had spectacular results over the past 30 years. We now need to extend that success to all countries.”