- Catharina ElmsĂ¤ter-SvĂ¤rd, Minister for Infrastructure, Sweden
- Boulaajoul Benacer, Permanent Secretary, National Committee for the Prevention of Traffic Accidents, Morocco
- Marc Juhel, Transport Sector Manager, the World Bank
- Nestor Roa, Transport Division Chief, Inter-American Development Bank
- Nicolas Bouvier, Chairman of the Management Board, DEKRA Automotive France
- David Ward, Director General, FIA Foundation, UK
- Jose Luis Irigoyen, Director, Transport, Water & Information Communication Technologies, the World Bank - Opening remarks
- Conny Czymoch - Moderator
To achieve the goals of the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, governments, particularly in developing countries, must make the choice to fund the necessary interventions and institutions that lower death and injury on their roads. Despite the staggering human and economic loss resulting from traffic injuries, only a handful of countries have taken stock of the problem. What can emerging economies with rapidly expanding vehicle fleets learn from early adopters of the Safe System approach?
- Sweden has long recognised that road safety needs to be made a national priority. Its Vision Zero initiative has helped establish a robust, participatory oversight process of the country’s road safety programs, and encouraged stakeholders to rethink the cost and benefits of a safer road system: for instance, basic safety features can be introduced on new roads for as little as 1% additional investment. Despite being one of the best-performing countries, Sweden remains committed to road safety, with funding targets equivalent to 2% of its total road infrastructure investments.
- Political engagement at the highest level and multi-sector collaboration are now becoming a reality in other parts of the world. Morocco’s 2013-2016 road safety action plan calls for education, research & development, enhanced enforcement capacity, injury surveillance systems and dialogue mechanisms with civil society. Close cooperation with regional and multilateral partners as well as sustained investments will be key to reaching these objectives.
- Although no substitute to strong national road safety engagement, pledged investments from the international donor community remain very low, compared with the response to other great global killers. This is prompting the Make Roads Safe campaign to support the inclusion of road safety within the Sustainable Development Goals, as a means to address resourcing issues, particularly in the second half of the Decade of Action.
- Increasing car sales in emerging economies could present an opportunity for a technology leap, if rigorous safety standards are enforced, and automotive innovation encouraged. Dekra has observed that technologies that were once considered sophisticated – ABS, ESP – are now mainstreamed in many parts of the world. Consumer information also plays a big role, as evidenced by the growing interest in regional NCAP programs which star rate vehicles for safety.
- Although investment by multilateral institutions such as the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank is modest when set against overall infrastructure spending, they have the ability to set quality standards that can ripple across the road transport system. Seed funding provided to road safety agencies and data observatories in Argentina and Jamaica has already proved instrumental in raising the level of policy engagement, and scaling up committed road safety investments in both countries.
“Vision zero reflects zero tolerance for the traditional tradeoff between mobility and road injury” (Minister ElmsĂ¤ter-SvĂ¤rd)
“With the world looking at a potential doubling of its vehicle fleet by 2020, many of the world’s roads are set to become even more dangerous than before” (Jose Luis Irigoyen)
“Our agenda has suffered from being considered as a transport problem” (Marc Juhel)
“Despite the overwhelming evidence in the Global Burden of Disease report-- safety being the eighth overall killer—it is not a top priority; we are still fighting to be recognized” (David Ward)