Transport and Covid-19: responses and resources

Zero Road Deaths and Serious Injuries

Leading a Paradigm Shift to a Safe System
Zero Road Deaths and Serious Injuries: Leading a Paradigm Shift to a Safe System cover image

This report describes a paradigm shift in road safety policy, being led by a handful of countries, according to the principles of a Safe System. A Safe System is based on the premise that road crashes are both predictable and preventable, and that it is possible to move towards zero road deaths and serious injuries. This, however, requires a fundamental rethink of the governance and implementation of road safety policy.

To stem the road death epidemic, the United Nations have set the target of halving traffic fatalities by 2020. Every year, 1.25 million people are killed in road crashes and up to 50 million are seriously injured. Road crashes kill more people than malaria or tuberculosis and are among the ten leading causes of death. Their economic cost is estimated at 2-5% of GDP in many countries. Written by a group of international road safety experts, this report provides leaders in government, administrations, business and academia with emerging best practices and the starting point to chart their own journeys towards a Safe System.

En español : Cero Muertes y Lesiones de Gravedad por Accidentes de Tránsito

In Korean: 교통사고 사상자 제로를 위한

Policy Insights

  • Think safe roads, not safer roads.
  • Provide strong, sustained leadership for the paradigm shift to a Safe System.
  • Foster a sense of urgency to drive change.
  • Underpin aspirational goals with concrete operational targets.
  • Establish shared responsibility for road safety.
  • Apply a results-focussed way of working among road safety stakeholders.
  • Leverage all parts of a Safe System for greater overall effect and so that if one part fails the other parts will still prevent serious harm.
  • Use a Safe System to make city traffic safe for vulnerable road users.
  • Build Safe System capacity in low and middle-income countries to improve road safety in rapidly motorising parts of the world.
  • Support data collection, analysis and research on road traffic as a Safe System.

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