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New report: Investing to prevent road trauma saves lives and pays financial dividends

3 October 2016

Story from the FIA Foundation.

New analysis commissioned by the FIA Foundation shows that investing early to prevent injury can deliver real financial dividends as well as saving lives. In addition to the direct savings to be made there are significant additional social and economic benefits of prevention. This paves the way forward for a fresh assessment of the benefits of stronger road safety measures and budgeting for road safety implementation and enforcement.

Case studies launched at the World Bank in Washington DC, ‘Investing to Save Lives: An impact investment case for preventing road trauma’, make a compelling case for strategic investment in preventative road safety measures. The case studies, developed by Social Finance UK and Impact Strategist, are drawn from road safety programmes in Australia and Cambodia. They detail astronomical health costs resulting from road trauma in high income countries, and the hidden costs borne by families in low income countries with limited access to health services, insurance protection or welfare.

The analysis employs an impact investment approach: that is an approach designed to deliver better outcomes and financial return and measure both. As the world works towards meeting the road safety targets included in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, this type of innovative approach has a financial pay-off, including for Governments and tax payers, in addition to the significant upside for people and communities if more injury and death can be prevented.

This innovative approach to unlocking capital and directing it to road safety measures has global potential. Many high-income countries face the challenge of maintaining a downward trend in road traffic deaths. The Australian case studies demonstrate the powerful financial case for frontloading investment in safer road infrastructure. In low and middle income countries, their incidence of road trauma is higher and growing and there are a range of hidden costs – to health care systems, to insurers, to victims and their families and to wider society – of road trauma and its impacts that create and amplify cycles of poverty.

Action to mobilise resources and scale successful approaches to achieve the SDG targets needs to start now. Governments, international financial institutions, philanthropies and private investors all have a role to play in developing these promising new tools to achieve that. The next step is to move from case studies to test cases.

Saul Billingsley, Executive Director of the FIA Foundation, said, “This is about improving outcomes for people and communities and reducing the impost on government, business and donor agencies of the rising toll of road traffic death and serious injury. We encourage investors, donors and the international financial institutions to come together to realise the potential of these new investment models.”

Welcoming the report, the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for Road Safety, Jean Todt, said: “The scale of the global road traffic epidemic demands new thinking and innovative financing solutions. Harnessing the growing potential of the social impact investing market can deliver as yet untapped sources of funding for road safety and help to instil a new rigour in the development of road safety strategies and programmes. This report explores these opportunities and signposts directions for further research and action. I encourage institutional and philanthropic investors to join with us in taking this important work forward.”

To download the report please click here.


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