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Argentina Road Safety Lead Agency wins International Award

23 May 2013

Felipe Rodriguez Laguens from the Argentina Road Safety Lead Agency (ANSV) has been presented with a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award by Etienne Krug at the EISEVI 3 conference in Argentina.

Argentina made an impressive recovery from its deep economic crisis of 2001-02 and sparked by increased exports and consumption its GDP in 2008 surpassed the pre-crisis level, having grown at an average annual rate of around 9% between 2003 and 2007, and achieving 7% growth in 2008 despite the global economic crisis. This steady increase in GDP per capita was accompanied by a rise in the rate of motorization that in turn increased the risk of road traffic crashes, fatalities and injuries, on urban and rural roads. In 2008 it was estimated that about 5,760 people died from road crashes in Argentina and over 95,000 were injured, compared with an estimated 3,200 road fatalities in 2002.

Mounting social and political pressure regarding rising road deaths led to the establishment of the National Road Safety Agency (ANSV) in April 2008 within the Ministry of Interior. The agency’s mission is to reduce the rate of road deaths in the national territory through the promotion, coordination, control and monitoring of national and international road safety policies. By national decree, it has adopted an organizational structure which established six main directorates: Driver Licences and Traffic Records; Interjurisdictional Coordination; National Road Observatory; General Administration; Road Safety Training and Campaigns; and Legal and Judicial Affairs.

Soon after it established the ANSV the Government of Argentina approached the World Bank for technical assistance in the design of a program to strengthen ANSV’s strategic delivery capacity.

The World Report, issued by the World Bank and WHO in 2004, highlighted the fundamental role of the lead agency in ensuring the effective and efficient functioning of country road safety management systems. Detailed project preparation commenced in 2009, and subsequently the World Bank Board approved an approximately US$40 million loan to finance the first phase of the ANSV strengthening project in March 2010.

The overall project development objectives are to contribute to the reduction of road traffic injuries and fatalities in Argentina through the strengthening of its institutional framework and management capacity for road safety and the reduction of road deaths and injuries in selected pilot corridors.

Specifically, the project is designed to contribute to:

  • strengthening the management capacity of the ANSV by the development of a national driver’s license registry system and a national registry of traffic records and infractions
  • increasing public awareness of road safety issues through education and communication campaigns
  • improving the capabilities of the emergency response services (iv) strengthening the general deterrence capacity of traffic enforcement and control services (v) creating an innovative fund to reimburse road initiatives put forward by provincial and municipal authorities and
  • providing support to the establishment and capacity building of the National Road Safety Observatory

The ANSV project remains one of the first stand-alone road safety loans by any of the multi-lateral development banks, and the first in Latin America. It has also led to the creation of a number of derivative initiatives. For example, the first Latin American Road Safety Observatory (OESEVI) has been created based on the Argentina project model.

The ANSV example has also served as a model for future road safety lead agency capacity building operations across the globe, and is often cited by road safety observers as one of the best examples of a low and middle income country commitment to road safety in the Decade of Action.

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