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Road Safety Management

Sound management is essential to underpin The Safe Systems approach, which aims to develop a road transport system that is better able to accommodate human error and take into consideration the vulnerability of the human body. It starts from the acceptance of human error and thus the realization that traffic crashes cannot be completely avoided.

The goal of a Safe System is to ensure that accidents do not result in serious human injury. The approach considers that human limitations - what the human body can stand in terms of kinetic energy - is an important basis upon which to design the road transport system, and that other aspects of the road system, such as the development of the road environment and the vehicle, must be harmonized on the basis of these limitations.

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.

As explained in Global Plan for The Decade of Action, Governments at all levels need to encourage the creation of multi-sectoral partnerships. At a national level, it is essential that lead agencies are established with the capacity to develop and lead the delivery of national road safety strategies, plans and targets, underpinned by the data collection and evidential research to assess countermeasure design and monitor implementation and effectiveness.

Governments need to develop national strategies (at a cabinet or ministerial level) coordinated by the lead agency through:

• confirming long-term investment priorities

• specifying agency responsibilities and accountabilities for development and implementation of core work programmes

• identifying implementation projects

• building partnership coalitions

• promoting road safety management initiatives such as the new ISO traffic safety management standard ISO 39001

• establishing and maintaining the data collection systems necessary to provide baseline data and monitor progress in reducing road traffic injuries and fatalities and other important indicators such as cost, etc...

They also need to set realistic and long-term targets for national activities based on the analysis of national traffic crash data through identifying areas for performance improvements and estimating potential performance gains.


''Managing work-related road injury risk: Ensuring decent work conditions for those who driver for work and protecting other road users.''

Illustrating such partnership coalitions mentioned above, the 3rd Ministerial Conference for Road Safety saw the launch of the report entitled 'Managing work-related road injury risk: Ensuring decent work conditions for those who drive for work and protecting other road users',  prepared by members of the UN Road Safety Collaboration working group.

To download the report, please click here.