Each year, around 1.24 million people die in road accidents. A disproportionate amount of the deaths on the roads (90%) occurs in low- and middle-income countries, despite these countries accounting for just 54% of the world’s road vehicles. Most of these deaths are due to the lack of basic safety measures and proper road safety management.
Taking a holistic approach to road safety and identifying specific challenges and solutions at national level can make the vital difference in supporting countries’ efforts to reduce the number of road casualties. This is the aim of Road Safety Performance Reviews (RSPR), undertaken by UNECE and partners at the request of governments, the first of which was recently launched in Uganda.
UNECE is currently finalizing Reviews with the governments of Albania and Georgia, and is working with other UN Regional Commissions (ECA, ECLAC and ESCAP) for the Reviews of Viet Nam, the Dominican Republic and Cameroon. Supporting this process, UNECE has been working closely with national stakeholders and partners within the countries under Review.
The Albania Road Safety Performance Review Capacity Building Workshop, held on 6-7 February, brought together more than 35 road safety stakeholders, including from the government, academia, NGOs, as well as UN Resident Coordinator in Albania Mr. Brian Williams, to discuss project recommendations and how to use the RSPR results to improve road safety. This also provided the occasion to explore how UN legal instruments covering vehicle safety and the transport of dangerous goods, as well as improved road safety statistics (collection, definition and indicators), can contribute to improving national road safety.
The Review’s findings have led to concrete policy actions in Albania, in response to gaps identified in legislation regarding the transport of dangerous goods and in recognition of the need to strengthen the role of the national road safety coordination body.
In cooperation with the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, UNECE organized the final capacity-building event of the country’s Review process. Mr. Niels Scott, UN Resident Coordinator in Georgia, opened the workshop, held in Kachreti on 15-16 February. More than 20 national road safety stakeholders from Georgia and Albania, together with experts from UNECE, discussed the implementation of the RSPR recommendations as well as matters related to road safety statistics (including methodology, data collection, dissemination, and publishing).
Such policy dialogue can play an important role across a variety of road safety issues, bringing together a range of road safety stakeholders to discuss ambitious targets and adopt specific measures to meet them. In this spirit, the project helped to increase awareness of the importance of acceding to and implementing key UN road safety related legal instruments, highlighting how this can support efforts to achieve road-safety-related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals.
In Georgia, the National Road Safety Action Plans for 2017 and 2018 were adopted based on the findings and recommendations of the RSPR. The Review supported the reintroduction of periodic technical inspections for passenger vehicles and the adoption of amendments on road safety legislation. The 2018 Action Plan envisages activities to improve road users’ behaviour through increasing awareness on road safety risk factors and social marketing campaigns to help influence the attitudes of road users.