Road safety calls for joint action worldwide
We present the Evaluation of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020
Every year, a total of 1.3 million people are killed in road accidents and 50 million people are seriously injured as a result of a traffic incident, a reality that makes this type of accident the leading cause of death among children and young people around the world between the ages of 5 and 29. All of these tragedies could have been prevented.
In order to understand the magnitude of this problem and analyze the evolution of accident rates around the world in the last ten years, Jesús Monclús, Director of Prevention and Road Safety at Fundación MAPFRE, has presented the report entitled Evaluation of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, prepared together with The George Institute for Global Health and The Milken Institute School of Public Health of George Washington University (USA), for the World Health Organization.
This study, which examines the indicators that have most influenced the consecutive reduction of traffic accidents in the last 10 years, reveals some positive aspects such as the fact that more and more institutions and countries have agreed to make road safety a matter of public health, as well as urgently implementing better traffic injury recording and notification systems and promoting collaboration between countries to implement good practices.
But the report also reveals that there is a lot of work yet to be done. According to the report, road accidents rose especially in low-income regions, such as Africa, where the average road accident death rate is 28.2 victims per 100,000 inhabitants. And only 28 countries, in other words 7% of the entire world population, currently have strong legislation on road safety to deal with the main road safety risks, such as alcohol consumption, non-compliance with speed limits and the failure to use motorcycle helmets and child restraint systems, among others.
These and many other conclusions of what has happened in the last decade have been an essential contribution in the design of the next global strategy on road safety for the coming ten years.
The United Nations estimates that over the next decade, road traffic victims could reach the “unacceptable” figure of 13 million deaths and 500 million people with injuries, which will undoubtedly impede sustainable development, especially in low- and middle-income countries. Faced with these unacceptable figures, the second UN Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030, which establishes the measures to be adopted for the next ten years, has one key objective: to achieve a 50% reduction in traffic accident victims by 2030.
The main lines of this ambitious Plan were outlined at an international event at which Jesús Monclús was a speaker. With 65 specific measures and the best recommendations from the experts, this document outlines the strategy to modernize roads and highways, enhance vehicle safety, avoid errors and distractions at the wheel, and promote multimodality and safe, healthy and sustainable means of transport, among other actions, as well as analyzing the measures necessary for implementing each of them.
As part of the UNRSC community, Fundación MAPFRE participated in the drafting of this Plan, contributing all our experience and helping to guide its development, including the ideas that emerged at the Stockholm Conference, with the aim of making it an essential tool to guide countries’ efforts to reduce fatalities and injuries from road accidents.
We know that to face the future there is nothing better than learning from the past. Fundación MAPFRE will continue working to ensure that this new Plan serves as a guide to the world for the road safety actions in the next decade.
Together we can achieve the goal of reducing road casualties by 50% in the year 2030.