The UN General Assembly today adopted a resolution on “Improving global road safety”. The resolution was sponsored by the Government of the Russian Federation and co-sponsored by dozens of other countries. Among key decisions, the resolution welcomes the offer of the Government of Brazil to host the Second Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in 2015; encourages Members States and the international community to take road safety into due consideration in the elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda; invites WHO to continue monitoring, through its global status reports, progress in the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, noting the importance of targets and indicators against which progress can be systematically measured; and requests WHO and the UN regional commissions to facilitate organization of the Third UN Global Road Safety Week in 2015 on the theme of improving road safety for children.
In support of activities related to the Decade of Action, partners – including development banks, foundations and private sector companies – are invited to consider contributing financially to the WHO and FIA Foundation Road Safety Fund. They are also called upon to explore new and innovative funding modalities, in particular those which would further national efforts to implement the Global Plan for the Decade of Action.
As have previous road safety resolutions, this resolution also calls upon Member States which have not yet done so to develop national plans in line with the Global Plan for the Decade of Action; nominate national focal points for the Decade of Action; enact comprehensive legislation on key risk factors; strengthen emergency trauma care systems; improve the safety of vehicles and roads; and enhance the quality of road safety statistics.
The resolution expressed concern that the number of road traffic deaths still remains unacceptably high with an estimated 1.24 million lives lost in 2010. Only 7% of the world’s population is covered by adequate laws that address key risk factors: drinking and driving, speeding and failing to use motorcycle helmets, seat-belts and child restraints. It also expressed concern that worldwide half of all road traffic deaths involve pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists, and that some developing countries are failing to provide the policies and infrastructure needed to better protect these vulnerable groups.
The resolution acknowledged a number of important international efforts on road safety, with specific mention to initiatives such as WHO’s Global status report on road safety 2013; the International Road Transport Union’s standards for vocational training of road safety professionals; the Commission for Global Road Safety’s report entitled Safe roads for all: a post-2015 agenda for health and development; the World Bank’s Global Road Safety Facility; the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims; and various efforts of the UN regional commissions, national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and NGOs, including victims’ organizations and youth organizations.
Through the new resolution, the UN Secretary-General is invited to continue to promote effective international cooperation on road safety issues, including in the broader context of sustainable transport, and report to the UN General Assembly at its 70th session on the agenda item entitled “Improving global road safety”.