Safe transport is a subject of SDG targets 3.6 and 11.2, and the focus of a decade of action 2021-2030.
Speaking during a one-day preparatory event, UNGA President Abdulla Shahid noted a divergence in national capacities for road safety, and said realizing the global target will require increased support to low- and middle-income countries.
The meeting also featured panel discussions on: sustainable domestic financing for road safety; sustainable international and private financing for road safety; the role of the private sector, civil society, academia and youth in road safety; and engaging government, regional integration bodies, the UN, and other international organizations in road safety.
The UN General Assembly held a one-day event in preparation for an upcoming high-level meeting on global road safety. Safe transport is a subject of SDG target 3.6 (by 2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents) and SDG target 11.2 (by 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport.)
The Global Plan for this decade sets a target of preventing at least 50% of road traffic deaths and injuries by 2030.
A decade of action for road safety is underway from 2021-2030. The Global Plan for this decade sets a target of preventing at least 50% of road traffic deaths and injuries – as in the SDG target – by 2030. The Plan also includes voluntary targets, recommended actions, and requirements for implementation.
Rates of road deaths in Africa and Southeast Asia are much higher than in OECD countries. Speaking during the preparatory event on 3 December 2021, UNGA President Abdulla Shahid said this implies a divergence in national capacities for road safety and realizing the global target will require increased support to low- and middle-income countries.
After the opening session, the preparatory meeting featured panel discussions on: sustainable domestic financing for road safety; sustainable international and private financing for road safety; the role of the private sector, civil society, academia and youth in road safety; and engaging government, regional integration bodies, the UN, and other international organizations in road safety. Jean Todt, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, reported that the global road safety crisis could cost the world economy USD 1.8 trillion between 2015 and 2030. He encouraged more donor engagement with the UN Road Safety Fund.
Discussions highlighted potential sources for domestic revenue to advance road safety, such as fuel taxes, insurance for vehicles, vehicle customs, registration licenses, and speeding tickets. At an international level, options can include private sector resources, philanthropic activities, donations, green bonds, and debt-for-nature swaps.
Jamil Ahmad, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), said a partnership supported by the UN Road Safety Fund is supporting quality standards in West African countries to address the export of unsafe and polluting used vehicles. He noted that the EU is revising regulations on this issue, and the African Union is consulting with African member states for a continent-wide approach.
Noting that 1 billion additional motor vehicles are expected in the coming decade, David Ward, Executive President of the Towards Zero Foundation, said the motor industry is responsible for ensuring that these are safe, clean, and conform to minimum UN vehicle standards.
The High‑Level Meeting on Global Road Safety is scheduled for 30 June-1 July 2022 at UN Headquarters in New York, US. It will have the theme ‘2030 horizon for road safety: securing a decade of action and delivery.’ The meeting is mandated to result in a political declaration agreed in advance through intergovernmental negotiations, to be facilitated by representatives of Cote d’Ivoire and Russia.
The high-level meeting will also include a pledging conference. [Publication: Global Plan: Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030] [UN news story] [SDG Knowledge Hub story on HLM preparations] [Decade of Action webpage]