Improving global road safety

The General Assembly, Recalling its resolutions 57/309 of 22 May 2003, 58/9 of 5 November 2003, 58/289 of 14 April 2004, 60/5 of 26 October 2005 and 62/244 of 31 March 2008 on improving global road safety,

Having considered the note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report on improving global road safety and the recommendations contained therein,

Recognizing the tremendous global burden of mortality resulting from road traffic crashes, as well as the twenty to fifty million people who incur each year non-fatal road traffic injuries, many of whom are left with lifelong disabilities,

Noting that this major public health problem has a broad range of social and economic consequences which, if unaddressed, may affect the sustainable development of countries and hinder progress towards the Millennium Development Goals,

Underlining the importance for Member States to continue using the World Report on Road Traffic Injury Prevention as a framework for road safety efforts and implementing its recommendations, as appropriate, by paying particular attention to the main risk factors identified, including the non-use of safety belts and child restraints, the non-use of helmets, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, inappropriate and excessive speed and the lack of appropriate infrastructure, by strengthening road safety management and by paying particular attention also to the needs of vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, and users of unsafe public transport, as well as by improving post-crash care for victims of road crashes,

Commending the World Health Organization for its role in implementing the mandate conferred upon it by the General Assembly to work in close cooperation with the United Nations regional commissions to coordinate road safety issues within the United Nations system, and commending also the progress of the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration as a consultative mechanism whose members provide Governments and civil society with good practice guidelines to support action to tackle the major road safety risk factors and support their implementation,

Recognizing the work of the United Nations regional commissions and their subsidiary bodies in increasing their road safety activities and advocating increased political commitment to road safety, and in this context welcoming the conclusions and recommendations of the project “Improving global road safety: setting regional and national road traffic casualty reduction targets”, implemented by the United Nations regional commissions to assist low- and middle-income countries in setting and achieving road traffic casualty reduction targets,

Acknowledging the Ministerial Declaration on Violence and Injury Prevention in the Americas signed by the Ministers of Health of the Americas during the Ministerial Meeting on Violence and Injury Prevention in the Americas, held in Mérida, Mexico, on 14 March 2008, the Doha Declaration and other outcomes of the workshop on building the Arab Mashreq road safety partnership organized by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia in Doha on 21 and 22 October 2008, 2 the conclusions and recommendations of the Economic Commission for Europe conference on the theme “Improving Road Traffic Safety in South-Eastern Europe: Setting Regional and National Road Traffic Casualty Reduction Targets”, held in Halkida, Greece, on 25 and 26 June 2009, the workshop on setting regional and national road traffic casualty reduction targets in the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia region organized by the Commission, in collaboration with the United Arab Emirates National Authority for Transportation, in Abu Dhabi on 16 and 17 June 2009, the conference on the theme “Make Roads Safe Africa” organized by the Economic Commission for Africa in Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania, on 8 July 2009, the Ministerial Declaration on Improving Road Safety in Asia and the Pacific, adopted at the Ministerial Conference on Transport organized by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in Busan, Republic of Korea, from 6 to 11 November 2006, 3 and the recommendations of the Expert Group Meeting on Improving Road Safety organized by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok from 2 to 4 September 2009, noting, in particular, the usefulness of compiling guidelines outlining best practices in road safety improvement in the region, as well as the outcomes of expert group meetings on improving road safety organized by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in 2008 and 2009,

Acknowledging also a number of other important international efforts on road safety, including the report of the International Transport Forum of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development entitled Towards Zero: Ambitious Road Safety Targets and the Safe System Approach, the International Conference on Road Safety at Work, held in Washington, D.C., from 16 to 18 February 2009, and the conference on the theme “Road Safety at Work”, held in Dublin on 15 June 2009, which highlighted the importance of fleet safety and the important role of the private sector in addressing driving behaviour concerns among their workers, Noting all national and regional initiatives to raise awareness of road safety issues,

Noting also the important role of the World Bank Global Road Safety Facility as a funding mechanism to support capacity-building and provide technical support for road safety and as a means to increase the resources needed to address road safety in low- and middle-income countries, acknowledging the increase in funding to support national, regional and global road safety work, and welcoming, in particular, the financial assistance given to the World Health Organization and the Global Road Safety Facility by all donors, including the Governments of Australia, the Netherlands and Sweden, and by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the FIA Foundation for the Automobile and Society,

Noting further the work of the International Organization for Standardization to develop standards for road traffic safety management systems,

Taking note of the report of the Commission for Global Road Safety entitled Make Roads Safe: A Decade of Action for Road Safety, which links road safety with sustainable development and calls for a decade of action on road safety, and taking note also of the “Make Roads Safe” campaign as a global tool for increasing awareness and advocating increased funding for road safety,

Recognizing the World Health Organization publication entitled Global Status Report on Road Safety: Time for Action, which provides the first assessment of the road safety situation at the global level and highlights the fact that half of all road traffic deaths are among vulnerable road users, as well as the relatively low proportion of the countries in the world that have comprehensive legislation on ke y road safety risk factors,

Welcoming the joint statement by the World Bank and the six leading multilateral development banks, namely, the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank, in which they undertook to cooperate on increasing the road safety component of their infrastructure programmes through better coordination of their investments and through the application of safety audits and assessments of road infrastructure projects,

Expressing its concern at the continued increase in road traffic fatalities and injuries worldwide, in particular in low- and middle-income countries, bearing in mind that the fatality rate within the road system is considerably higher than the fatality rate within other transport systems, even in high-income countries,

Recognizing the efforts made by some low- and middle-income countries to implement best practices, to set ambitious targets and to monitor road traffic fatalities,

Reaffirming the need to further strengthen international cooperation and knowledge-sharing in road safety, taking into account the needs of low- and middleincome countries,

Recognizing that a solution to the global road safety crisis can be achieved only through multisectoral collaboration and partnerships among all concerned in both the public and the private sectors, with the involvement of civil society,

Recognizing also the role of research in informing policy-based decisions on road safety and in monitoring and evaluating the effect of interventions, as well as the need for more research to address the emerging issue of distractions in traffic as a risk factor for road traffic crashes,

Acknowledging the leading role of Oman in drawing the attention of the international community to the global road safety crisis,

Commending the Government of the Russian Federation for hosting the first Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, held in Moscow on 19 and 20 November 2009, which brought together delegations of ministers and representatives dealing with transport, health, education, safety and related traffic law enforcement issues and which culminated in a declaration inviting the General Assembly to declare a decade of action for road safety,

 

1. Welcomes the declaration adopted at the first Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, held in Moscow on 19 and 20 November 2009,

 

2. Proclaims the period 2011–2020 as the Decade of Action for Road Safety, with a goal to stabilize and then reduce the forecast level of road traffic fatalities around the world by increasing activities conducted at the national, regional and global levels;

 

3. Requests the World Health Organization and the United Nations regional commissions, in cooperation with other partners in the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration and other stakeholders, to prepare a plan of action of the Decade as a guiding document to support the implementation of its objectives;

 

4. Reaffirms the importance of addressing global road safety issues and the need to further strengthen international cooperation, taking into account the needs of low- and middle-income countries, including those of the least developed countries and African countries, by building capacity in the field of road safety and by providing financial and technical support for their efforts;

 

5. Acknowledges that multilateral technical and financial assistance in support of capacity-building for enhancing road safety should be provided in a predictable and timely manner without unwarranted conditionalities, considering that there is no one-size-fits-all formula and considering also the specific situation of each country based on its needs and priorities;

 

6. Calls upon Member States to implement road safety activities, particularly in the areas of road safety management, road infrastructure, vehicle safety, road user behaviour, including distractions in traffic, road safety education and post-crash care, including rehabilitation for people with disabilities, based on the plan of action;

 

7. Invites all Member States to set their own national road traffic casualt y reduction targets to be achieved by the end of the Decade, in line with the plan of action;

 

8. Calls for the inclusion within the plan of action of activities that pay attention to the needs of all road users, in particular pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users in low- and middle-income countries, through support for appropriate legislation and policy and infrastructure and by increasing sustainable means of transport, and in this regard invites international financial institutions and regional development banks to assist developing countries in building sustainable mass transportation systems with a view to reducing road traffic accidents;

 

9. Also calls for joint multisectoral action to increase the proportion of countries with comprehensive legislation on key risk factors for road traffic injuries, including the non-use of seat belts and child restraints and helmets, drink-driving and speed, from the 15 per cent identified in the Global Status Report on Road Safety: Time for Action to over 50 per cent by the end of the Decade, and encourages Member States to strengthen their enforcement of existing road safety legislation on these risk factors;

 

10. Encourages Governments, public and private corporations, non-governmental organizations and multilateral organizations to take action, as appropriate, to discourage distractions in traffic, including texting while driving, which lead to increased morbidity and mortality owing to road crashes;

 

11. Invites Governments to take a leading role in implementing the activities of the Decade, while fostering a multisectoral collaboration of efforts that includes academia, the private sector, professional associations, non-governmental organizations and civil society, including national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, victims’ organizations and youth organizations, and the media;

 

12. Invites Member States, international organizations, development banks and funding agencies, foundations, professional associations and private sector companies to consider providing adequate and additional funding to activities relating to the Decade;

 

13. Requests the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration to continue its role of informal consultative mechanism, including for the implementation of activities relating to the Decade;

 

14. Invites the World Health Organization and the United Nations regional commissions, in cooperation with other partners in the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration, to organize the second United Nations Global Road Safety Week to launch the Decade;

 

15. Encourages Member States to continue to strengthen their commitment to road safety, including by observing the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on the third Sunday of November every year;

 

16. Also encourages Member States to become contracting parties to and to implement the United Nations road safety-related legal instruments, as well as to adhere to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;

 

17. Invites the World Health Organization and the United Nations regional commissions to coordinate regular monitoring, within the framework of the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration, of global progress towards meeting the targets identified in the plan of action and to develop global status reports on road safet y and other appropriate monitoring tools;

 

18. Invites Member States and the international community to integrate road safety into other international agendas, such as those on development, environment and urbanization;

 

19. Acknowledges the importance of midterm and final reviews of the progress achieved over the Decade, and invites interested Member States, in consultation with the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration, to organize international, regional and national meetings to assess the implementation of the Decade;

 

20. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its sixty-sixth session the item entitled “Global road safety crisis”, and requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at that session on the progress made in the attainment of the objectives of the Decade.

 

74th plenary meeting

2 March 2010


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