Every day 3,700 people are killed in road crashes and many more suffer serious injuries. Shockingly traffic injuries are now the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 5-29 years.
The current United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety, despite growth in population and motorisation, has helped slow the increase in road deaths. But in far too many countries the number of people dying or seriously injured in traffic crashes is rising rather than falling. With road safety now included in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) much more must be done to stop the carnage on the world’s roads that kills 1.35 million every year. Road deaths and serious injuries are not just unfortunate accidents. They are predictable, preventable, and unacceptable. Evidence shows that setting a road safety target is an effective way to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured in traffic crashes.
2020 will be a crucial year for road safety. The current UN Decade of Action will come to an end and a new global mandate must be decided for road injury prevention. The choice we face is clear: build on the positive experience of stabilizing global road deaths to achieve reductions every year; or just carry on with business as usual in another decade with hundreds of millions killed or injured in road crashes and economic costs of between 2-2.5% of global GDP per annum, amounting to a $1.85 trillion burden on the global economy each year.
That is why it is so important that Governments around the world now make a new #50by30 commitment to halve road deaths and serious injuries in a new decade of SDG action for road safety. The #50by30 campaign calls for a new target to halve road deaths and serious injuries in a new decade of SDG action for road safety to 2030. A new target and a new decade of action will help to save 675,000 lives a year, accelerate progress in global road injury prevention, and work towards a world eventually free from road fatalities and serious injuries. Without a new target #50by30 there is a significant risk that progress in improving road safety will stagnate & reverse. If the current SDG 3.6 target is not extended to 2030 road safety will become a less important priority in sustainable development. This will undermine political commitment to road injury prevention which in turn will make it harder to mobilize new resources and action to save lives. That is why the Towards Zero Foundation believes it is so important that Governments around the world now make a new #50by30 commitment to halve road deaths and serious injuries in a new decade of SDG action for road safety.
Speaking to the UN General Assembly in April 2018, HRH Prince Michael of Kent, warned that it was not enough to “just stabilise the level of road fatalities”. The Prince called for a three-point plan for global road safety including a new UN road safety target, more resources to finance road injury prevention programmes, and much stronger political commitment to road safety. Advocating for #50by30, the Prince told the General Assembly:
“To establish a new UN road safety target for 2030 to halve road deaths and serious injuries. This will reinvigorate the road safety ambition of the SDGs and provide a framework for accountability and action. Of course, our vision is for a world free from road traffic fatalities, but a target is intended as a benchmark for progress rather than the final destination. The serious risk is that, without a new casualty reduction target, the road safety performance of UN Member States will be weakly measured and consequently poorly managed.
The #50by30 campaign is calling for:
· Ministers attending the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference in Sweden in February 2020 to support a target #50by30 to halve road deaths and serious injuries by 2030 in a second decade of SDG action for road safety 2020-2030.
· UN Member States to adopt a resolution during the 74th UN General Assembly debate on road safety that should endorse the #50by30 target and an extension of the current SDG 3.6 target to 2030.
· Regional intergovernmental organizations, such as the African Union, the Association of South East Asian Nations, the Commonwealth, and the UN Regional Commissions to follow the example of the European Union and adopt #50by30 and related regional road safety action plans.
What you or your organization can do for the #50by30 campaign
· support the #50by30 campaign by endorsing the target to halve road deaths and serious injuries by 2030.
· Join the advocacy effort too by asking your government, your ministers of transport and health, your members of parliament, and your mayors to commit to #50by30.
Society of road safety ambassadors