Zero Road Deaths and Serious Injuries

Leading a Paradigm Shift to a Safe System

image of Zero Road Deaths and Serious Injuries

This report describes a paradigm shift in road safety policy, being led by a handful of countries, according to the principles of a Safe System. A Safe System is based on the premise that road crashes are both predictable and preventable, and that it is possible to move towards zero road deaths and serious injuries. This, however, requires a fundamental rethink of the governance and implementation of road safety policy.

To stem the road death epidemic, the United Nations have set the target of halving traffic fatalities by 2020. Every year, 1.25 million people are killed in road crashes and up to 50 million are seriously injured. Road crashes kill more people than malaria or tuberculosis and are among the ten leading causes of death. Their economic cost is estimated at 2-5% of GDP in many countries. Written by a group of international road safety experts, this report provides leaders in government, administrations, business and academia with emerging best practices and the starting point to chart their own journeys towards a Safe System.


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A Safe System – Promoting a world free of road traffic fatalities

International Transport Forum

Each year around 1.25 million people are killed and 50 million injured in road crashes worldwide. With the world’s car fleet expected to double in little more than a decade, road injury is forecast to become the seventh leading cause of death by 2030. The UN Sustainable Development Goals now commit the international community to halve deaths and injuries caused by road crashes by 2020. To achieve this very ambitious target, countries around the world need to re-appraise their road safety strategies. The Safe System offers a fresh approach. Pioneered by countries like Sweden and the Netherlands, its starting point is the ethical maxim that road deaths and serious injuries are per se unacceptable and that road users have a right to expect that they should be safe.

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