Parliamentarians worldwide can play a decisive role to help make our roads safe and stop the carnage that kills about 3500 people every day. Despite rising motorization, better national road safety policies and laws have helped to mitigate the increasing global level of road fatalities. But much more needs to be done to reduce the epidemic of road deaths and serious injuries that cause so much avoidable human tragedy and unnecessary social costs. As part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the United Nations (UN) now has an ambitious target to halve road deaths and injuries by 2020. There has never been a stronger mandate for Parliamentarians to provide strong leadership in support of the adoption of effective road safety policies and laws that will reduce death and serious injuries on the world’s roads.
The Global Network for Road Safety Legislators has been established to serve as an open platform for Parliamentarians to exchange best practices in road safety policies and law-making, and to encourage more countries to adopt comprehensive and effective road safety strategies. The creation of the Network was proposed at a special meeting for Parliamentarians held at the 2nd Global High Level Conference on Road Safety in Brasilia in November 2015. The meeting recognised the serious shortfall in road safety policy and laws in many countries and decided to set up a global network for road safety legislators. In response, the World Health Organization (WHO), together with the Towards Zero Foundation, held an international workshop for road safety legislators in London in December 2016. This workshop adopted the Westminster Declaration and formally established the Global Network and its Leadership Council (see p32-33).
This Manifesto #4roadsafety is being launched by the Global Network during the 2017 UN Global Road Safety Week. Our Manifesto proposes ten key recommendations for Parliamentarians worldwide in support of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety and the SDGs’ target to halve road deaths and injuries by 2020. Included in these recommendations is full support for the implementation of the WHO’s Save LIVES Technical Package which includes 22 evidence-based priority interventions that, if systematically applied by all UN Member States, would help close the legislative gap that currently inhibits progress towards the SDG casualty reduction target. The Manifesto also makes recommendations on the role of Parliamentarians in providing road safety leadership, the Safe System approach and speed management, occupational road safety, good governance in road injury prevention, funding for safety, the policies of the multilateral development banks, and the UN target for road safety in 2030.
The actions proposed in this Manifesto are urgently needed, because on present trends it is unlikely that the UN target to halve road deaths and injuries will be achieved. That is why we call on fellow Parliamentarians worldwide to support this Manifesto and join our campaign #4roadsafety.
BARRY SHEERMAN MP
Chairman of the Leadership Council of the Global Network for Road Safety Legislators