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Global Conference on Road Safety Discusses Road Safety as a Challenge of Sustainability for Urban Areas

Road Users 20.02.2020

  • Ireland twinned with Portugal and Romania to help their road safety performance

The Third Ministerial Global Conference on road safety has highlighted the need for the inclusion of road safety when developing plans to achieve greater sustainability, in terms of transportation and quality of life in urban areas.

Commenting on the conference Ms. Liz O’Donnell, Chairperson, Road Safety Authority (RSA) said. “This is a hugely important conference as it looks at setting global goals across the world for the next decade.  This is timely as Ireland is about to conclude its current road safety strategy and embark on the process of developing a new road safety blueprint from 2021 to 2030.”

She added “In terms of developing Ireland’s next road safety strategy, one key emerging challenge will be new transport models and figuring how best to marry sustainable transport models, climate action and active travel safety. We must look at how to harness transport technologies to deliver road safety and climate action objectives.”

“What has also become clear is the need to include young people in our strategy formulation. Road traffic injuries are a leading cause of death among children and young people so our strategy should be informed by the perspective of young people.”

“The vision zero principle which has become a gold standard in Sweden for road safety has had great results. This principle shifts the main responsibility on governments and society to minimise the effects of human error in the form of crashes and identifies road design, Better urban planning, technology and land use and places road safety central to transport systems. Ireland is now a world leader in road safety. Ireland was the second safest European Union Member State in 2018, in terms of road mortality (road deaths per million inhabitants). Globally Ireland is ranked fourth safest country in the world*.” She said.

Ms. O’Donnell added “Ireland has a role to play in helping other countries, who have a poorer road safety record, to make positive strides in policy development to reduce deaths and injuries on their roads. In this context, following invitation by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), Ireland is participating in a Road Safety Twinning Programme whereby we will be partnered with Portugal and Romania to share our experience of successful policy development, that may benefit them as they continue to refine policy approaches to improve their road safety performance.”

The 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety took place in Stockholm on 19–20 February. It is co-sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO), and minister-led delegations from more than 80 countries are expected to attend. Representatives from the world of industry and research, international institutions and organizations are also participating.

* International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group (IRTAD), Road Safety Annual Report 2019