The UN General Assembly resolution on “Improving global road safety”Daniele D'Onofrio
(15th April 2016) Acting without a vote, the UN General Assembly and its Member States adopted a resolution on “Improving global road safety”(document A/70/L.44) expressing concern that road traffic crashes killed more than 1.25 million people and injured as many as 50 million people a year.
This wide-ranging and detailed resolution calls on the international community to support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals agenda on road safety as well as the Decade of Action for Road Safety.
The resolution, which was tabled by the Government of the Russian Federation, was co-sponsored by 55 governments.
Among key decisions, UN General Assembly has reaffirmed the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets on road safety outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: SDG target 3.6, which aims to reduce global road traffic deaths and injuries by 50% by 2020 and SDG target 11.2, which aims to provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all by 2030.
By other terms of the text, the Assembly encouraged Member States to develop safer road infrastructure and to implement United Nations vehicle-safety regulations or equivalent national standards. It also urged them to implement road-safety policies for the protection of children, youth, older persons and persons with disabilities, and invited the World Health Organization (WHO) to continue to monitor progress, through global status reports, during the ongoing Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020: Member States are specifically invited to adopt comprehensive legislation on key risk factors like speeding, drinking and driving and improve the safety of vehicles and roads.
CITA is welcoming the adoption of the resolution and fully agrees on its item 6 that reaffirms the role and importance of the 1997 agreement on periodic technical inspection of vehicles: a compulsory vehicle inspection (both periodic and roadside) is crucial to improving road safety.
Moreover, the resolution could pave the way for the creation of a UN Road Safety Fund. This would greatly support efforts to improve road and vehicle safety standards in the developing world. Increased funding for road and vehicle safety can unlock sustainable progress in making roads safer for all users in all countries, and in particular in developing countries where unsafe roads are today threatening to undermine poverty reduction achievements (the global cost of road traffic crashes is estimated at $500 billion every year!).