Krug: Why we need road safety performance targets, indicators

On this World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, we once again turn our thoughts to the millions who have lost loved ones on the world's roads this year.

Every day the media bring us news of tragic events, behind each of which are a grieving family and friends, whose lives are forever changed.

It is indeed a time to remember and to acknowledge that much more must be done – and now – to avoid such tragic loss of life.

Two years ago governments around the world set an ambitious target to drastically reduce road traffic deaths and injuries by 50 percent by 2020.

Released in May this year by WHO in partnership with members of the UN Road Safety Collaboration, SaveLIVES: a road safety technical package gives guidance to governments and their partners on how to advance progress towards that target.

With its six strategies and 22 interventions, the package has done the hard work of prioritizing what works.

This includes measures to design roads and vehicles for safety, manage speed, enforce traffic laws and provide emergency care for victims following a crash. The package also underscores the relevance of leadership as the key to success.

Accelerating progress towards safer roads will be facilitated with the setting of road safety performance targets and indicators, a process currently underway.

Once finalized, this will mean that governments will know how far they have come and how far they still need to go to save millions of lives.

The best way to honour the memory of those who have suffered on the world’s roads would be for governments to fulfil the commitments they made at the start of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 before it is too late.

My colleagues and I wish you a successful World Day of Remembrance.

This is a statement of the chair of the UN Road Safety Collaboration Dr Etienne Krug during the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims observed on November 20, 2017.

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