Every year 1.25 million people are killed and around 50 million injured in road traffic crashes, which makes it one of the most pressing health emergencies and development issues of our time. Every day 500 children lose their lives because of road crashes. It is the leading cause of death for young people aged 15 to 29, and the eighth leading cause of death globally. Almost every person knows someone who has been involved in a road crash.
Under SDG 3 (Target 3.6), the international community has committed to “halve the number of global deaths from road traffic accidents by 2020”. However, the world is very far from being on track to achieve this (see figure 1).
This is why member States, in General Assembly resolution 70/260, requested the UN Secretary-General to consider the possibility of establishing, from voluntary contributions, a Road Safety Trust Fund, to support the implementation of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action and the road safety-related Sustainable Development Goals, as appropriate, and to report thereon to Member States
The proposed UN Road Safety Fund will aim at bridging the gaps in the mobilization of adequate resources to fund road safety projects at local, national and global levels. The total additional grant funding for road safety needed to achieve the SDG road safety targets is estimated at $770 million annually over the next decade. Funding should be provided by voluntary contributions from member States, philanthropies and from innovative funding mechanisms such as contributions from each car or tire sold or contributions from insurance companies that are to benefit from a reduction in road traffic crashes.
The proposed UN Road Safety Fund will serve as a vehicle to leverage additional funding. It is estimated that every $100 million contributed to the Fund would support:
- the leveraging of $3.4 billion of country and city road safety investment;
- the saving of 64,000 lives; and
- the averting of 640,000 serious injuries.
With $770 million of grant funding per year over the coming decade, the proposed UN Road Safety Fund could save 5 million lives and avert 50 million serious injuries in low and middle-income countries.
Mr. Jean Todt, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, said: “I strongly welcome the proposed establishment of a dedicated UN Fund for Road Safety. The proposal puts forward an excellent starting point for consultations with member states and others. It provides a clear indication of the level of resources required and types of interventions necessary to make a real difference".
The draft proposal was developed upon request from the UN Secretary-General, by UNECE, as the host of the UN Road Safety Conventions, in collaboration with the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, Mr. Jean Todt, WHO, other regional commissions and a broad range of road safety organisations in the UN Road Safety Collaboration, at the request of the Secretary-General following the call from member States contained in General Assembly resolution 70/260.
Informal consultations with member States in Geneva and New York and with civil society, the private sector, academia and other stakeholders will continue in the coming months. Formal consultations with member States will take place during the next session of UNECE’s Inland Transport Committee in February 2017.
Note to editors
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development contains targets on road safety in two of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals:
Sustainable Development Goal 3
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Target 3.6: By 2020, halve the number of global deaths from road traffic accidents.
Sustainable Development Goal 11
Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Target 11.2: By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons.
Figure 1 - Number of deaths from road crashes, 2010-2020
Source: OECD, International Transport Forum
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