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New tool to help harness potential of data-driven decision making for improved road safety

Published: 20 February 2018

Every year 1.25 million people are killed and around 50 million are injured in road traffic crashes, often seriously, making improving road safety among one of the most pressing health emergencies of our time.

In this context, identifying specific road safety challenges and designing targeted solutions can make a significant contribution to reducing deaths on the road.

As part of its efforts to improve road safety, UNECE has developed the state of the art “Safe Future Inland Transport Systems (SafeFITS)” model to support knowledge-based decision making in transport policy. Its primary objective is to assist governments and decision makers to identify the most appropriate road safety policies and measures, allowing them to simulate the impact and effectiveness of different possible interventions based on real-world data. 

The SafeFITS tool, which was launched today at the policy segment of UNECE’s Inland Transport Committee, is currently being piloted in Albania and Georgia, responding to draft recommendations of Road Safety Performance Reviews recently undertaken in the two countries.

These tests will be used to fine tune the model, analyze the road safety data collection mechanism and methodology, and recommend further refinements before the SafeFITS model is made available to the public.

Jean Todt, United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Road Safety, praised the potential of SafeFITS. "SafeFITS provides a tool to help Member States review their current road safety situation and priorities, assisting them to determine the most appropriate and beneficial policy options for their national context, under the framework of the Decade of Action for Road Safety."

"Today’s SafeFITS launch is a tangible contribution to our road safety efforts. This ground-breaking tool is the result of open and inclusive cooperation between policy-makers, academics, NGOs and the road safety community, under the leadership of UNECE, building on our record in developing decision-making policy tools and our unique role in advancing road safety", stated UNECE Executive Secretary Olga Algayerova.

Exploiting the currently available global data and analysis techniques, SafeFITS is the first global model to support road safety policy, allowing for global assessments (i.e. monitoring the global progress towards road safety targets) and individual country assessments of various policy scenarios.

With SafeFITS, it will be possible for countries around the world to evaluate the impact of a range of specific policies and measures, such as the renewal of vehicle fleets with safer vehicles, enforced periodic vehicle inspection, safer road infrastructure e.g. reduction of high-risk road sections, and the use of safety features including seatbelts and helmets meeting international standards.

The SafeFITS model has three main components:

  • Intervention, allowing analysis of the effects of single interventions at national or regional level;
  • Forecasting, enabling user-defined scenarios or combinations of measures in a country to obtains medium- or long-term road safety forecasts for each scenario;
  • Benchmarking, facilitating an area-to-area analysis by selected variables (e.g. countries, geographical regions, etc.).

The development of the SafeFITS tool was financed by the International Road Transport Union (IRU).

For more information, please visit: http://www.unece.org/?id=47239


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