We know what works:
Increased use of Helmet and Seat-belt, adhered speed limits, no drink and drive, awareness, knowledge of road rules and regulations, Improved road conditions, shifting to sustainable transport modes such as bus rapid transit system and creating pedestrian space and protected low speed lanes.
Administration is responsible to improve the Road Conditions and to enforce the related Laws. But other parts can be handled by the society in private- public partnership.
Release of Second Global Status Report on Road safety, 2013, presents information on road safety from 182 countries accounting almost 99% of the world’s population. The report highlights that from 2007-2010, 88 countries reduced the number of deaths on their roads, showing gains are possible.
The Global status report on road safety 2015, reflecting information from 180 countries, indicates that the total number of road traffic deaths worldwide has plateaued at 1.25 million per year, with the highest road traffic fatality rates in low-income countries. In the last three years, 17 countries have aligned at least one of their laws with best practice on seat-belts, drink–driving, speed, motorcycle helmets or child restraints.
On the issue of strengthening trauma and emergency-care services, there are some times a sense that such improvements are difficult and too costly, especially in low and middle income countries like ours, this impedes a coherent and decisive action.
Romania has developed a functional nation-wide trauma care system. This system saves many lives and could be a good model for other countries especially middle income countries, as it has been built within limited resources.
One could mention a tougher stance on law enforcement, road safety education for pedestrians, students and drivers, awareness raising campaigns, road safety in the urban mobility plans, vehicles safety measures and creation of a national information system on traffic and road conditions. But it is possible.
In the low-income sector, Romania registerd a downward trend of serious traffic accident-rates compared to the previous year. But India showed an upward trend, which is concerning.
Despite of growing awareness and the general political commitment to tackle the road safety crisis, we need to sustain the momentum by adequate investments in effective responses.
District Transport Officer (Retd.)
Project Director & Sr. Vice President, TDPSRSA