Friends and colleagues,
Welcome to the International road safety centre (IRSC) and this, my first blog from IRSC. As some of you will know, setting up IRSC and its activities has taken a little longer than we expected but we are now getting there. We have started some advisory activities already and expect to be fully operational in the next few months in terms of the regular programme of courses and training. I intend to do a periodic blog on issues of relevance and interest to road safety professionals – especially those working on road safety issues of LMICs.
Much of the background and rationale for IRSC can be found by just reading the downloadable IRSC brochure and relevant pages of the website. However, I wanted to make a few personal comments about the underlying intent and aspirations of the various organisations and world class international safety advocates involved in this enterprise
Despite the successes to date and continuing UN Decade of Road safety, much remains to be done and around 100 LMICs are still struggling to address their road safety issues effectively. In many of these countries there are now some knowledgeable and dedicated safety specialists trying to do what they can but there are far too few of them and they often do not have adequate support and funding from their governments to make the changes necessary for success in their safety sectors. There is often still inadequate understanding by many government decision makers that road safety is not just a transport problem but one which is an economic problem, a health problem and a social problem for most countries and one which significantly inhibits their socio economic development.
There is a need for more investment into road safety in LMICs and an urgent need to support and develop the capacity of local LMIC experts in all 5 UN Decade pillars of road safety. There is also a need to professionalise and develop the whole field of road safety to create a clearly defined route to an acceptable qualification as a road safety professional irrespective which aspects of road safety the expertise is in. This needs to offer a route to a recognised road safety qualification and possible access to further studies.
The partner organisations and individuals involved in establishing IRSC believe this International Centre will become a catalyst for quicker development of road safety in LMICs and we intend that it becomes a central resource to develop more sustainable road safety activities across the developing world. In order to encourage and facilitate development of local training courses in each country, IRSC will make available its training materials to trainers in LMICs and will assist where appropriate in initiating in country training courses at our partner training institutions in LMICs
We hope you and others interested in this topic will support and assist us in this important and urgent task