Our mission is “Sharing road safety knowledge and expertise around the world”
2 The Global problem
Globally with 1.30 million deaths and up to 50 million persons injured and disabled annually there are over 3500 deaths every day on roads, equivalent to a 911 Twin towers tragedy or 10 jumbo jet airplane crashes every single day, 365 days a year. Sadly over 90% of such deaths occur in the developing world but road crashes remain a “silent plague” in most Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). Despite the launch of the UN Decade for Road safety 2011-2020 and its renewal as the UN Decade of Action on road safety 2021-2030, road safety has not had the serious attention or investment that other Global disasters, diseases and illnesses have received. LMICs lose up to 6% of their annual GDP because of road crashes which, in many cases, are preventable and for which effective solutions are known and proven. Figure 1 shows that fatality rates in LMICs are many times higher than those inn EU countries or the countries like Serbia (where IRSC is based) who have adopted, adapted and implemented similar solutions and achieved similar success. Transfer and implementation of similar solutions by safety professional in LMICs could help reduce fatality rates in such countries.
Figure1: Fatality Rates tin LMICs are many times higher than those in EU countries
Many developing countries do not yet have adequate numbers of safety professionals or institutional capacity to even address their road safety problems effectively to reduce the casualties and the recurring annual losses to their economies. Unfortunately, such losses are now frequently greater than the total development assistance that such countries receive from all sources, so the effectiveness and socio – economic impact of such aid support is often undermined and negated by this recurring drain upon the finances of such countries. Road crashes are now undoubtedly affecting the economic and social development of many LMICs and the wellbeing, poverty, and life chances of the poor in such countries.
This systemic underfunding of and lack of priority to road safety remains a continuing impediment to safety improvement. The inclusion of road safety targets into the Sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the UN Global road safety targets should focus more attention on the road safety problems of LMICs and make road safety activities eligible for development funding from bilateral agencies to help countries to begin to address this problem. The UN Decades of Action, the excellent work of the WHO and the UN Economic Commissions and the various guidelines on key risk factors developed under the collective effort of the organizations and individuals contributing to UN Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC) offers a source of guidance on best international practices.
If, in addition, the experience and expertise of the countries and individuals who have implemented successful road safety reforms and safety programmes can be shared with such LMICs, this will enable them to reduce the deaths and injuries on their roads. IRSC will assist in that process by providing teaching materials to develop local safety professionals in LMICs