The Commonwealth Road Safety Initiative Expert Panel Report, launched on 9 December in London, outlines key recommendations to achieve the United Nations Global Goals in 53 Commonwealth countries and was shaped with iRAP input.

The launch of the report ‘Putting road safety on the Commonwealth agenda’ was held at the Royal Society of Arts in London, with the HRH Prince Michael of Kent addressing attendees:

‘According to the World Health Organisation, Commonwealth countries suffer over 500,000 road fatalities every year. And today road injury is the world’s number one cause of death of children and young people between the ages of five and twenty-nine. What more reason do we need to recognize road safety as an issue of relevance to the Commonwealth?’, the HRH Prince Michael of Kent said in his opening address.

The report advocates for the prioritisation of road safety on the Agenda with action for safer vehicles, roads, road users and speeds to achieve #3starorbetter #50by30.

The recommendations listed in the report are summarised below.

How iRAP was able to contribute?
iRAP experts were able to contribute to this report, in particular recommendation 5: Adopting the Safe System Approach. That is ‘the Commonwealth countries recognise that some people take risks but we all can make mistakes in traffic that lead to crashes and adopt the Safe System approach to systematically change the inherent risks in the road network by improving the safety features of roads and vehicles.’

Excerpt from page 12 of the report:

“It is well recognised that the safety of road infrastructure directly impacts on road trauma outcomes. And when safety is taken into consideration during the planning, design, implementation and operation of roads, it can reduce fatalities and serious injuries substantially.

For Commonwealth countries, it is estimated by the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) that achieving a greater than 75% of travel on 3-star or better roads will save 160,000 lives a year (a 40%+ reduction) and save an estimated 35 million deaths and serious injuries over the 20 year life of the treatments. The arguments for investing in safer roads also extend into the financial realm. iRAP estimates that mobilising <0.2% of GDP per year for safer roads infrastructure would deliver these outcomes for Commonwealth countries, with $5 of benefits returned for every $1 invested.

Find out more from the iRAP Business Case for Safer Roads tool, which provides a high-level global estimate of the lives and serious injuries that can be saved, and the social and economic benefits of maximising the percentage of travel on 3 star or better roads by 2030.

Congratulations to the Towards Zero Foundation and the members of the Road Safety Initiative Expert Panel for providing this report and recommendations.

Read the HRH Prince Michael of Kent full address here.

Download the Commonwealth Road Safety Initiative Expert Panel Report here.