Road safety “needs better data” | Smart Highways Magazine: Industry News

Road safety “needs better data”

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Road safety experts from around the globe have adopted the “Marrakech Declaration on Better Safety Data for Better Safety Outcomes.”

Its message is that improving the quality of road safety data is essential to reducing the number of road deaths and injuries.

The “Marrakech Declaration” has been adopted by international road safety experts from more than 40 countries who met in Morocco for the 6th IRTAD.

The International Transport Forum says that around 1.3 million people are killed and 20 to 50 million injured in road crashes around the world every year. The United Nations are targeting to halve the number of road deaths in the near future.

The ”Marrakech Declaration on Better Safety Data for Better Safety Outcomes”, adopted on the final day of the conference, makes a number of recommendations aimed at policy makers and other leaders with responsibility for road safety. These include:

·         Clearly identify which data are needed for making decisions in road safety. 

·         Address underreporting of road crashes and casualties.

·         Use more data on injury crashes – fatality data are insufficient to fully understand road safety problems. A common definition for injuries will allow comparisons.

·         Better knowledge of road safety also relies on better safety performance indicators, exposure data and context information. 

·         Let a national agency analyse and publish road safety data collected at state and national levels.

·         Monitor the main risk factors. Make results publicly available and use them to adapt road safety strategies.

·         Harmonise road safety data based on common definitions. Develop common methodologies to enable meaningful comparisons.

·         Share road safety data among countries and co-operate within international initiatives. Benchmarking between countries, regions and cities, has proven effective, for instance through the regional road safety observatory in Latin America. Similar initiatives would be beneficial in other regions, including Africa.

“Good road safety data is fundamental to achieving the road safety objectives set by ambitious countries and contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals”, said Young Tae Kim, Secretary-General of the International Transport Forum (ITF), who also presented the organisation’s Road Safety Annual Report 2017 with latest road safety data for 40 countries.

“Reliable data are essential to understand, assess and monitor the nature and magnitude of the road safety problem and the related solutions”, added Fred Wegman, chair or the IRTAD Group, the ITF’s permanent working group on road safety. “Improvements made to the quality of road safety data will also improve the quality of data driven policy decisions.”


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