Five Pillars of the UN Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011)

Section 4.2 of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 (PDF) recommends a range of road safety measures that “should take place at local, national, regional and global levels, but the focus will primarily be on national and local level actions.” Countries are encouraged to implement the following measures “within the legal constructs of national and local governments.” The following text is reprinted from pp. 11-17, with some formatting changes and the addition of hyperlinks to further key documents.

While not all five pillars are equally indicative of a Vision Zero ‘safe systems’ approach, they contain enough good ideas for best practices to merit printing in full.

Pillar 1 : Road Safety Management
Pillar 2 : Safer Roads and Mobility
Pillar 3 : Safer Vehicles
Pillar 4 : Safer Road Users
Pillar 5 : Post-Crash Response


Pillar 1 : Road Safety Management

Adhere to and/or fully implement UN legal instruments and encourage the creation of regional road safety instruments. Encourage the creation of multi-sectoral partnerships and designation of lead agencies with the capacity to develop and lead the delivery of national road safety strategies, plans and targets, underpinned by the data collection and evidential research to assess countermeasure design and monitor implementation and effectiveness.

Activity 1 : Adhere to and/or fully implement the major United Nations road safety related agreements and conventions; and encourage the creation of new regional instruments similar to the European Agreement concerning the Work of Crews of Vehicles engaged in International Road Transport (AETR), as required, including:

Convention on Road Traffic, of 8 November 1968, aiming at facilitating international road traffic and at increasing road safety through the adoption of uniform road traffic rules;

Convention on Road Signs and Signals, of 8 November 1968, setting up a set of commonly agreed road signs and signals;

AETR, of 1 July 1970, to be used as a model the creation of regional legal instruments.

Activity 2 : Establish a lead agency (and associated coordination mechanisms) on road safety involving partners from a range of sectors through:

• designating a lead agency and establishing related secretariat;

• encouraging the establishment of coordination groups; and

• developing core work programmes.

Activity 3 : Develop a national strategy (at a cabinet or ministerial level) coordinated by the lead agency through:

• confirming long-term investment priorities;

• specifying agency responsibilities and accountabilities for development and implementation of core work programmes;

• identifying implementation projects;

• building partnership coalitions;

• promoting road safety management initiatives such as the new ISO traffic safety management standard ISO 39001; and

• establishing and maintaining the data collection systems necessary to provide baseline data and monitor progress in reducing road traffic injuries and fatalities and other important indicators such as cost, etc.

Activity 4 : Set realistic and long-term targets for national activities based on the analysis of national traffic crash data through:

• identifying areas for performance improvements; and

• estimating potential performance gains.

Activity 5 : Work to ensure that funding is sufficient for activities to be implemented through:

• building business cases for sustained funding based on the costs and benefits of proven investment performance;

• recommending core annual and medium-term budgetary targets;

• encouraging the establishment of procedures for the efficient and effective allocation of resources across safety programs;

• utilizing 10% of infrastructure investments for road safety; and

• identifying and implementing innovative funding mechanisms.

Activity 6 : Establish and support data systems for on-going monitoring and evaluation to include a number of process and outcome measures, including:

• establishing and supporting national and local systems to measure and monitor road traffic deaths, injuries and crashes;

• establishing and supporting national and local systems to measure and monitor intermediate outcomes, such as average speed, helmet-wearing rates, seat-belt wearing rates, etc.;

• establishing and supporting national and local systems to measure and monitor outputs of road safety interventions;

• establishing and supporting national and local systems to measure and monitor the economic impact of road traffic injuries; and

• establishing and supporting national and local systems to measure and monitor exposure to road traffic injuries.

Pillar 2 : Safer Roads and Mobility

Raise the inherent safety and protective quality of road networks for the benefit of all road users, especially the most vulnerable (e.g. pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists). This will be achieved through the implementation of various road infrastructure agreements under the UN framework, road infrastructure assessment and improved safety-conscious planning, design, construction and operation of roads.

Activity 1 : Promote road safety ownership and accountability among road authorities, road engineers and urban planners by:

• encouraging governments and road authorities to set a target to “eliminate high risk roads by 2020”;

• encouraging road authorities to commit a minimum of 10% of road budgets to dedicated safer road infrastructure programmes;

• making road authorities legally responsible for improving road safety on their networks through cost-effective measures and for reporting annually on the safety situation, trends and remedial work undertaken;

• establishing a specialist road safety or traffic unit to monitor and improve the safety of the road network:

• promoting the safe system approach and the role of self-explaining and forgiving road infrastructure;

• Adhere to and/or fully implement the regional road infrastructure Agreements developed under the auspices of the United Nations regional commissions and encourage the creation of similar regional instruments, as required; and

• monitoring the safety performance of investments in road infrastructure by national road authorities, development banks and other agencies.

Activity 2 : Promoting the needs of all road users as part of sustainable urban planning, transport demand management and land-use management by:

• planning land use to respond to the safe mobility needs of all, including travel demand management, access needs, market requirements, geographic and demographic conditions;

• including safety impact assessments as part of all planning and development decisions; and

• putting effective access and development control procedures in place to prevent unsafe developments.

Activity 3 : Promote safe operation, maintenance and improvement of existing road infrastructure by requiring road authorities to:

• identify the number and location of deaths and injuries by road user type, and the key infrastructure factors that influence risk for each user group;

• identify hazardous road locations or sections where excessive numbers or severity of crashes occur and take corrective measures accordingly;

• conduct safety assessments of existing road infrastructure and implement proven engineering treatments to improve safety performance;

• take a leadership role in relation to speed management and speed sensitive design and operation of the road network; and

• ensure work zone safety.

Activity 4 : Promote the development of safe new infrastructure that meets the mobility and access needs of all users by encouraging relevant authorities to:

• take into consideration all modes of transport when building new infrastructure;

• set minimum safety ratings for new designs and road investments that ensure the safety needs of all road users are included in the specification of new projects;

• use independent road safety impact assessment and safety audit findings in the planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of new road projects, and ensure the audit recommendations are duly implemented.

Activity 5 : Encourage capacity building and knowledge transfer in safe infrastructure by:

• creating partnerships with development banks, national authorities, civil society, education providers and the private sector to ensure safe infrastructure design principles are well understood and applied;

• promoting road safety training and education in low-cost safety engineering, safety auditing and road assessment; and

• developing and promoting standards for safe road design and operation that recognize and integrate with human factors and vehicle design.

Activity 6 : Encourage research and development in safer roads and mobility by:

• completing and sharing research on the business case for safer road infrastructure and the investment levels needed to meet the Decade of Action targets;

• promoting research and development into infrastructure safety improvements for road networks in low-income and middle-income countries; and

• promoting demonstration projects to evaluate safety improvement innovations, especially for vulnerable road users.

Pillar 3 : Safer Vehicles

Encourage universal deployment of improved vehicle safety technologies for both passive and active safety through a combination of harmonization of relevant global standards, consumer information schemes and incentives to accelerate the uptake of new technologies.

Activity 1: Encourage Member States to apply and promulgate motor vehicle safety regulations as developed by the United Nation’s World Forum for the Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP 29).

Activity 2 : Encourage implementation of new car assessment programmes in all regions of the world in order to increase the availability of consumer information about the safety performance of motor vehicles.

Activity 3 : Encourage agreement to ensure that all new motor vehicles are equipped with seat-belts and anchorages that meet regulatory requirements and pass applicable crash test standards (as minimum safety features).

Activity 4 : Encourage universal deployment of crash avoidance technologies with proven effectiveness such as Electronic Stability Control and Anti-Lock Braking Systems in motor vehicles.

Activity 5 : Encourage the use of fiscal and other incentives for motor vehicles that provide high levels of road user protection and discourage import and export of new or used cars that have reduced safety standards.

Activity 6 : Encourage application of pedestrian protection regulations and increased research into safety technologies designed to reduce risks to vulnerable road users.

Activity 7 : Encourage managers of governments and private sector fleets to purchase, operate and maintain vehicles that offer advanced safety technologies and high levels of occupant protection.

Pillar 4 : Safer Road Users

Develop comprehensive programmes to improve road user behaviour. Sustained or increased enforcement of laws and standards, combined with public awareness/education to increase seat-belt and helmet wearing rates, and to reduce drink-driving, speed and other risk factors.

Activity 1 : Increase awareness of road safety risk factors and prevention measures and implement social marketing campaigns to help influence attitudes and opinions on the need for road traffic safety programmes.

Activity 2 : Set and seek compliance with speed limits and evidence-based standards and rules to reduce speed-related crashes and injuries.

Activity 3 : Set and seek compliance with drink–driving laws and evidence-based standards and rules to reduce alcohol-related crashes and injuries.

Activity 4 : Set and seek compliance with laws and evidence-based standards and rules for motorcycle helmets to reduce head-injuries.

Activity 5 : Set and seek compliance with laws and evidence-based standards and rules for seat-belts and child restraints to reduce crash injuries.

Activity 6 : Set and seek compliance with transport, occupational health and safety laws, standards and rules for safe operation of commercial freight and transport vehicles, passenger road transport services and other public and private vehicle fleets to reduce crash injuries.

Activity 7 : Research, develop and promote comprehensive policies and practices to reduce work-related road traffic injuries in the public, private and informal sectors, in support of internationally recognized standards for road safety management systems and occupational health and safety.

Activity 8 : Promote establishment of Graduated Driver Licensing systems for novice drivers.

Pillar 5: Post-Crash Response

Increase responsiveness to post-crash emergencies and improve the ability of health and other systems to provide appropriate emergency treatment and longer term rehabilitation for crash victims.

Activity 1 : Develop prehospital care systems, including the extraction of a victim from a vehicle after a crash, and implementation of a single nationwide telephone number for emergencies, through the implementation of existing good practices.

Activity 2 : Develop hospital trauma care systems and evaluate the quality of care through the implementation of good practices on trauma care systems and quality assurance.

Activity 3 : Provide early rehabilitation and support to injured patients and those bereaved by road traffic crashes, to minimize both physical and psychological trauma.

Activity 4 : Encourage the establishment of appropriate road user insurance schemes to finance rehabilitation services for crash victims through: Introduction of mandatory third-party liability; and International mutual recognition of insurance, e.g. green card system.

Activity 5 : Encourage a thorough investigation into the crash and the application of an effective legal response to road deaths and injuries and therefore encourage fair settlements and justice for the bereaved and injuries.

Activity 6 : Provide encouragement and incentives for employers to hire and retain people with disabilities.

Activity 7 : Encourage research and development into improving post crash response.