Setting a Commonwealth Agenda for Road Injury Prevention
Every year in Commonwealth countries over 210,000 people are killed in road crashes and millions more are seriously injured. Today road traffic injuries are now the leading cause of death for children and young people aged 5-29 years. This is a major challenge for the Commonwealth as over 60% of its countries’ population is under 30. Road safety in the 53 countries of the Commonwealth is very diverse. Fatality rates in road crashes range from 3 to above 30 per 100,000 population. However, in nearly all Commonwealth countries fatality and injury rates are rising rather than falling. Across the Commonwealth the level of road deaths remains unacceptably high and urgent action is required to prevent the loss of over 2 million lives in the decade to 2030.
The Commonwealth Road Safety Initiative (CRSI), to be launched in London on 7th May during the UN Global Road Safety Week, will develop a framework for road injury prevention in Commonwealth countries aiming to halve deaths and serious injuries from road crashes by 2030. Hosted by the Towards Zero Foundation, under the patronage of His Royal Highness, Prince Michael of Kent, the CRSI will address the action needed to prevent a decade of predictable and preventable death and serious injury on the roads of Commonwealth countries.
The CRSI has brought together a distinguished panel of road safety experts to prepare a report of recommendations for Commonwealth countries. Building on established Commonwealth commitments to youth, health, and the Sustainable Development Goals, the CRSI will highlight the importance of:
setting a Commonwealth target to halve road deaths and serious injuries by 2030;
prioritising road safety as a key focus issue for child and adolescent health;
adopting the Safe System Approach to road injury prevention in high, middle, & low-income Commonwealth countries;
promoting good governance and road safety;
promoting workplace road safety;
building multi-sector Commonwealth partnerships for road safety;
integrating road safety within the Sustainable Development Goals.
The CRSI Expert Panel will be released in London on 9th December 2019. The report will establish agenda for a decade of Commonwealth action on road safety and seek to influence a series of important intergovernmental meetings relevant to road injury prevention that will be held in 2020 and 2021. These include:
The 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety to be held in Stockholm, Sweden on 19th-20th February 2020 (www.roadsafetysweden.com)
The UN General Assembly debate on ‘Improving Global Road Safety’ to be held during the 74th Session expected to be held in April 2020.
The next Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM) due to be held in Rwanda in June 2020.
The next Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting to be held in Jamaica in 2021.