Global Road Safety

Australia collaborates in global efforts to improve road safety through participating in the work of various international forums and bodies.

Global goals for sustainable development – road safety

In September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a series of Sustainable Development Goals as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The goals include the following targets for road safety by 2030:

  • To halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents (adjusted in August 2020 Resolution).
  • To provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons.

United Nations Resolution – Improving Global Road Safety

On 31 August 2020, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted resolution A/74/299 on Improving Global Road safety. The resolution includes provisions for the establishment of a Second Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030 with a goal to reduce road deaths and injuries by 50 per cent by 2030. It also contains specific provisions encouraging the adoption of policies and measures supporting:

  • vulnerable road users
  • better post-crash care
  • enhanced driver qualification frameworks
  • expanded legislation regarding seatbelt use, child restraints, and alcohol and drug driving
  • accelerated adoption of standards mandating inclusion of new vehicle safety technologies.

The Second Decade of Action for Road Safety was launched on 28 October 2021 with the release of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action.

UN Global Road Safety Week

The UN held its sixth Global Road Safety Week from 17-23 May 2021. The 2021 theme centered on the benefits of low-speed urban streets as the heart of global communities. It called on policy-makers to limit speeds to 30 km/h in high density community areas as part of their #Love30 Campaign.

Other forums

Australia exchanges knowledge and expertise with other countries through Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the World Road Association (PIARC) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) .

Australia also contributes to global road safety improvements through the Office of Road Safety within the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (the Department), Austroads, state and territory government road safety agencies and road safety research institutions.

Australia is Chair of the Asia Pacific Road Safety Observatory (APRSO) – the regional forum on road safety data, policies and practices to ensure the protection of human life on the roads across Asia and the Pacific.

Australia also works cooperatively with the International Transport Forum and the Global Road Safety Facility, a global multi-donor fund hosted by the World Bank, designed to help governments develop road safety management capacity and scale up road safety delivery in Low and Middle Income Countries.

Australia made a significant contribution to developing ISO 39001—the world's first road traffic safety management standard. The standard, published in 2012, is a voluntarily-adopted tool to assist organisations to embed the Safe System approach in their everyday operations.

Australia is committed to improving road safety across Australasia more broadly.

The Department provides funding to the Australasian College of Road Safety (ACRS) to conduct international engagement through its International Outreach Chapter (IOC). The ACRS IOC:

  • brings together individuals and organisations interested in contributing to road safety improvements in Asia and in low to middle income countries
  • shares and discusses learnings, experiences and opportunities with fellow IOC members
  • encourages, supports and advises each other on issues and challenges through expertise, experience and evidence sharing
  • opens up collaboration and partnership opportunities.

Through the IOC in Asia, ACRS has been able to draw on the input of its members and fellows who work in the region, undertake research in areas of importance to the region, work with international organisations involved in Asia, and philanthropic organisations and governments interested in improving road safety and health outcomes in the region.

The Department also contributes funding towards the annual Australasian Road Safety Conference, managed by the ACRS, which includes sponsorship for delegates to the conference from Low and Middle Income Countries in Asia-Pacific and Africa.

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