The UN General Assembly met last week in a renewed push on road safety, with a focus on driver training, conditions and monitoring, as well as vehicle standards, public transport and international cooperation.
Two years into the United Nation’s second decade of action on road safety, the UN General Assembly has met in a special session in New York. The High-Level Meeting on Improving Global Road Safety aimed to regain momentum lost during the pandemic, with a focus on concise and action-oriented political activities to halve fatalities worldwide by 2030.
The UN’s first decade of action on road safety, from 2011 to 2022, fell well short in achieving its target of a 50% reduction in road traffic fatalities.
The meeting agreed on key actions to advance road safety up to 2030, including areas related to commercial road transport and developing a more robust safety culture for all road users: things that IRU has long worked on and advocated for with the UN and other international organisations.
Driver standards in the spotlight
Agreed actions focused in particular on improving the working conditions of professional drivers by implementing high standards on safety and health at work, adequate vehicle conditions and professional driver qualification frameworks built on recognised standards for training, certification, licensing, fitness and driving assessment.
These actions are already at the heart of IRU’s longstanding work on certification and standards, particularly via the organisation’s RoadMasters solution and network of associate training institutes.
Alongside efforts on collective passenger transport, the meeting also agreed on actions to create evidence based awareness programmes to promote a culture of safety among all road users.
Strengthening international cooperation
There was also an agreement on strengthening international cooperation with the sharing of good practices, successful implementation mechanisms and technical standards, as well as harmonising practices on training, driving hours and working conditions, vehicle registration, certification and licensing.
IRU has recently wrapped up a three-year project to formalise and professionalise the commercial road transport sector in Togo and has seen first-hand how this approach can benefit road safety standards, especially in the global south.
IRU looks forward to continuing working with the UN other regional and international bodies to deliver the 2030 decade of action on road safety over the coming eight years.