Global Commitments

Each year, more than 1.19 million people die on the world’s roads and tens of millions are seriously injured. Road traffic crashes are currently the number one killer of young people aged 15–29 and the 12th leading cause of death among all people worldwide. Alongside the devastation that road traffic crashes impose on victims’ families and loved ones, traffic crashes take a tremendous toll on the economy. Each year, developing countries lose between 1% and 3% of their gross domestic product (GDP) due to medical costs, productivity losses, and other expenses resulting from deaths and injuries on the road, which is more than most of them receive in development aid. Some estimates put the global macroeconomic cost of road traffic injuries as high as US$ $1.8 trillion, roughly equivalent to 10–12% of global GDP. These consequences are preventable and NGOs play a critical role in reducing the impact of road traffic crashes around the world.

Several global commitments have helped to define the road safety response and provided a framework for evidence-based action.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

In 2015, UN Member States adopted the post-2015 sustainable development agenda incorporating 17 targets as a road map to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. The 17 Goals are all interconnected, and in order to leave no one behind, it is important that we achieve them all by 2030. 

Safer roads are addressed in two of the 17 goals:

  • Goal 3 Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages:
    • 3.6 By 2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents
  • Goal 11 Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable:
    • 11.2 By 2030, 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

Read more HERE.

Global Voluntary Performance Targets for Road Safety (voluntary targets)

In 2017, UN Member States agreed a set of 12 targets to provide a framework for national road safety strategy covering vehicle and road standards, key risks including managing speed, seat belts and child restraints, drink and drug driving, and mobile phone use, commercial driving, and post-crash care. Read more HERE

Stockholm Declaration

In 2020, Ministers gathered at the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety agreed the Stockholm Declaration. The Declaration includes extending the target to reduce road deaths and injuries by 50% to 2030 and details action that governments need to take to achieve it. It is due to be ratified at a meeting of the UN General Assembly, which was delayed from April 2020. Read the Declaration HERE.

2020 UN Resolution

On 31 August 2020, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/74/299 on Improving Global Road Safety.

The resolution was based on the Stockholm Declaration agreed at the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in February 2020. It set out a new target for road safety target for the next 10 years and proclaims the Second Decade of Action for Road Safety. Read more HERE.

Decade of Action for Road Safety

Second Decade of Action 2021-2030: The second Decade of Action was declared by UN Resolution A/RES/74/299 on Improving Global Road Safety. The target for the decade is to reduce road traffic deaths and serious injuries by 50% by 2030.

The Global Plan for the Decade of Action: A Global Plan for the Decade of Action was drafted and launched on 28 October 2021 as a guide for governments to achieve the 2030 goal. The launch was a significant advocacy opportunity for NGOs to push for recommendations within the Global Plan that would help their countries achieve the 2030 targets for the Decade of Action. Find the Global Plan HERE

Political Declaration

A political declaration (A/RES/76/294) was negotiated by UN Member States and issued at the High-level Meeting on Improving Global Road Safety on 30 June 2022. This was a negotiated document agreed by all member states by a silence procedure. It was issued as UN Resolution A/RES/76/294 to be adopted at the 76th UN General Assembly in September 2022. Read the Declaration HERE.