Summit Highlights Need for Better Data for International Travellers
“Tourism accounts for one tenth of the global GDP and is a key driver of economic growth,” said
Rochelle Sobel, Founder and President of the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT), at its inaugural road safety travel summit last month. She highlighted that tourists are particularly vulnerable road users; with road crashes are the single greatest risk to healthy Americans traveling abroad. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly one half of the medical evacuations back to the US are the result of a road crash.
The summit, which was titled Safe Travel and Tourism: Paving the Way, a Road Safety Travel Summit, featured panels where academics, ambassadors, corporate representatives from the insurance sector, US State Department, World Bank, and FIA Foundation, discussed the resources and policies needed to respond to this growing issue. The summit concluded with a summary of the main points and recommendations:
Data: Data is important but it must be connected to people and trigger action.
Accountability: Four groups have responsibility to improve road safety—individuals, government, private sector (insurance companies, large corporations) and civil society (ASIRT, FIA Foundation, etc.), which must push the other three groups.
Execution: World Bank conducted a staff survey on crashes and near crashes that led to the crafting and implementation of a road safety directive. A follow up survey showed that the number of employee crashes and near crashes dropped significantly and no fatalities were reported. Based on the follow up, World Bank realized there were still gaps in implementation, which led to further updates of the road safety directive. Similar surveys will be conducted every 3 years to evaluate the impact of the road safety management system and achieve its continuous improvement.
Leadership: Do not be complacent. Challenge the status quo and take action. The ASIRT
recommendations document was considered to be a good start and if a few of these recommendations are implemented, we will begin to achieve goals.