18 Feb 2020

HLP Members meeting, Stockholm

On 18 February 2020, more than 40 HLP Members met in Stockholm, ahead of the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety.

Building on the document “Road Safety as if it really mattered: a sea change in thinking”, the discussions focused on developing new approaches to the global road safety challenge.

Throughout the meeting, the HLP Members agreed on the need to be disruptive and identify potential courses of action to promote a new approach no longer based on “interventions” that treat the symptoms of unsafe road systems, but rather relying on “safety” as a core and fundamental value. The points below were highlighted as of major importance:
• Treating road safety as a value and the need to learn the lessons from the aviation industry to consider safety as the DNA of road transport policies;
• Approaching road safety as a human rights’ issue, as it could help raise awareness among individuals and could also facilitate holding relevant players accountable, especially governments and the private sector;
• Putting the focus on the education of children and youngsters as key players for changing values and on the need to ensure adequate lifelong driver training;
• Taking into account the gender perspective in road safety.
The discussions also highlighted that mobility systems fully based on safety would have a beneficial impact, as they would reduce the social and economic toll inflicted by road crashes and allow for transport to be more sustainable, accessible and inclusive. To make this happen, several changes are needed.

At a government level, this implies ensuring safety is a central concern when it comes to designing and implementing policies and mobility systems, both domestically and internationally. Participants at the meeting called for reinforced public and private alliances to deliver large scale change and make safety the core value of all transport systems.

At a corporate level, companies should put road safety at the centre of their operations, from their relationship with suppliers to the delivery of services, including the relationship with their employees. The HLP welcomed the work currently carried out by the FIA to develop a Benchmarking Index to assess the road safety performance of private companies.

To further support the call for a shift in paradigm, the Multilateral Development Banks represented in the HLP expressed their willingness to:
• coordinate road safety activities in their countries of operation and share information in order to contribute to road safety in an effective way;
• make road safety a priority area of their operations so that projects impacting safety conditions on the road include appropriate mitigation measures to ensure positive outcomes;
• support the investigation of innovative solutions to channel more private financing into road safety.

Participants also discussed the potential establishment of an innovative fundraising mechanism for the United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund, focusing on the private sector, and welcomed the work done in that direction.