03 Oct 2016
Democratising Car Safety through Vision Zero

OECD International Transport Forum calls for road safety paradigm shift and endorses Global NCAP roadmap for vehicle safety

A new OECD/ITF report written by a group of more than 30 road safety experts representing 24 countries has backed Global NCAP’s road map for improved vehicle safety.

The OECD/ITF report also recognises the important role of Global NCAP and regional NCAPs in increasing vehicle safety and reducing fataties by encouraging legislative ‘push’ and consumer ‘pull’ in automotive markets across the world.

Launched during a high level road safety seminar held at its headquarters in Paris today (3), the new report titled Zero road deaths and serious injuries: leading a paradigm shift to a safe system found that to significantly reduce road fatalities and serious injuries on a global scale will require more than increasing efforts in implementing traditional road safety measures.

Instead governments must adopt a paradigm shift, taking the UNs road safety related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as an opportunity to fundamentally review their road safety policies in the context of a Safe System approach.

The report includes a clear call to action “Better ways to protect lives and prevent injuries exist in a safe system. The time to act boldy is now. Visionary, strong and sustained leadership is vital” through ten key recommendations:

– Think safe roads, not safer roads
– Provide strong, sustained leadership for the paradigm shift to a Safe System
– Foster a sense of urgency to drive change
– Underpin aspirational goals with concrete operational targets
– Establish shared responsibility for road safety
– Apply a results-focused way of working among road safety stakeholders
– Leverage all parts of a Safe System for greater overall effect and so that if one part fails the other parts will still prevent serious harm
– Use a Safe System to make city traffic safe for vulnerable road users
– Build Safe System capacity in low and middle-income countries to improve road safety in rapidly motorising parts of the world
– Support data collection, analysis and research on road traffic as a Safe System

The report also highlighted the role vehicle safety regulations and consumer information programmes can contribute as part of this paradigm shift. Seen in the context of a Safe System approach, Global NCAP’s roadmap for vehicle safety calls for the combination of stronger consumer information and the universal application of minimum international standards for crash protection and avoidance.

Among Global NCAP’s recommendations are proposals for the mandatory application to all new cars of the United Nation’s regulations for front, side, and pedestrian impact and electronic stability control by 2020 at the latest.

Global NCAP Secretary General, David Ward, a member of the editorial committee and a significant contributor to the report said:

“Global NCAP welcomes and endorses the recommendations of this new report and strongly supports the Safe System paradigm shift the OECD/ITF is now calling on governments to adopt.

“In 2015 from a total of 68 million new cars as many as 25% fail to meet UN minimum safety standards, lacking air bags, anti-lock brakes, or electronic stability control. By 2020 at the latest Global NCAP wants all new cars to meet UN crash test standards with air bags, ABS and ESC fitted as standard. This needs government action to apply UN vehicle safety standards more widely and greater effort to stimulate customer demand for safer motor vehicles.”

Editors Note:

REPORT: OECD/ITF Zero road deaths and serious injuries: leading a paradigm shift to a safe system

REPORT: Democratising Car Safety – Global NCAPs Recommended Vehicle Regulatory RoadMap