21 Sep 2017
Stop the Crash – An Exemplar of Partnerships in Support of the SDGs


One of the most compelling aspects of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from my perspective is that, unlike their MDG predecessors, they were created via one of the most inclusive participatory processes ever seen with input from civil society and millions of individuals in over 100 countries1. Also, though they very eloquently and sensitively acknowledge the huge inequalities that exist in the current world system, they urge that it is possible for every individual, organisation and government to meet the solutions at whatever capacity and level is possible for them so that every human being can have a role to play in making them a reality. In this sense, each of us is a stakeholder, as well as a potential guardian and implementer.

With this understanding however, also comes the recognition that we are stronger and can achieve more together. For this reason, Partnerships are one of the five ‘P’s of the goals, which include People, Planet, Prosperity, Partnerships and Peace. The strong emphasis is on people and organisations coming together in partnership and collaborating to meet the targets and innovating to provide solutions for problems which can so easily fall through the gaps and which sometimes are not easily able to be addressed by any one person or organisation.

The UNDESA is the holding platform for Partnerships in support of the SDGs. It hosts almost 4,000 voluntary commitments and multi-stakeholder partnerships which mobilise technology, resources, skills and knowledge transfer to meet the targets covered by the goals. In August 2017, our Stop the Crash Partnership officially took its place as one of these Partnerships.

Established in 2015, Stop the Crash (STC) was launched in Brasilia, Brazil on the occasion of the 2nd Global Ministerial Conference on 18-19 November 2015. In 2016, there were two further large-scale demonstration events held in Santiago, Chile, in partnership with CEPAL (UN Commission for Latin America), and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, both featuring their respective Minister of Transport, with several smaller events held during the year. In 2017, STC was held in Bangkok, Thailand in support of UN Global Road Safety Week, with the second global event planned for Shanghai, China in October.

STC is a global initiative in support of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety and the SDGs to promote awareness and adoption of leading crash avoidance technologies in major emerging automobile markets. It supports SDG 3 (target 3.6), SDG 8 (target 8.8), SDG 11 (target 11.2) and SDG 17 (target 17.16 and 17.17). It highlights:

– Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
– Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)
– Anti-Lock Brakes for Motorcycles (ABS)
– Tyre Safety

STC’s choice of technologies allow the partnership to be relevant in a range of countries. For example it highlighted the latest versions of AEB in Europe and North America, whilst focusing on ESC in ASEAN and Latin American countries. At each event, live demonstrations of the technologies are presented to policy makers, media, and fleet managers, as well as the general public, who can each learn about and experience these first hand. Seminars are held in conjunction with the events to create discussion about how vehicle safety and implementation of new technologies can be improved in the country. These include presentations and the sharing of experiences from safety practitioners who have a background in capacity building and can bring knowledge from other regions. To further encourage capacity building and technology transfer, at each STC event, local partners are engaged, either to help with the set up and running of the event and/or to provide political support such as from a Transport Ministry. Local media are also invited and take part in the events so that they are further educated on the importance of the technologies and also to ensure the topic of vehicle safety will continue to be a focus in the region after the event is over.

Global NCAP is the secretariat for the initiative and the other partner organisations include civil society, corporate partners and technical partners: Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club E.V. (ADAC), Autoliv, Bosch, Continental, Consumers International, Denso, ITT Motions Technologies, Thatcham Research, Towards Zero Foundation (TZF) and ZF Friedrichshafen AG. Each partner makes a financial or in kind contribution to the initiative, and provides technical expertise and support on site at the events.


“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success” Henry Ford

Around 75% of registered partnerships are unable to get off the ground2. In contrast, since 2015, STC has been an amazing success story. It has been able to support the SDGs by not only increasing consumer demand for vehicles with the life-saving technologies it promotes, but also by leading to the changes necessary to make these technologies a legislative requirement for new vehicles. This is especially true of ESC. In 2016, at the STC event in Kuala Lumpur, the Minister of Transport of Malaysia announced that ESC will be mandatory on all new passenger models by June 2018. In addition, four manufacturers (Ford, Mazda, Subaru and Volvo) pledged to equip all vehicles with ESC as standard by January 2017, ahead of the planned legislation. Commitments towards legislation were also made in both Brasilia and Santiago, by the Ministers of Transport.

The uptake of these vehicle safety technologies and the production of vehicles which meet a minimum level of safety as per UN regulations will certainly lead to a reduced number of road deaths and injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has estimated that motor vehicle safety technologies have saved 613,501 lives in the US between 1960 and 20123. Similarly, in the European Union, between 2001 and 2012, there was a 55% reduction in car occupant fatalities4. This improvement is the result of a combination of policies which have affected user behaviour (such as seat belt wearing, speed reduction & reduced drink driving) and better road design, and safer cars. In the UK, car occupant fatalities dropped by 56% between 1989 and 2009. According to the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) safety improvements to vehicles made the greatest contribution to this figure accounting for around 15% of the overall reduction5. TRL has also estimated that the number of deaths in 2010 will have been between 18.5% and 20.5% less than would have been the case if there were no improvement in vehicle safety between 2006 and 20106. Another study of crash protection in the UK car fleet published in 2013 concluded that “Cars manufactured after 2008 typically had a crash involvement rate that was 36% below that of cars manufactured in 2000 for the accident year 2011.”7

Overall it is recognised that safer vehicles can play a significant role in injury prevention, but the exact deliverable in STC’s case depends on the situation in the country and how quickly the safer vehicles could become a bigger percentage of the vehicle fleet. Depending on the specific vehicle mix, there could be a difference in the level of reduced fatalities and injuries ranging from 15-50%. In India, 17% of crashes are caused by vehicle occupants and this figure is higher in other countries. The increase in safer vehicles is likely to be quicker in middle income countries where there are fleet policies in place that can push up the demand for safer cars.

A recent study in 2016 commissioned by Global NCAP and the Inter‐American Development Bank and conducted by the Transport Research Laboratory concluded that up to 40,000 car occupant fatalities and 400,000 serious injuries could be prevented in Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Brazil between 2016 and 2030, if minimum vehicle safety standards were applied. Economic assessment suggests that these casualty reductions could save up to 143 billion US dollars over the period 2016 to 20308.

Further details about the technologies

– Electronic Stability Control – an anti-skid technology

ESC is the most significant advance in vehicle safety since the introduction of the seat belt and one of the most important crash avoidance systems currently available. This anti-skid technology has already helped prevent hundreds of thousands of loss of control crashes and saved tens of thousands of lives.

Seventeen different studies which took place between 2001 and 2007 have shown ESC to be extremely effective, reducing single-vehicle crashes by approximately 30% as well as reducing the risk of opposing-traffic crashes and roll-over crashes, especially for Sport Utility Vehicles9. ESC is now mandatory in many high income countries. In the European Union, where ESC became a mandatory requirement in all new cars from November 2014, it is estimated that it prevented at least 188 500 injury crashes saved and more than 6 100 lives since 199510.

– Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)

AEB is an advanced safety technology that can help drivers avoid or mitigate collisions with other vehicles or vulnerable road users. AEB helps provide constant monitoring of the road ahead and is designed to assist the driver by automatically applying the brakes if they do not respond in an imminent crash situation.

A 2016 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), using US police-reported crash data, shows that AEB reduced rear-end crashes by about 40% on average11. According to data from Continental, AEB brakes your car five times faster than the average driver is able to12.

AEB currently exists in three formats responding to different kinds of obstacles:

Applying the brakes in low speed situations where a crash may be imminent in city environments such as queuing traffic, at intersections or in roundabouts.

Applying the brakes to avoid high speed collisions between two vehicles such as on motorways.

Applying the brakes to avoid hitting a pedestrian stepping into the road, even in situations where pedestrians enter the roadway from behind obstructions such as parked vehicles.

As AEB systems utilize differing sensor technologies and underlying algorithms current cars on the market may be fitted with all three of the systems or only a selection.

– Anti-Lock Brakes for Motorcycles

ABS for motorcycles prevents wheel lock-up and ensures bike stability as well as optimal deceleration while braking. ABS therefore significantly reduces the risk of falling and reduces stopping distance. On a motorcycle fitted with an antilock braking system, the ABS control unit constantly monitors the speed of the wheels using wheel-speed sensors. If a wheel seems like it might lock during hard braking or on slippery roads, the system regulates the braking pressure in a targeted manner, thereby ensuring optimum braking. In this way, the driving stability and manoeuvrability of the motorcycle is maintained, even during challenging driving conditions. This significantly reduces the risk of a brake-induced fall, and usually shortens the braking distance. In the US, the rate of fatal crashes has been estimated to be 37% lower for motorcycles equipped with optional ABS than for those same models without ABS13.

– Tyre Safety

Tyres are the sole point of contact between the vehicle and the road. All forces transmitted to the road are put down via a footprint no bigger than the size of a postcard. In a critical situation, it is the tyre that determines whether the vehicle can stop in time, or whether it stays safely on course through a corner. This is why car drivers should be aware of the safety benefits of using high-tech tyres inflated to the correct pressure and with adequate tread depth.


Stop the Crash is a genuine success story of how partnerships in support of the SDGs can work and just how much they can achieve. The partners comprising of civil society, corporate partners and technical partners collaborate in a constructive and structured way to achieve shared goals, often overcoming significant organisational and geographical challenges to spread the message of safety and the democratisation of life-saving vehicle technologies. Some are members of the UN Global Compact and are deeply committed to the Global Goals and the philosophy of Towards Zero and are working towards an outcome of Zero Deaths and Zero Emissions on the Road. Their success in bringing about changed attitudes in the areas where they work and, at times, a change in legislation and/or policy has been truly laudable.

Global NCAP (acting as secretariat to the Partnership) has consultative status at ECSOC and participates in the UN World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations (WP29) and the UN Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC). We are pleased to acknowledge funding support from the FIA Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

1 https://advocacy.thp.org/2014/08/08/mdgs-to-sdgs/
2 UN Partnerships Exchange, July 2017
3 Democratising Road Safety, Global NCAP 2015, quoting Lives Saved by Vehicle Safety Technologies and Associated Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, 1960-2012 – DOT HS 812 069, January 2015
4 Democratising Road Safety, Global NCAP 2015, quoting Ranking EU Progress on Car Occupant Safety, PIN Flash Report 27, April 2014, European Transport Safety Council
5 Democratising Road Safety, Global NCAP 2015, quoting Broughton, J., Allsop, R.E., Lynam, D.A. and McMahon, C.M. (2000). The Numerical context for setting national casualty reduction targets; TRL report 382. TRL Ltd., Crowthorne, UK.
6 Democratising Road Safety, Global NCAP 2015, quoting Broughton, J. (2010) Updated Casualty Forecasts TRL Ltd. PPR 552.
7 Democratising Road Safety, Global NCAP 2015, quoting Thomas, P. (2013) Developments in the Risk of Crash Involvement and Injury to Car Occupants by Model Year Using Vehicle Specific Exposure Data.
8 https://trl.co.uk/news/news/more-440000-deaths-and-serious-injuries-could-be-prevented-and-143-billion-saved-if-basic
9 Fitzharris, 2010, ITF (2016), Zero Road Deaths and Serious Injuries: Leading a Paradigm Shift to a Safe System, OECD Publishing, Paris
10 ITF (2016), Zero Road Deaths and Serious Injuries: Leading a Paradigm Shift to a Safe System, OECD Publishing, Paris
11 IIHS, 2016, ITF (2016), Zero Road Deaths and Serious Injuries: Leading a Paradigm Shift to a Safe System, OECD Publishing, Paris
12 @contisafety
13 Teoh, 2011, ITF (2016), Zero Road Deaths and Serious Injuries: Leading a Paradigm Shift to a Safe System, OECD Publishing, Paris