The Towards Zero Foundation (TZF) is a UK registered charity (NO.1153261) working internationally to encourage a world free from road fatalities. The Foundation serves as platform for co-operation between organisations committed to the application of the Safe System approach to road injury prevention that aim to eliminate road deaths and promote sustainable mobility.
The TZF recognises that much more needs to be done to encourage the application of effective road safety policies and legislation globally. As the mid-term of the Decade of Action for Road Safety arrived, still too few United Nations (UN) member states have adopted effective strategies for road safety or applied an adequate framework of policies and laws to support the achievement of ambitious casualty reduction targets.
To assist this task, TZF is establishing a network to serve as a focal point for policy makers and practitioners responsible for road safety in national governments and parliaments, cities and local authorities and in the private sector and civil society. The TZF will promote the Safe System approach to road injury prevention and progress towards the vision of zero fatalities and serious injuries by facilitating exchange of experience and best practice in policy and legislative action.
It will serve as an open platform for road safety policy makers and practitioners to share their experiences and exchange information on effective injury reduction strategies and actions around the world.
The objectives of the TZF are to:
– Promote the Safe System approach and progress towards the vision of zero fatalities and serious injuries by providing a forum for road safety policy makers and practitioners serving in government, national parliaments, international bodies, regional, city and local authorities, private sector and civil society organisations to exchange experience and best practice in traffic injury prevention.
– Support the aims of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 and UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development which set the ambitious goal of reducing road fatalities and serious injuries by 50% by 2020, by promoting the Global Plan for the Decade, its five pillars and related recommendations especially regarding policy and legislative matters.
– Promote international cooperation on road safety and provide advice and recommendations on road safety policy and legislative best practice to national governments, national parliaments, international bodies, regional, city and local authorities, private sector and civil society organisations city, and local authorities responsible for road safety strategies, policies and laws.
– Encourage the integration of road injury prevention and the Safe System approach in wider international efforts to promote public health, the environment, and liveable cities by encouraging policies for smart, clean, and safe mobility.
Jessica Truong, Executive Director
David Ward, Senior Fellow
Richard Woods, Director of Campaigns and Communication
Alex Ward, Administrator and Policy Officer
Katie Baker, Finance Manager
Gus Glover, Campaigns Manager
Sue Fordham, Design and New Media Manager
The TZF is governed by a Board of Trustees and conforms fully to the rigorous requirements of UK charity law. Legal responsibility for TZF activities rest exclusively with its Trustees and do not extend to individuals or organisations involved.
UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011- 2020
Over the last fifteen years, road safety has emerged as a significant global public policy issue. In 2004, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Bank published the World Report on Road Traffic Injury Prevention which warned that road traffic injuries “constitute a major public health and development crisis”. In the same year the United Nations General Assembly invited WHO to act as the UN’s coordinator on road safety issues working in close cooperation with the UN regional commissions. The WHO subsequently set up the UN Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC) to serve as an informal consultative body bringing together leading road safety stakeholders.
Then in 2006, the independent Commission for Global Road Safety was formed under the chairmanship of Lord Robertson of Port Ellen to encourage stronger worldwide political support for road injury prevention. The Commission published the report ‘Make Roads Safe: A New Priority for Sustainable Development’ which called for a global ministerial conference on road safety and also proposed a ten year action plan to reverse the rising tide of road injuries.
The UN General Assembly subsequently proclaimed the Decade of Action for Road Safety in a resolution adopted April 2010. The Decade was then launched on 11 May 2011 with the goal to “stabilize and then reduce” the level of road traffic fatalities by 2020.
The Global Plan for the Decade
To support the Decade of Action for Road Safety, a Global Plan has been developed by the UN Road Safety Collaboration which promotes an integrated framework of recommended actions across five key policy pillars areas as follows:
– PILLAR 1: Road safety management
– PILLAR 2: Safer roads and mobility
– PILLAR 3: Safer vehicles
– PILLAR 4: Safer road users
– PILLAR 5: Post-crash response
Both the UN General Assembly and the 2nd Global High Level Conference on Road Safety have supported the implementation of the Global Plan.
Road Safety and the Global Goals for Sustainable Development
On 25 September 2015 all 193 Member States of the UN adopted the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. They build on the 2000-2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and establish a set of “universally applicable” goals and targets for “people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership”. There are 17 Global Goals supported by 169 targets, which are to be implemented from 1 January 2016 over the next fifteen years until 2030. The UN envisages a strong role for legislators in implementing the Global Goals with parliaments encouraged to enact laws, adopt budgets, and ensure accountability (See paragraph 45: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworld).
Road safety is included in the Global Goals for both health and cities. This represents long overdue recognition of road injury prevention as a key contributor to policies promoting public health, urban and sustainable development. The relevant text is as follows:
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.
The adoption of the Goal 3.6 casualty reduction target will require unprecedented improvements in rates of fatalities per 100,000 (from a 2010 baseline) by country income group:
– High Income Countries: from 8.7 per deaths per 100,000 in 2010 to 4 by 2020;
– Middle Income Countries: from 20.1 per deaths per 100,000 in 2010 to 7 by 2020;
– Low Income Countries: from 18.3 per deaths per 100,000 in 2010 to 12 by 2020.
The target to halve road traffic deaths and injuries by 2020 is the UN’s strongest ever commitment to road injury reduction and poses a significant challenge to all Member States to reinvigorate their national road safety strategies, and plans. The new UN target also complements similar targets adopted by some countries at a national level or by regional governmental bodies such as Association of South East Asian Nations and the European Union. The use of ambitious casualty reduction targets has been strongly recommended by the International Transport Forum of the OECD to catalyze effective road safety policies and harnessing multi-stakeholder partnerships to support them.