Europe Call to Action from the Global Alliance of Road Safety NGOs
Each year, the world suffers 1.3 million preventable deaths and an estimated 50 million injuries from road crashes. Without serious action, road crashes will cause an estimated 13–17 million more deaths and 500 million more injuries in the current decade.
UN Member States have adopted a resolution 74/299 Improving Global Road Safety and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (target 3.6) and are therefore mandated to reduce road deaths and injuries by 50% by 2030. We know what works to achieve this target: the actions needed are set out in the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021–2030.
Frameworks and targets have been set: it is time to act now.
Although the European region has the lowest regional rates of road traffic deaths (9.3 deaths per 100,000 people) in the world, people are still dying every year on the region’s roads. Across the region, road crashes kill more children and young people aged 5–29 than any other cause. In the European Union (EU), which accounts for 27 of the 53 countries in the region, progress toward reducing road deaths between 2011–2020 fell short of the 50% target. Even if we reach the updated target to reduce road deaths by 50% by 2030, this still means over 9.5 million road deaths over ten years.
Many countries in Europe are working toward their road safety targets with a variety of management systems, such as the Safe System approach and Vision Zero by 2050.The recent EU Mission Climate Neutral & Smart Cities target for 100 carbon neutral cities by 2030 adds further impetus for safe active mobility and public transportation to reduce our carbon footprint and make roads safer.
We must seize this window of opportunity to scale up action on road safety. By doing so, we will not only save lives and empower others to save lives, but also improve public health, stimulate economic growth, and promote environmental sustainability.
Regional systems and policies provide a framework to address road safety; European countries must fully commit to them and turn commitments into concrete actions.
Call to Action
We call on all governments in Europe to commit to act for people’s right to safe mobility and a 50% reduction in road deaths and injuries by 2030 through implementation of evidence-based interventions that put people at the center, protect our children and their right to life and education, safeguard the environment, and promote equality and inclusion.
Safe mobility is our right.
Evidence-based actions, with particular focus on the safety of those at greatest risk of harm on our roads, including children, pedestrians, and cyclists
- Prioritize the interventions that will achieve the 2030 target most quickly and effectively by:
- Implementing national laws mandating 30 km/h speed limits where people walk, live, and play;
- Encouraging and enforcing compliance to these speed limits, demonstrating the benefit of low-speed streets for people and planet;
- Addressing other key causes of road deaths and injuries in Europe, by reviewing legislation, such as blood-alcohol limits, aligned to WHO recommendations or better, and encouraging and enforcing compliance to existing regulations.
- Encourage people to choose walking, cycling, and public transportation by:
- Changing the way our roads, urban spaces, and public transport systems are designed and built, based on the needs of the children and adults that use them and making it safe, affordable, and accessible to shift from private motorized vehicles to active, sustainable modes of transport, including walking, cycling, and public transport;
- Reviewing and introducing regulation, based on international best practice, for safe use of new and emerging transport modes, such as e-scooters, that have potential to contribute beneficially to a shift to active and sustainable transport but must be safely integrated to protect users of these new transport modes and all other road users that they interact with;
- Harmonizing national legislation to regional mandates, such as EU Directives, and pushing for regional guidance where none currently exists, including use of e-scooters and other emerging modes of transport.
- Improve data collection and sharing system to improve policy implementation by:
- Establishing unified, comprehensive data systems that produce timely, reliable, accurate, well-categorized road safety data and the causes contributing to crash fatalities and serious injuries;
- Introducing key performance indicators (KPIs) for road safety data, defining a data collection program for this purpose, and making KPIs part of periodical monitoring activities.
- Provide comprehensive support systems for road crash victims and their families and guarantee their protection by:
- Ensuring crash victims’ and families’ rights to information and support through the post-crash period, as well as medical, rehabilitative, psychological, social, and judicial support, and, where appropriate, financial support and fair compensation;
- Mandating thorough investigations for crashes that result in serious and fatal injuries, including determining cause and detecting culpability. The data should be used to inform prevention strategies and ensure an effective judicial response for victims and their families;
- Ensuring effective deterrents, rigorous enforcement, and prosecution and sentencing of offenders as appropriate.
- Prioritize the interventions that will achieve the 2030 target most quickly and effectively by:
Investment in road safety
- Allocate comprehensive funding for the full implementation of the above-mentioned actions and report on it annually;
- Create and report on innovative schemes to finance road safety interventions.
NGO involvement in decision-making processes
- Establish clear mechanisms at national, regional, and city levels that include civil society organizations and facilitate NGOs to share their knowledge and expertise, in order to complement government’s work.
We, as civil society, have a role defined in the Global Plan. We commit to play our part in advocating for and enabling people’s rights to safe mobility and achieve a 50% reduction in road deaths and injuries by 2030.
- Stand up for people’s right to be safe on the roads
We empower people and communities. We show the reality of the roads they use and highlight the experiences of road victims and their loved ones who have been affected by crashes. We speak up on decisions that affect road safety.
- Use data and evidence to show what needs to be done
We amplify data, evidence, and best practices from around the world and we collect ground-level evidence that show the impact of safe and unsafe roads on people and communities.
- Hold our governments accountable for people’s right to be safe on the road and for the 2030 target
We keep road safety on the agenda until every person is guaranteed — through commitment and action — their right to safe mobility. We monitor progress and put a spotlight on action and inaction.
- Leverage regional platforms
We will leverage regional platforms to advocate for region-wide mandates, targets, and KPIs in both EU and non-EU European countries.
 WHO. (2018). Global Status Report on Road Safety 2018. Geneva: World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789241565684
 WHO & UN Regional Commissions. (2021). Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021–2030. https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/global-plan-for-the-decade-of-action-for-road-safety-2021-2030; Job, RFS. (2019). Development of a Safe System Approach, Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, 13 January 2019, Washington DC.
 United Nations General Assembly. (2020). Resolution A/74/L86 Improving Global Road Safety. https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N20/226/30/PDF/N2022630.pdf?OpenElement
 United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. (2015). 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. https://sdgs.un.org/goals
WHO & UN Regional Commissions. (2021). Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021–2030. https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/global-plan-for-the-decade-of-action-for-road-safety-2021-2030
WHO Regional Office for Europe. (Accessed 2022). Health topics>Environment and health>Transport and health>Data and statistics Injuries. https://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/environment-and-health/Transport-and-health/data-and-statistics/injuries2
European Commission. (2021). Road safety: 4,000 fewer people lost their lives on EU roads in 2020 as death rate falls to all-time low https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_21_1767
- Evidence-based actions, with particular focus on the safety of those at greatest risk of harm on our roads, including children, pedestrians, and cyclists
Rod King published Presentation to West Midlands Strategic Police and Crime Board in Blogs 2022-05-03 11:46:48 +0100
Last week I was invited to give a presentation at a session on Active Travel of the West Midlands Strategic Police and Crime Board. One of the most important aspects for vulnerable road users is the speed of motor vehciles, so I used the opportunity to present the benefits of a wider, citizen-led approach to speed management and enforcement using the Speedcam Anywhere app.
The transcript of my 5 minutes presentation follows:Read more
How Brexit could become the new killer on Britain’s roads
Jacob Rees-Mogg says we should ignore an EU push for speed limiters in cars - but it has the potential to save more lives than seat beltsRead more
Rod King commented on Busting the 20mph Limit Myths 2022-04-12 13:54:36 +0100Its not up to me Gary. Its the elected representatives in London who decide on speed limits in London. Thank you for your comment.
There was an article on the Speedcam Anywhere app in the Road CC website and a few comments where readers had not understood how it works. I posted the following as an explanation and thought it might be useful.Read more
Rod King published New smartphone app to gather evidence of speeding in Press Releases 2022-03-28 15:00:27 +0100
A new app has been developed that enables any member of the public with a smartphone to gather video evidence of speeding for submission to police for processing and enforcement. This paves the way for wider enforcement and allows police and authorities to align with community demands for speed limit compliance.Read more
We feel that this guest blog is particularly relevant to the update to the Highway Code. It explains the changes and also how default 20mph limits are complementary to these changes. Thanks to Carl Waring of Mooneerams for their perspective.
After a decade without revision, a statutory instrument laid before Parliament last December finally paved the way for a raft of new rules to be introduced into the Highway Code on January 29th.
The Department for Transport (DfT) believes that the changes to the Code will Improve safety for vulnerable road users by giving them priority in potentially dangerous situations on or near the highway.Read more
Rod King published Critique of the draft Cheshire East Speed Management Strategy in Blogs 2022-01-27 20:00:50 +0000
This document provides a critique of the draft Speed Management Strategy as published for public consultation by the Highways and Transport Committee of Cheshire East Council at the meeting on 16th Nov 2021. Members of the public may comment until 31st Jan 2022 on the Cheshire East website here.
We advise rejection of the Strategy on several counts.
Wide-area 20mph schemes are already common in urban authorities and “20mph as a norm” is government policy in Wales and Scotland. Now, the desire for 20mph speed limits is sweeping across rural communities throughout the UK. County authorities are starting to answer a call to action from town and parish councils who are giving voice to local residents’ aspirations for 20’s Plenty.
Rod King published Communities want 20mph: a blueprint for successful delivery in Briefings 2021-12-19 14:04:56 +0000
What are communities wanting?
Communities across the world are asking for 20mph (30km/h) as a norm in cities, towns and villages.
Local people understand how higher vehicle speeds blight communities and inhibit their ability to walk, cycle and use public transport; they know that lower speeds save lives and reduce pollution; and they appreciate that 20mph can be the cornerstone of building inclusive communities. In successive UK government surveys, 70% said that 20mph was the right speed limit for residential streets.
Rod King published New research on emissions strengthens case for a 20mph default urban speed limit in Briefings 2021-10-05 22:08:13 +0100
New research from engineering consultants, Future Transport, models the impact of capping speeds at 20mph vs. 30mph. This “real life” modelling that takes account of the stop/start nature of urban traffic yields a very different result from traditional steady-state models. It shows significant and substantial reductions in emissions: CO2 lower by 26% and NOx 28% lower. With UK hosting COP26, campaigners are calling on governments to set 20mph or 30km/h limits as national urban/village defaults.Read more
Rod King published Scottish Government commitment to 20mph limits supports Active Travel and aligns with global best practice in Press Releases 2021-09-01 06:12:03 +0100
Scottish Government commitment to 20mph limits supports Active Travel and aligns with global best practice
With the Welsh government already committed to a national default 20mph limit for urban and village roads, the Scottish Government has announced that it plans for 20mph to become the norm in built-up areas. This aligns with global best practice that 20mph or 30km/h is the maximum permissible speed on roads used by pedestrians and cyclists unless a higher limit is evidentially safe. It is a key component of Scotland’s response to the Climate Emergency and helps to support Active Travel.Read more
Rod King commented on Do emissions and fuel used increase with 20mph limits? 2021-08-09 16:15:02 +0100I think that River Rock forgot to say that the graph quoted only starts at 45mph and therefore says nothing about fuel economy at steady state speeds below 45mph. It it had done then it would have shown results in the region of 80-90mpg and hence far more efficient than at 55mph.
Rod King published 20mph or 30kmh Limits Align With Global Goals in Press Releases 2021-05-15 19:27:04 +0100
Setting 20mph/30kmh limits fits with global goals for health, sustainability and the climate. Though at first glance speeds seem to be about roads, actually they are about people and the world we want to live in. Broad and lasting benefits accrue to people and planet from normalising 20mph/30kmh. Climate, safety, active travel, place-making, the economy and quality of life are all helped. Lower speed limits have wins now and for future generations.Read more
So many cities, towns and counties have rejected their national default limits of 30mph or 50km/h and set lower limits for most roads. It is not because their roads are abnormal, but because the national limit is seen as no longer meeting the community needs. But that can and is being changed at national level.
Now that 20mph or 30km/h limit is accepted as the urban best practice norm, we examine the case for setting the limit at national level. This provides so many benefits in terms of value for money, consistency, messaging and results.
- Hear how Spain becomes first country to set its national urban 30km/h default in May 2021
- Hear how Wales is planning a national 20mph default for 2023
- Hear the benefits from national implementation over city by city
- Hear the WHO global view on 30km/h urban limits
- Hear the campaigner view on a 20mph national urban limit
- Hear the medical and public health case for lower speeds
The webinar will be chaired by Deborah Sims, Senior Vice President, Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation
Speakers already confirmed are :-
- Álvaro Gómez Méndez, Head of the National Road Safety Observatory, DGT, Spain
- Nhan Tran, Head of Safety and Mobility, WHO
- Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Wales
- Scarlett McNally, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Eastbourne DGH
- Richard Thorold, Trustee, Louis Thorold Foundation
- Rod King MBE, Founder and Campaign Director, 20’s Plenty for Us
After short presentations there will be a panel discussion answering questions from attendees.
Whether you are a campaigner, politician, transport engineer, road safety professional, public health professional or NGO you will find this webinar a ground-breaking one by discussing the UNGRSW call at a national level. It also shows the way forward to using 30km/h and 20mph limits as the foundation for the future liveability of our urban and village spaces, and for the UN's 2nd Decade of Action on Road Safety - 2021 to 2030.
The webinar is free and you can register here.
Rod King published Email your MP to support UN Global Road Safety Week in Email a Decision Maker 2021-04-11 15:26:59 +0100
The UN are calling for 20mph or 30km/h speed limits to become the norm in places where people on foot or on bicycle mix with motor vehicles. It is the key focus of the 6th UN Global Road Safety Week running from 17th-23rd May.
This is backed by science and the call from communities to set speed limits that are compatible with liveable communities.Read more
Rod King published It is smart for national governments to set national urban/village default speed limits of 20mph or 30km/h. in Press Releases 2021-04-11 15:31:38 +0100
It is smart for national governments to set national urban/village default speed limits of 20mph or 30km/h.
Local governments in towns, cities and villages around the world are rejecting nationally set 30mph or 50km/h speed limits as no longer “fit for purpose” in meeting the needs of citizens and society. 20mph or 30km/h is now seen as the maximum safe speed limit where motor vehicles mix with pedestrians and cyclists unless there are adequate segregated and crossing provisions.
National governments should set 20mph or 30km/h as their national default urban/village speed limit.Read more
Many people ask what to do if the average speed on a road is 25mph or above. Can you set a 20mph limit? Lets consider what I call "The 25mph Conundrum".
Setting speed limits based on what drivers think is the right speed is a flawed approach. This is considered in a recent report from NACTO (National Association of City Transportation Officials). It concludes that "Relying on a percentile-based system focused on current driver behavior, rather than a defined safety target to set speed limits, significantly limits cities’ ability to reduce traffic deaths.
So lets go through the logic of solving this conundrum for UK situations.