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Don’t Take Your Eyes Off The Road - The critical case for ongoing road safety investment

15 June 2020

As the world responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing road safety pandemic has had a temporary reprieve as road traffic volumes have fallen with governments globally taking unprecedented steps to reduce virus contagion. David Cliff, CEO, Global Road Safety Partnership highlights the the economic and social impacts.

In an article available here he states that the post COVID-19 world, we anticipate even greater pressure and risk on the world’s roads.

  • Driver stress, higher fatigue levels and work-related pressure is likely to increase.
  • It is likely that drug and alcohol misuse will increase.
  • Transport operators may be pressured to attempt to reduce costs by extending vehicle maintenance periods, compromising vehicle safety standards and neglecting driver training.
  • There may be pressure for drivers to exceed speed limits and increase driving hours.
  • Conflicting priorities for police may result in reduced enforcement.
  • Maintenance of road networks may decline.
  • Public awareness campaigns may be reduced as funding is diverted to other essential programmes.
  • Driver distraction may increase as populations suffer from the potential mental health consequences of job losses, bereavement etc. – adding to risk, particularly for cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists.

The direct and catastrophic consequence of failing to maintain investment in effective road safety measures is likely to see an increase in victims entering the world’s already pressured health systems. Systems that will need to find a way to manage those cost increases in the context of the large economic and social cost of COVID-19.

You can download the  English PDF version of this message HERE.