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Road Safety Initiative


Road Safety InitiativeRoad traffic injuries claim more than 1.2 million lives each year with a disproportionate impact on health and development. They are the ninth leading cause of death across all age groups globally and the leading cause among young people aged between 15 and 29 years, costing governments approximately 3% of GDP and 5% in low- and middle-income countries (World Health Organization, WHO. 2015).

Reflecting the urgency to pay attention to road safety, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has set a goal of reducing road traffic deaths and injuries by 50 percent by 2020 (SDG 3.6).

The 2030 Agenda also calls for “Making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and Sustainable(SDG 11) and sets as a target to “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 (Target 11.2).


Leveraging its position as the UN entity specialized in capacity-building, UNITAR and its global network of affiliated training centres called « CIFAL » provide a relevant platform for enhancing capacities of government officials in the area of Road Safety.

UNITAR’s Initiative on Road Safety targets two key audiences:Road Safety Initiative

  1. Government officials and policy makers– from related ministries (Transport, Public Works, Urban Planning, Education, etc.), legislators, as well as local authorities.
  2. Youth and other road users– College and university students. Road Traffic crashes are a leading cause of death among young people and the main cause of death among those aged 15-29 years.

The Initiative places priority in countries with highest road traffic death rates, including several low-income countries, and with a special focus on Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

Decentralized Cooperation Programme, DCP

The overall objectives of the Road Safety Initiative under the coordination of DCP is twofold:

  • Contribute to improve road user behaviour though advocacy efforts and by increasing awareness of risk factors
  • Enhance the capacity of government agencies and local authorities to develop and implement road safety strategies and plans

This Initiative is based on two pillars:


Individual road users have the responsibility to abide by laws and regulations. Changing road users’ behavior on key risk factors for road traffic injuries -speed, drink–driving, and the failure to use helmets, seat belts and child restraints properly or at all- is a key component for improving road safety.

Capacity Building

Strengthening capacity at local and national level to address road safety is essential. The Initiative will provide training activities targeted to government officials at the national level, as well as local authorities

UNITAR’s CIFAL Global Network serves as a global platform to provide training and learning opportunities for local government officials and civil society. 







Activities in 2017

  • Road Safety and Sustainable Transport Systems I 21-22 February I Lagos, Nigeria
  • Road Safety and Sustainable Transport: South Africa I 22-24 March I Durban, South Africa
  • Strengthening Road Safety in Cities: Asia Pacific I 31 May-2 June I Jeju, Republic of Korea
  • Strengthening Road Safety: Latin America I 1-2 August I Curitiba, Brazil
  • Strengthening Road Safety: India I 22-23 August I Bengaluru, India
  • Strengthening Road Safety: West Africa I 26-27 September I Accra, Ghana
  • Strengthening Road Safety: East & Central Africa I 12-13 October I Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Strengthening Road Safety: Latin America & The Caribbean I 25-27 October I Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • Multi-Stakeholder Conference on Road Safety I 9-10 November I Manila, Philippines
  • Road Show Series

For more information, contact Project Lead: Ms. Estrella Merlos at estrella.merlos@unitar.org