The United Nations has prioritized road safety since the first decade of action launched in 2011. The first Decade titled Saving Millions of Lives lays down global road safety data. The document shows that road traffic crashes claim the lives of over a million people annually and leaves another 20-50 million injured. The New Decade of Action recalls and reaffirms earlier resolutions and the United Nations' commitment to work tirelessly for the full implementation of the agenda by 2030 ensuring no one is left behind.
The First Decade of Action
The First Decade of Action lists a global plan guided by the five pillars of road safety; road safety management, safer roads and mobility, safer vehicles, safer road users, and post-crash response. It calls on member states to implement the global plan, referencing other countries that have had a successful experience with projects that have reduced traffic deaths and injuries.
The document lists youth as supporters in the move to achieve SDG Target 3.6, halving the number of road-related deaths and injuries by the year 2020. It challenges youth to become road safety ambassadors, promoting the importance of safe roads and sustainable mobility. It also invites them to join youth assemblies and help ensure road safety around schools.
Included in the list of supporters are policy-makers, nongovernment organizations, private companies, victims and survivors, and the media to commit to promoting and prioritizing road safety in their respective capacities.
The New Decade of Action
The New Decade of Action for Road Safety, launched last 18 August 2020, sets the new deadline for SDG Target 3.6. The document proclaimed that the New Decade of Action happens during 2021-2030.
The resolution expresses concern about the growing number of road-related deaths and injuries that happen all over the world. It calls on member states who have made successful road safety efforts to continue and invites other countries that have not joined the movement to get involved.
The UN Resolution mentions youth twice. The first as a call to member states to promote road safety knowledge and awareness among the population – especially among youth - through education, training, and publicity campaigns so that they can “propagate good road safety practices in the community. The second mention recognizes youth among the most vulnerable, urging member states to implement road safety policies to protect young people and other vulnerable road users.
Youth and the Road Safety Movement
It is a known fact that youth are the most affected when it comes to road crashes with the majority of the victims coming up to the ages 15-29. Because youth are the most affected, there is a great need to involve them in local, national, and global road safety efforts.
In a conversation with the Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety, Youth Advisory Board Member Ritu Jain talks about what the UN Resolution means for youth. “In order to achieve behavioral change in the highways, governments need to involve youth in educational material designs. Road safety education is not in place in every country; the theory only focuses on signs and laws, but it doesn’t consider behavior changes between different ages. Youth should meaningfully participate in the design of those materials as well.”
Ritu talks about the importance of youth in efforts to achieve SDG Target 3.6 and the rest of the global goals but also raises the importance of equipping them with knowledge through education and other capacity development tools.
Youth have begun to claim their space. Youth-led efforts toward safer roads and sustainable mobility are beginning to grow and develop. Be part of the road safety revolution today! Learn more about the youth movement for road safety by visiting the Global Youth Coalition.