Implementing a Safe System
Safe System approach
The shift to a Safe System approach is also well attuned to the high priority global, regional and country development goals of sustainability, harmonization and inclusiveness. A Safe System is dedicated to the elimination of deaths and injuries that undermine the sustainability of road transport networks and the communities they serve. Its focus on safer and reduced speeds harmonizes with other efforts to reduce local air pollution, greenhouse gases and energy consumption. And its priority to afford protection to all road users is inclusive of the most vulnerable at-risk groups such as pedestrians, young and old, cyclists and motorcyclists. These co-benefits of shifting to a Safe System approach further strengthen the business case for its implementation.
The Global Status Report on Road Safety provides a framework and a methodology of national and global road safety assessments for managing the key factors: speed, drinking and driving, use of motorcycle helmets, use of seat-belts and use child restraints andinfrastructure
The Safe Systems Approach ensures that a road system is designed to accomodate and compensate for human vulnerability and frailty. This requires an understanding of the system as a whole and interaction between its elements, and the identification of priorities and potential for action to address the main risk factors.
OECD published in 2008 a report Towards Zero: Ambitious Road Safety Targets and the Safe System Approach. The report reviews the state of the art in improving road safety performance and examine the role of targets in raising the level of ambition and achieving effective implementation of road safety policies. The work aims to assist governments in raising the performance threshold by developing more systematic approaches to road safety.