International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP)
  • Date submitted: 31 Oct 2011
  • Stakeholder type: Major Group
  • Name: International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP)
  • Submission Document: Download
Keywords: Poverty eradication (3 hits),

Full Submission

    Sustainable Mobility at Rio+ 20

A submission to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development by the international Road Assessment Programme (

1. Sustainability of life and development on this planet requires the prevention of actions that destroy life. With over 1.3 million people killed and 20-50 million people injured every year on the world?s roads the elevation of road safety as a global development priority is essential. Unsustainable mobility contributes negatively to the environment, our climate and Poverty eradication.

2. Sustainable and safe mobility will enhance life and directly improve the quality of life for millions of affected people in every community across the world. Safer roads and mobility must become a priority goal of the international community and action accelerated as part of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.

3. All forms of sustainable development and Poverty eradication require sustainable mobility to enable progress. Mobility for goods and services to link suppliers with markets; access of people to employment, health services and market opportunities. Without sustainable mobility, sustainable development will not be possible.

4. Meeting mobility needs worldwide is currently unsustainable. Crashes predominately impact the young and economically productive members of society. ?Unless immediate and effective action is taken, road traffic crashes are predicted to become the fifth leading cause of death in the world, resulting in an estimated 2.4 million deaths each year.? 1

5. Road traffic fatalities are preventable. Safe vehicles on safe roads at safe speeds with safe road users and effective post crash care will eliminate road crashes as a major cause of death. This will unlock the estimated 2-5% of GDP that is lost every year as a direct result of road crashes. The significant burden on hospitals will be lifted and the long term social and financial impacts on families who need to survive after the loss of the income earner or while supporting a permanently injured family member will be avoided.

6. More than half of the world?s road deaths occur on less than 10% of roads. The international Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) is a registered charity with the vision for a world free of high risk roads. The elimination of one and two star iRAP roads (the lowest two safety ratings out of a five star standard) with high return proven improvements has the potential to save one in every three fatalities and serious injuries on both urban and rural road networks.

                                                            1 United Nations Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety

      7. iRAP programmes are now active in over 60 countries and are typically lead by the Government and/or FIA affiliated automobile club in that country. 55% of all roads assessed by iRAP globally are currently one or two star. Death rates are estimated to halve for each star rating improvement achieved.

8. iRAP estimates that the elimination of high risk one and two star roads has the potential to reduce road death and injuries by more than 1,700,000 every year. This equates to an economic benefit of US$250 billion every year and a discounted benefit of over US$3,700 billion over the twenty year life of the road upgrades. The potential benefits are highlighted in the table below. 2

[UNDESA/DSD: Please download the original document to see this image]

2 McInerney, Turner, Smith (2010), A world free of high risk roads, ARRB Conference Proceedings, Melbourne, Australia

    9. Together with sustainable mobility policies that encourage travel demand management and shifting to more sustainable urban transport modes, a world free of high risk roads will have direct benefits to environmental outcomes. This must be connected with safe urban transport provision for pedestrians (e.g. minimum four star iRAP standard for pedestrians in high use areas) to ensure shifts to public transport do not lead to an additional increase in global road deaths.

10. Rio+20 must address sustainable mobility as a priority issue to address sustainable development and Poverty eradication. Sustainable mobility and safer roads must be part of the institutional framework to support sustainable development and the millennium development goals.

11. The United Nations Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 1 must be elevated to a key global priority and resourced to achieve the desired outcomes of removing road death as a leading cause of death and injury and a by-product of unsustainable development.

Further Details

Rob McInerney

Chief Executive Officer

international Road Assessment Programme (iRAP)

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