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Securing safe roads: the politics of change

Research reports

Written by Daniel Harris, Helen Dempster, Alina Rocha Menocal

Hero image description: Motorbikes and taxis speed through Mumbai’s streets © Aashim Tyagi/WRI India, 2015

Road safety is a major international health issue – each year traffic collisions kill an estimated 1.25 million people and injure up to 50 million. Of the fatalities, 90% occur in low- and middle-income countries, and most are among poorer working-age males – a group that tends to use vulnerable modes of transport such as walking, cycling and motorcycling.

Over the past 10 years, road safety has been escalated to an issue of international concern. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has two targets related to road safety – both are unlikely to be reached. Despite the substantial social and financial impacts of both fatalities and injuries, it seems road safety is just not being prioritised.

Together with the World Resources Institute Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, we undertook research in three middle-income cities: Nairobi, Kenya; Mumbai, India; and Bogotá, Colombia. In this report, we synthesise the findings from these case studies, along with the results of our extensive literature review, concluding with a series of strategies to improve road safety. It is therefore useful for decision-makers, practitioners and anyone else working on road safety reform.

Read the interactive report.