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The political economy of road safety: a policy-oriented literature review

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Written by Joseph Wales

Road safety is a major international health issue – every year an estimated 1.25 million people are killed on the world’s roads and up to 50 million people incur non-fatal injuries. Despite the scale of the human cost, road safety has historically been given low priority, with interventions having a highly technical focus and often targeting the safety of relatively low risk groups. This is beginning to change, however, with the development of a series of global targets and a new systems approach to road safety challenges.

This report develops a political approach to understanding road safety issues that compliments emerging approaches, using analysis of existing literature on road safety issues and interventions. It concludes by setting out a methodology for analysing these challenges at the city level that will be piloted by Overseas Development Institute and World Resources Institute in three cities over the course of 2017.

Joseph Wales