Road Safety Manual
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4.8 Safe System Implementation

Progress in LMICs will depend heavily on substantial expert support to accelerate a ‘learning by doing’ approach. A key thread running throughout this manual is practical guidance concerning the implementation of the Safe System approach. A suggested path for road safety agencies in LMICs for moving from weak to stronger institutional capacity by implementing effective practice through demonstration programmes (or projects), is outlined in Road Safety Targets, Investment Strategies, Plans and Projects. The programmes should include area-based projects involving all relevant agencies and some national level policy reviews. This approach will support the production of steady improvement in road safety results from all agencies.

Development of a more complete understanding and uptake of a Safe System approach, after adoption as official policy by a country, will take time. It will rely upon a continuous improvement process that examines and implements options, often in innovative ways, to improve performance.

Pathway to Safe System Implementation

Getting started

Understand what a Safe System would look like.

  • Leadership is critical. Gain commitment from heads of agencies to the adoption and implementation of the Safe System approach.
  • Adopt an aspiration for elimination of fatalities and serious injuries in the long-term (making crashes survivable, working towards zero) and identify what will be required to achieve this shift in thinking and its progressive implementation.
  • Conduct a management capacity review and identify an investment plan based on a Safe System approach.
  • Plan and design multi-sectoral Safe System demonstration projects. Focus on corridor action plans and selected national policy reviews with project management and expert assistance over some years (See Target and strategic Plans). Establish a multi-agency steering committee and a working group for the project with an agreed lead agency.
  • Establish a reliable national crash data system.

Making progress

  • Continue capacity strengthening: Focus on developing institutional arrangements and the knowledge base of agencies around Safe System approaches to network safety. Determine what knowledge is needed to analyse current system safety shortcomings including policy limitations and identify priority interventions necessary to accelerate the shift towards a Safe System.
  • For LMICs, implement the demonstration projects.
  • Monitor and evaluate to establish what has been learnt from demonstration corridor projects, plan to extend demonstration project activity across the wider network and implement higher priority policy review findings.

Consolidating activity

  • Implement extension of Safe System demonstration projects across the country, based on the Safe System principles being absorbed and adopted over time within the policies and approaches adopted by road safety agencies
  • Expand agency project oversight roles to whole of country road safety responsibilities
  • Benchmark performance against other similar countries.
  • Extend knowledge development to regional and local governments and communities.
  • Identify further enabling measures needed nationally, and further Safe System interventions to be introduced nationally, regionally or locally.


Reference sources

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