Road safety management is the first and fundamental pillar of the Decade of Action’s Global Plan (UNRSC, 2011) and the Global status report on road safety 2015 (WHO, 2015). The Decade of Action and the Global Plan emphasise that improving road safety performance requires a systematic and planned approach. Establishing an effective road safety management system is the means by which countries and organisations can achieve this.
This chapter serves as a brief introduction to the key elements of effective road safety management system frameworks and new tools. The aim is to outline the general scope of understanding of the road safety management task to provide background and context for more specific guidance that follows throughout this manual.
The chapter highlights the importance of institutional management at all levels to provide the foundation for successful road safety intervention and sustainable results. It emphasises the overarching importance of governmental leadership at the country level and top management leadership of road safety in organisations. New tools are presented which are designed to help countries and organisations develop or improve their road safety management systems. Practical next steps which countries can take towards these ends are briefly outlined and are developed further in subsequent chapters.
LMICs need to work actively to establish and develop their road safety management systems to address challenging road safety problems in a systematic way.
All countries need to review their performance and benchmark it against effective practice before developing new road safety strategies and plans and projects.
All countries should consider adopting the long-term Safe System goal, set interim targets (initially at project level for LMICs) and move to implement effective measures towards its delivery for example, using funded demonstration projects to build new capacity. All countries should target high concentrations of fatal and serious injuries on sections and areas of the road network where the biggest gains can be made.
New review tools, international professional networks and international development aid can help LMICs get started. Technical assistance in crash database development, infrastructure safety improvements, and general deterrence-based road safety enforcement programmes can be provided by the International Road Traffic Accident Database Group (IRTAD), the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP), and the International Road Policing Organization (RoadPOL), respectively.