Road Safety Manual
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6.2 Strengthening Capacity to Set and Deliver Targets

Requirements for Effective Road Safety Performance

To achieve good performance a strong linkage between road safety agencies and elected members and Ministers in a country is essential. Political commitment is required to lead a country’s efforts in addressing road safety and to contend institutional management functions.


A coordination framework that links road safety senior managers through executive management, across relevant sectors, to a group of ministers meeting regularly – which makes operational decisions at lower levels and formulates policy recommendations for, and reports on strategy performance to ministers – reflects the necessary systematic view of road transport operation and its professional and political challenges. Provision for public inquiry at parliamentary level and broad consultation arrangements with stakeholders, including special interest groups, are recommended.

Model Jurisdictions: Victoria, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Western Australia, Sweden, The Netherlands.

Source: PIARC (2012).


Success in road safety work will not come overnight. The need to develop management capacity and implementation of interventions needs time. Bliss and Breen (2012) indicate that achieving results will require long-term political will that is translated into road safety investments that are targeted across a range of sectors and in governance and institutions, infrastructure, vehicle fleets, licensing standards, safety behaviours and the health system. Adequate lead time for the development of organisational and staff capability is needed.


Critical success factors (for HICs and LMICs) include:

  • Assessment of a Country’s Road Safety Problems – analysis of the current road crash situation based on data as much as possible, identifying a country’s road safety issues
  • Setting targets - setting meaningful numerical road safety targets, targets for selected road users or risks, targets for individual agencies
  • Development of action plans and investment plans – plans with timelines and accountabilities to achieve them, including adequate funding and effective decision-making arrangements to support intervention delivery;
  • Implementation of interventions;
  • Review of performance.

A guide to assist nations in Africa to improve their road safety capacity in order to develop a national strategic road safety action plan is described in the case study below. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) also highlights the need to build capacity.

CASE STUDY - Africa: Managing Road Safety: A framework for national lead agencies

Africa has the highest per capita fatality rate of road fatalities in the world and is expected to worsen by the year 2030. At a conference in Ghana in 2007, African Ministers responsible for Transport and Health committed to transportation and health services improvements to prevent road crashes. In 2011, the African Road Safety Action Plan 2011-2020 was adopted and endorsed by the African Union Conference of Ministers. This Plan establishes a framework for African countries to develop a road safety management system that guides them in becoming a national lead agency for improved road safety and public health in Africa. The purpose of the framework is to increase national capacity to address road safety problems. National commitment is required to spearhead a country’s efforts in addressing road safety and champion institutional management functions.. Read More (PDF, 112 kb).

CASE STUDY - Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN): Improving Road Safety

Rapid motorization in Asia and the Pacific, especially the explosive growth in motorcycle fleets, is creating serious and growing road safety problems. The problem is particularly acute among Asian developing countries, in which road accidents are now already the second most important cause of premature death for the 5-14 year age group and the leading cause of death for the 15-44 year age group. This effort builds on previous work by the ADB for ASEAN Countries, and focused on training, pilot project and working with private, non-governmental and other agencies to improve road safety. Read More (PDF, 101 kb).
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