This chapter outlines the requirements for effective road safety performance and critical success factors for road safety work.
After a thorough analysis of the country’s road safety management system and the analysis of the major risk factors, it is advisable to develop action plans with defined targets at the country level and performance measures. To determine the success of a program, or the implementation of intervention, a review of performance outcomes is needed. Because not all countries are at the same performance levels, it is often advisable to start with demonstration or pilot projects. This is particularly true for LMIC, who would benefit from the learning and building of road safety expertise through these types fo projects.
Once a country recognises that it can no longer accept the level of death and serious injury occurring on its road network, the common first response is to adopt a target performance level with a supporting road safety strategy and plan (either a programme or a group of projects) to achieve that performance. The approaches to target setting, investment strategy and plan development of HICs are usually more developed and build upon a more established road safety programme than is feasible for most LMICs at the beginning of their road safety work. This is due primarily to the differences in road safety capacity available to HICs in comparison to LMICs. Another reason is the absence of reliable crash data for LICs. Investment strategies and plans with agreed targets need not only to be developed but also successfully implemented. This is a substantial challenge.
It is useful to consider goals or targets being developed for three timeframes — there are long-term goals, medium- and short-term targets. The setting of short and medium-term targets should always be considered as milestones on the journey to achieving the ultimate target of eliminating death and serious injury. Adoption of this long-term goal will shape actions planned and taken in the interim. The setting of quantified targets for these timeframes is discussed in Setting Targets. Within any timeframe, targets can be set for final outcomes (the usual measure), for intermediate outcomes and for institutional outputs as defined in The Road Safety Management System. These options are discussed further in Performance Indicators
The underlying objective for LMICs will be the development of capacity to manage road safety, through ‘learning by doing’. An important first step is identification of weaknesses within the road safety system (both for management and for risks on the network). This should be followed by adoption of a demonstration project – across the sectors – as an establishment investment phase to build technical and management knowledge. Adequate government commitment and funding will be critical.
This first step will enable informed later stage targets (for the medium and long-term timeframes) and strategies/actions (for the associated growth and consolidation investment phases) to be devised and implemented successfully, building – in the case of LMICs – on the roll-out across the country of the interventions piloted in the demonstration corridor, the implementation of key policy reviews carried out as part of the demonstration project, and the conduct of further reviews.
Funding and implementing a demonstration project (a multi-sectoral treatment of a corridor or urban area plus some key policy review activity) is the strongly recommended means to develop capability in whole-of-government road safety management for LMICs. It should be the initial action taken, following a road safety management capacity review.
For LMICs, a commitment to improving road safety outcomes may lead to an aspirational ‘top down’ target being adopted for the short-term (e.g. next five years) with recognition that delivery of that initial target will be most challenging. However, the prime focus must be on a demonstration project or projects.