This chapter outlines the timeframes for the setting of targets at the country level, the investment strategies and plans, including projects, required to deliver on these targets and the implementation challenges and prerequisite conditions involved in successful delivery. ‘Investment strategies and plans’ refers to the application of resources to implement specified strategies and actions, including policy changes and the term is used interchangeably in this chapter with ‘strategies and actions’.
Strategy-led targets are a powerful means to progress the road safety agenda, at national, regional and local levels. Better performing countries will take strategic action at all three levels. Setting of targets at an organisational (e.g. road safety agency) level is also useful in supporting achievement of national objectives.
Key Developments in Road Safety described the setting of challenging, achievable and measurable (quantitative) road safety targets in support of the long-term Safe System goal as international best practice and as an international success story. Once a country recognises that it can no longer accept the level of death and serious injury occurring on its road network, the common response is to make the decision to adopt a target and develop a supporting road safety strategy and plan (either a programme or a group of projects).
The approaches to target setting and associated investment strategy and plan development followed by HICs are usually more developed and typically build upon a more established road safety position than is feasible for most LMICs in the establishment phase of their road safety investment journey. This is due primarily to the differences in road safety capabilities and experience, especially in managing road safety activity, which exist between most LMICs and HICs, as well as an absence of reliable crash data. A different approach is required for most LMICs compared to that followed by most HICs (see Timeframes for target-setting and investment planning).
Investment strategies and plans required to deliver agreed targets need not only to be developed but also successfully implemented (see Investment Strategy and Action Plans Implementation). This is a substantial challenge.
It is useful to consider goals or targets being developed for three timeframes — there are long-term goals (i.e. elimination of fatalities and serious injuries), medium-term targets (e.g. the UN Decade of Action target of a 50% reduction in fatalities by 2020 from 2011); and short-term targets (i.e. reductions over a 3 to 5 year period). 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.