Road Safety Manual
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2.6 Building road safety management capacity

Road safety requires a planned response

Successful road safety management is a systematic process. This has been defined and effective practice has been translated into working management system models for jurisdictions and organisations to provide tools to help address the Decade’s goals (GRSF, 2009; GRSF, 2013 OECD, 2008; ISO, 2012). As illustrated in Figure 2.3, key institutional management functions produce effective, system-wide interventions designed to produce road safety results for the interim and the long-term. See  Safety Management System for a further discussion of country and organisational road safety management system frameworks.

Figure 2.3 Road safety management is a systematic process - Source: GRSF (2009) (building on frameworks of LTSA, 2000; Wegman, 2001; Koornstra et al., 2002; Bliss, 2004).

Critical success factors

The key challenge for LMICs and international development is how to successfully implement the Global Plan's recommendations where road safety management capacity is weak. The critical issues for success are:

Box 2.7: Critical success factors


  • to build road safety management capacity through institutional reforms;
  • to accelerate knowledge transfer and leapfrog previous paradigms;
  • to scale-up investment;
  • to increase international cooperation and development aid support sustainably.

Sources: Bliss & Breen, 2012


Road safety management capacity reviews conducted for the Global Road Safety Facility since 2006 indicate that a clearly defined results focus is often absent in LMICs.

Coordination arrangements should be effective and supporting legislation complete. Funding needs to be sufficient and well targeted, promotional efforts broadly directed, monitoring and evaluation systems developed and knowledge transfer unlimited. Where national targets and plans have been created, adequate capacity to implement them is needed to make sure they are effective (GRSF, 2006-2012). Sustained investments will be needed in governance and institutions, infrastructure, vehicle fleets, and related investments in the health and wellbeing of citizens to address their vulnerability to risks of death and injury.

Meeting the management challenges of the Decade of Action for Road Safety will require these critical success factors to be addressed, if its ambitious goal is to be achieved (Bliss & Breen, 2012).

A country investment model for building capacity

Based on reviews of successful as well as unsuccessful practice, the World Bank’s Global Road Safety Facility has produced a country investment model in road safety management guidelines that is designed to assist LMICs and development aid agencies in addressing the issues outlined above (GRSF 2009, 2013). These guidelines outline a practical approach designed with tools that are described further in Safety Management System. Specific guidance on steps to be taken by roads authorities in relation to the safe planning, design, operation and use of the road network is outlined in Part Planning, Design & Operation.

Reference sources

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