24 March 2021, Geneva, Switzerland – UNITAR Road Safety Global Training Initiative and the International Road Federation (IRF) joined forces to deliver on the 18th of March of 2021 a Master Class on Management Practices for Safer Roads, in the framework of the International Road Federation regional conference on Connecting Asia-Pacific with Smart, Safe and Resilient Roads.
During this Master Class, 180 senior government authorities from Ministries of Roads and Public Works, as well as representatives from the private sector were introduced by UNITAR to the “Management Practices for Safer Roads Toolkit” and to a successful case study featured in the Toolkit from the city of Gurugram, India.
Ms. Angela Montano from UNITAR presented some of the main features of the Toolkit and explained how this interactive e-learning tool introduces an innovative management methodology for improving existing road infrastructure for the benefit of all road users, especially the most vulnerable. Participants were also invited to express their interest and approach the Institute to ask for guidance or to receive training and assistance for implementing the Toolkit in their cities.
From the private sector perspective, Ms. Amrita Sarna, Public Affairs Manager from AB InBev shared how the Toolkit was successfully implemented in the city of Gurugram, India as a public-private collaboration between the government of Haryana and the support of private sector partners. Based upon an exhaustive mapping exercise, Gurugram was ranked in 2017 on top of the list for city with highest number of road accidents related deaths in the northern Indian state of Haryana. In 2019, there were a total of 1154 road accidents in Gurugram of which close to 90 were fatalities. To reduce this, the city of Gurugram, following the Toolkit’s recommendations and methodology, committed to identify “black spots” and to implement corrective measures to improve the highest-risk road intersections such as Hero Honda Chowk and Shubash Chowk. Suggested interventions, with necessary compliance, are expected to reduce in 2021 the number of fatalities and serious injuries by up to 48%.
This successful collaboration with IRF allowed participants to explore more-in-depth the Toolkit with special emphasis on the need to improve road infrastructure, the importance of law enforcement, on the value of partnerships with a collaborative and multi-stakeholder approach to road safety, and on everyone’s responsibility as road users to put efforts on making roads safer for all.