31 October 2022, Cape Town, South Africa – In the framework of the 7th Regional Conference for Africa under the theme Connecting Africa through Smart, Safe and Resilient Roads: Stimulating Growth and Trade on the Continent, UNITAR and CIFAL Durban in collaboration with the South African Roads Federation (SARF), theInternational Road Federation (IRF), the World Road Association (PIARC), offered a training session on innovative practices to optimize road networks, and a training workshop on the Management Practices for Safer Roads Toolkit, gathering more than 500 delegates from 33 countries, including provincial and local government officials, experts from road agencies, and road authorities and decision-makers. The activities provided useful tools and learnings for regional challenges of road safety and brought ideas for improving road networks in Africa.
The training session on innovative practices to optimize road networks allowed the partners to introduce participants to UNITAR’s Management Practices for Safer Roads Toolkit methodology and to its main objective of enhancing resilience and safety for all road users. The session also explored how the methodology was successfully applied in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, to identify crash hotspots and address victims’ profiles. Finally, it covered the importance of using a multi-stakeholder collaboration approach in support of road safety interventions, such as the implementation of Alcohol Evidence Centres (AECs) to help enforce blood-alcohol limits and accelerate the prosecution of offenders.
During the training workshop, participants were able to explore more in depth the Toolkit’s methodology and benefits, through a simulation activity of a road safety committee. During this practical exercise, participants were divided into groups, and each group had to play a specific role in analyzing, discussing, and proposing solutions for improving high-risk roads with the adoption of corrective measures. At the end of the workshop, UNITAR opened a call for expressions of interest in technical assistance for the implementation of the Toolkit’s methodology in cities.