To advance Vision Zero, iRAP and WRI lead Innovation Workshop at Inter-American Development Bank

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Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the IDB addresses the audience.
Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the IDB addresses the audience.
Dr. Anselm Hennis, Director, PAHO, spoke of the IDB’s commitments to building safe roads.
Dr. Anselm Hennis, Director, PAHO, spoke of the IDB’s commitments to building safe roads.
iRAP CEO Rob McInerney emphasized that the only acceptable number of road traffic fatalities is zero.
iRAP CEO Rob McInerney emphasized that the only acceptable number of road traffic fatalities is zero.
Claudia Adriazola-Steil of WRI, a FIA Foundation and Child Health Initaitive partner, discussed the organization’s focus on youth.
Claudia Adriazola-Steil of WRI, a FIA Foundation and Child Health Initaitive partner, discussed the organization’s focus on youth.

Infrastructure safety experts joined technology pioneers to discuss global action to achieve the UN road safety targets at the Vision Zero and Innovation Workshop led by the International Road Assessment Programme and World Resources Institute, and hosted by the Inter-American Development Bank at its Washington, DC headquarters.

Policymakers and practitioners from around the world showcased innovations to address the global road safety epidemic, which is killing more than 1.35 million people and injuring over 30 million others. From Google to the Swedish Transport Administration, experts presented ambitious yet realistic ways to eradicate preventable road traffic crashes. Topics ranged from big data to the internet of things, safer city streets, strategic highway safety impact investment, and insurance models for a safer future.

“Between now and 2030, 400 million people will be killed or injured on our roads. To individuals, friends, and families involved, there is only one acceptable vision – Vision Zero – where no one is injured or killed,” said Rob McInerney, CEO of iRAP. The charity aims to rid the world of high risk roads and is working in over 80 countries. It has risk mapped over one million km of roads and star rated over 700,000 km, influencing nearly $14 billion USD of investments in low- and middle-income countries. In high income countries, it influences the safety of over $40 billion USD.

The UN Road Safety Trust Fund has been established to catalyze action and impact. Opening the conference, Jean Todt, United Nations Secretary General's Special Envoy for Road Safety and FIA President said, “I would like to thank the development banks around the world that can play a leadership role in ensuring all infrastructure projects financed by them are three stars or better for all road users, not only vehicles. Smart and safe cities are also a priority as we strive to achieve a vision zero target across the world. I am pleased to share progress on the UN Road Safety Trust Fund that will provide catalytic support for action globally. The fund will support countries to build capacity and institutional strength to address the proven safe systems interventions. Together with the FIA, UN agencies, organizations like iRAP, WRI, and the IDB, the UN fund will leverage national investments that will leave a lasting legacy of safe cities, safe roads, and shared streets.” 

Natalie Draisin, North American Director and UN Representative for the FIA Foundation chaired the Policy Leadership & Vision Zero panel, featuring NTSB, Mexico City Ministry of Mobility FHWA, Roadway Safety Foundation, EuroRAP, Millennium Challenge Corporation, TRL, and TRB. “Through our Child Health Initiative toolkit, we enable anyone to ensure safe and healthy journeys for children. It contains tools like iRAP’s Star Rating for Schools app. This innovation is one important way iRAP is making strides towards reaching Vision Zero by focusing on youth, and is one reason why the FIA Foundation is proud to be their principal funder,” she said. “Achieving Vision Zero will take time, interim targets, and scalable demonstrations of the safe systems approach. Another tool, Vision Zero for Youth, establishes an interim target of achieving zero road traffic fatalities among the most disproportionately affected and least politically contentious population, youth. It is being implemented in cities like DC, Mexico City, and Bogotà, which recognize that starting with youth makes cities safer for everyone.”

On a panel about health, insurance, and investment innovation with World Bank, IDB, PAHO, Johns Hopkins University, and ChinaRAP. she presented the FIA Foundation’s callfor a UN Summit on Adolescent Health. The Summit aims to catalyze investment, political commitment, action, and funding for road traffic crashes and other neglected areas of adolescent health. “iRAP and other Child Health Initiative partners show us that when we follow data and invest in youth, we see immediate and future returns,” she said.

The event attracted 190 global delegates, and over 100 more joined the live webcast. Resources and recordings are available below. 

Event Communique

Reflections on the event can be viewed in the Event Communique here.

Programme and Presentations

The two-day programme included plenary addresses and interactive workshops focused on Safer Cities, Vision Zero and iRAP Innovation, Policy Leadership and the UN Targets, Road Safety Metrics and the Road Safety Observatories, Big Data and Innovation Partnerships for the Future, Safer Roads by Policy and Design, and Health, Insurance and Road Safety Investment Innovation. Global case studies of success were featured, including from China, Latin America, UK, Los Angeles, Bogota and Mexico.

Please click here to view and download presentations.