Spotlight on public & private sectors at the Transportation Research Board
Leaders from the public and private sectors gathered to highlight collaborative actions towards the upcoming midpoint of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety at a reception during the annual Transportation Research Board meeting, supported by the FIA Foundation.
Speakers from the Department of Transportation (DOT), Amazon, and FIA focused on reaching common goals to save lives through safe systems. The reception was held at a significant moment for US road safety when the international and domestic road safety strategies have aligned with safe systems at their core. Senior US Government transport representatives included Christopher Coes, DOT Assistant Secretary; Veronica McBeth, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy; and Sue Lawless, Executive Director and Chief Safety Officer for the Federal Motor Carrier Administration.
Discussing the National Roadway Safety Strategy, Scott Goldstein, US DOT Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, said: “The US has more fatalities on roads than our high-income counterparts. Yet with the safe systems approach as the foundation for our National Roadway Safety Strategy, our road traffic fatality rate has stabilized. The safe systems approach saves lives and improves equity.”
The Department of Transportation has officially recognized the FIA Safety Index as one of the ‘First Movers’ of the US national strategy. Similar to the way organisations can track their carbon footprint, the Safety Index harnesses the power of the private sector. It is a systematic approach to identifying, measuring and monitoring road safety from a value chain perspective.
Jacob Bangsgaard, FIA Secretary General for Mobility, said: “Sustainability reporting, a crucial tool for modern businesses, can play a pivotal role in advancing the road safety agenda. By incorporating road safety indicators into sustainability reports, companies can demonstrate their commitment to a holistic approach to sustainability, one that encompasses not just environmental and social factors, but also human safety. The FIA Road Safety Index is a methodology that can support this process and will help organizations improve their safety footprint.”
With the private sector representing over half of global economic activity, it can implement life-saving solutions quickly and efficiently. Recognizing the opportunity to improve road safety globally, Amazon is exemplifying a leadership role.
Tim Goodman, Amazon's Associate General Counsel and Director of Worldwide Road Safety and Compliance, highlighted the increasing awareness of private sector responsibility to address and engage with road safety: “Safety is integral to everything we do at Amazon, and we’ll continue to innovate and leverage technology to raise the bar on safety and create safer roads for all of us.”
North America Director and UN Representative for the FIA Foundation, Natalie Draisin, said: “The latest Global Status Report on Road Safety shows us that safe systems work, resulting in a 5% decline in fatalities on roads in recent years. With safe systems as part of our national road safety strategy and collaboration between the public and private sectors, the US can experience the same life-saving benefits as other high-income countries. We are grateful for the dedication of our speakers and attendees to meeting our common goals.”
In closing, Jeff Michael, Distinguished Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said: “Johns Hopkins has been pleased to collaborate with many of you, and the FIA Foundation, on several activities to support global road safety progress, including the Safe System Consortium and Global Road Safety Committee. The US Congress and the Department of Transportation gave us an unbelievable boost with the Infrastructure Bill, the National Roadway Safety Strategy, and the Safe Streets and Roads for All program. And with the FIA Foundation’s leadership and entities like the FIA and Amazon participating, we have real promise for change.”
The reception was followed by a meeting of the Global Road Safety Committee, an informal group of US domestic and international transport leaders. The meeting featured Matts-Ake Belin of the World Health Organization and Tim Goodman of Amazon, focusing on the latest Global Status Report on Road Safety and showcasing Amazon’s leadership on road fleet safety. The event marked the Committee’s first 2024 quarterly gathering to spotlight global road safety leaders, share information about international activities, coordinate efforts where possible, and seek synergies to extend member reach and effectiveness.
These events took place in the lead up to a special FIA Foundation event to highlight the FIA Safety Index and the Child Health Initiative as avenues to achieve the common goals of the Decade of Action. It will be held on March 21, 2024, immediately following the international Transforming Transportation conference in Washington D.C. Register here.