Violence and Injury Prevention

Strengthening road safety legislation: a practice and resource manual for countries

Bloomberg Philanthropies 2013

Comprehensive road safety legislation—which incorporates evidence-based measures and strict and appropriate penalties, backed by consistent, sustained enforcement and public education—has been proven to reduce road traffic injuries and fatalities.

The Global status report on road safety 2013: Supporting a decade of action revealed that legislation on five known KEY risk factors for road traffic injuries (speeding, drink–driving, non-use of motorcycle helmets, seat-belts and child restraints) is incomplete in the majority of countries and that current laws are often inadequately enforced, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. The Global status report on road safety 2013 revealed that only 28 countries (covering just 7% of the world’s population) have comprehensive laws on these five risk factors. More works need to be done to improve road safety legislation globally.

Strengthening road safety legislation: a practice resource manual for countries describes methods and provides resources that practitioners and decision-makers can use for enacting new laws or amending existing ones as part of a comprehensive road safety strategy. In particular, it recommends a stepwise approach to assessing and improving legislation relating to five specific risk factors for road-traffic injuries, as well as post-crash care.

The manual can be used to:

  • develop an understanding of the framework of legislation and relevant processes that are applicable in a country;
  • review current national legislation and regulations and identify barriers to the implementation and enforcement of effective road safety measures;
  • identify available resources, such as international agreements, and evidence-based guidance and recommendations on effective measures, to improve legislation;
  • prepare action plans to strengthen national legislation and regulations for the five main risk factors and for post-crash care, including advocating for improvement.

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