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Road safety was and is a major problem in the world

Many, if not all, countries in the world wish to reduce the number of people killed and injured on their roads. This is a reasonable conclusion given the goal set for road safety worldwide by the United Nations. The General Assembly adopted a resolution which proclaimed a  Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 with the goal of stabilizing and reducing the increasing trend in road traffic fatalities, saving an estimated five million lives during this decade. This has been re-affirmed in the Brasilia Declaration of Road Safety (November  2015). Road safety has been included in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), that were decided upon by the United Nations in September 2015. One can conclude that the road safety problem as such appears to be recognized as a very serious problem by international organizations like the United Nations.

Capacity building: a prerequisite for change

Unfortunately, recent results learn us that the targeted reductions in the number of global road deaths are not going to be achieved. In fact, the number of deaths increased between 2011-2020. It is anticipated that the 3 rd Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in Stockholm 2020 will reconfirm the commitment of the international community to improve road safety worldwide and will identify new initiatives. Capacity building is considered as a ‘prerequisite for change’, by a group of experts in their report “Saving lives beyond 2020: the next steps” (to be published late 2019). The report states that: “The lack of capacity among road safety professionals is a major barrier to making progress in many countries”. DRSC focuses exactly on this point.