Global benchmark for road safety in cities announced

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road safety
ID 96105423 © Prat Kitchatorn | Dreamstime.com

Safer City Streets, the worldwide traffic safety network for liveable cities, has published its first global benchmark of urban road safety

Data, collected from 31 cities in 20 countries revealed striking differences in road safety performance between cities.

The risk to die in a traffic crash varies greatly for the different forms of transport among cities.

The risk for a pedestrian to be killed in a crash is six times higher in some cities than in others, and the risk of being killed on a bicycle varies ten-fold.

Alexandre Santacreu, Safer City Streets project lead at the International Transport Forum said: Our benchmarking exercise provides evidence for the large differences between cities that experts long assumed.

“What’s important is that citizens and their elected officials can now see black on white how their city compares to others.”

“This will enable them to ask the right questions about how to make their city’s streets safe.

“With this work, we identify which cities they should learn from in order to close the gap.

“Cities that do not perform so well should not despair, they can now measure the room for improvement and learn a few tricks from their peers.”

According to the research into road safety, the past decade has sen the number of road deaths in cities has decrease much more slowly than on the national level.

In Barcelona the number of fatalities fell by 25% in 2011-15 compared to 2006-10, while Spain’s total fell by 44%.

In the Paris Area, the number of fatalities remained stable, whereas France’s total fell by 20%.


The report recommends that cities should:

  • create mobility observatories, to collect and report on a wide range of urban mobility and road safety data including on behaviours, attitudes and enforcement
  • collect traffic casualty data from hospitals, not only from police records, to obtain more accurate data
  • adopt ambitious targets to reduce the number of road casualties in cities.

Eighty representatives from members of the Safer City Streets network will meet in London and Manchester on 20/21 November to discuss implications from the benchmarking for the next steps in developing the Safer City Streets network.

The meeting will also provide an opportunity to welcome new member cities Manchester and Bristol from the UK.

Dr Jon Lamonte, Chief Executive of Transport for Greater Manchester, said:

“Just one death or serious injury on our roads is one too many. That is why we are working hard in Greater Manchester to make sure our streets are as safe as they can be, especially for some of our most vulnerable road users, including cyclists and pedestrians.

“This will not only save lives, but encourage more people to choose these sustainable and active ways of getting around our city-region.”

“We will need to implement a range of measures to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on our streets, including new infrastructure, education, policing and technological innovation.

“To target these correctly we need the right data; that is why initiatives like Safer City Streets are so important, so that we can share information and learn and collaborate with our global counterparts.”

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