IRU global report calls for governments to provide financial incentives to improve road safety

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The new report from IRU, the world road transport organisation, focused on investment in road safety launched this morning (Thursday 20th February), ahead of their Logistics and Innovation Forum, which will take place on Friday at London Heathrow.

With more than 3,500 people dying on the roads around the world every day, investment in road safety has never been more critical. IRU is calling on national governments to work together with the commercial road transport industry to provide better financial incentives and thorough regulation to improve safety on the roads for all who use them.

IRU’s new report provides a comprehensive overview of road safety practices across Europe, exploring the key drivers of investment, barriers which must be overcome and opportunities for operators. According to the findings:

  • 80% of logistics and mobility operators will strongly invest in road safety practices in the future, with most investment directed towards vehicle technology
  • Financial barriers are the biggest obstacle preventing further investment, as well as a lack of international standards, including around driver safety
  • Operators have a strong sense of social responsibility, but are also driven by the business benefits unlocked by investing in safety

Commercial vehicles are involved in less than 3% of road accidents, of which 85% are caused by human error (25% due to the professional driver, 75% due to the other road user). Commercial operators and their professional drivers are nevertheless visible role models on our roads, and take their responsibility on safety seriously.

IRU’s new report assessed safety related investment decisions by companies running buses, coaches and trucks. It looked at the safety culture inside the company, why and how they invest in vehicle, human and operational measures, and what blocks investment.

Umberto de Pretto, Secretary General at IRU, commented: “The single biggest factor affecting road safety today is people. We need to push further investment in the human elements of road safety – from certification schemes and better driver monitoring through to general awareness campaigns to drive a stronger safety culture.”

“As we bring key industry players together to tackle the business challenges of road safety at IRU’s Logistics and Innovation Forum, we need to look carefully at what is driving safety investment.

“Commercial road transport operators are involved in a small percentage of all accidents, yet have a very strong sense of social responsibility and, with the right changes to boost investment, they can also help others advance and make our roads safer for all”.

The full report is available to download here.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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