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PIARC (World Road Association), founded in 1909 and comprising 125 member governments from all over the world, is the global forum for exchange of knowledge and experience on roads, road transport policies and practices. With consultative status to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, the Association is contributing to a stable and sustainable global development of the road and transport sector.

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PIARC is boosting Road Safety in LMICs: focus on vehicles!

Published on 20 April 2023.

PIARC Global Road Safety Knowledge Exchange.

Ana-Luz JIMENEZ ORTEGA presents the management system of vehicles for road safety. Watch now!

PIARC Task Force 2.1 President

Hop on our Exchange project aiming at sharing knowledge about road safety, especially with low and middle-income countries with limited ressources but also with more developed economies with different needs and priorities. Thematically, the Road Safety Knowledge project will focus on the Safe System approach, addressing safe roads and roadsides, safe road users, safe vehicles and safe speeds. It is managed for PIARC by the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) and the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT).

This month, let’s focus on vehicles!

Problem: Vehicle safety features such as electronic stability control and advanced braking make a substantial contribution to reducing road traffic deaths and injuries. Despite these potential benefits, not all new and used vehicles are required to be equipped with these and other internationally recognized vehicle safety standards.

Solution: Governments should provide, through legislation, a minimum set of safety standards for vehicles.

Recommendation: A well-chosen combination of passive safety measures and new techniques like electronic stability control may give a strong benefit in LMICs’ road safety

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Problem: Vehicle safety is increasingly critical to the prevention of crashes and contributes to substantial reductions in the number of deaths and serious injuries on the road.

Solution: Ensure the adoption of high-quality harmonized safety standards, through mandatory certification and registration systems for new and used vehicles based on established safety requirements and combined with routine inspections. Implement regulations for the export and import of used vehicles that are accompanied by inspections at entry and exit points, and mandatory periodic technical inspection of vehicles. Build demand for safer vehicles by encouraging independent new car assessment programs.

Recommendation: Apply harmonized legislative standards for vehicle design and technology to ensure a uniform and acceptable level of safety worldwide. Conduct periodic inspections for issuing required legal certificates and random inspections on the roads.

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Problem: LMICs report very low compliance levels on overweight vehicle legislation due to overloading for cost saving and lack of enforcement. Overloading jeopardizes the safety performance of the overloaded vehicles.

Solution: Prevention and mitigation solutions for overloading include four steps: Legislation, well-formulated legal text with little room for interpretation among road users; Prevention and education; comprehensive information on potential consequences of overloading; Detection and enforcement, use of both static and movable scales along with law enforcement controls; Penalization, financial, operational or institutional penalties.

Recommendation: High-quality infrastructure that is well monitored and maintained is better able to withstand high loads. Inspections at key bottleneck areas, such as toll-posts, with the preferable capability of automation through cameras/weight sensors.

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Problem: 94% of road crashs are caused by human distraction, errors and similar factors, autonomous vehicles could prevent such crashes caused by impaired driving or largely suppress them.

Solution: LMICs should start with small pilot deployments of the most mature automated services; safety-related automated services are preferable, as road safety is the highest motivation for deployment.

Recommendation: LMIC governments and transport industry should be prepared to avoid being caught off guard and to not get left behind the global community.

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Automated Vehicles – Challenges and Opportunities for Road Operators and Road Authorities

PowerPoint Presentation

Download here


Download here

Further information: