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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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Strategic Theme 3 - Safety and Sustainability

Road safety and sustainability are important issues that need to be addressed in road operations. There are several key areas that need to be considered in order to ensure that roads are safe and sustainable for all users. Road safety and sustainability are important issues to be addressed in road operations. Approximately 1.35 million people lose their lives while driving, cycling, or walking on the road every year. Another 50 million are seriously injured, and many are left permanently disabled as a result. Roads have significant sustainability issues, including environmental impacts, such as air pollution and climate change, and impacts on ecosystems. Road safety is also a critical sustainability issue, with the loss of life and productivity costing countries productive opportunities.

Strategic Theme 3 "Safety and Sustainability" addresses issues that are integral to planning, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and use of the road system. The five key issues for this committee are addressed by this Strategic Theme. 

Technical Committees


Technical Committee 3.1 "Road Safety" progresses matters related to road safety. The safety of vulnerable road users, including cyclists and pedestrians, is a significant concern. Low-income and developing countries face unique road safety challenges, with 90% of road traffic fatalities occurring in these countries.

Technical Committee 3.2 "Winter Service" works on issues relevant to countries experiencing very cold weather and having unique challenges when it comes to road operations. Staffing for seasonal work such as snow ploughing and ice clearing is essential to ensure that roads remain safe and passable. Additionally, maintenance of roads in very cold climates is important to prevent damage from freezing and thawing cycles.

Technical Committee 3.3 "Asset Management" progresses issues related to road infrastructure asset management. This includes the use of BIM (Building Information Modelling) and digitalisation of road standards. Each of these can help improve road asset management. The Committee considers innovative approaches to managing ageing road structures such as bridges, culverts, and tunnels that are essential to ensure their continued safety and usability.

Technical Committee 3.4 "Environmental Sustainability of Road Infrastructure and Transport" works on issues relevant to the environmental effects of road infrastructure. This includes work on how biodiversity can be affected by the construction of new roads, while air and noise pollution can result from increased traffic. The Committee also addresses measures such as zero/low emission zones that can help mitigate environmental impacts.

Technical Committee 3.5 "Road infrastructure for road transport decarbonization" progresses issues related to the decarbonisation of road transport, which is essential in the fight against climate change. They consider how there can be a reduction in emissions through the use of zero-emission vehicles, as well as strategies such as pricing and business models that encourage their adoption. The Committee also considers charging infrastructure and electric road systems.