Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club (ADAC)
- Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
- Stakeholder type: Major Group
- Submission Document: Download
- Additional Document:
A Submission to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development by ADAC
Road safety is a key driver for sustainability. To date an estimated 1.3 million people per year are killed due to road traffic accidents. 20 to 50 million more are injured. For these reasons the United Nations have launched the ?Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020?, describing road injury as "major public health problem with a broad range of social and economic consequences which, if unaddressed, may affect the sustainable development of countries and hinder progress towards the Millennium Development Goals". It is of high relevance not only for road safety associations but for the broad public to position ?road safety? on the agenda of international meetings such as Rio +20. Issues that are absent from these agendas are subsequently neglected and under-funded. This is why it is essential that actions to improve road safety and promote sustainable modes of transport are included in the agenda and outcomes of the Rio +20 Conference.
1. ADAC (Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club e.V.) is Europe's largest automobile club, with more than 17 million members to date. The club represents the interests of its members regarding transport and mobility aspects in the political arena ? on national and international level. Furthermore ADAC operates a large fleet of mobile mechanics that assist motorists in trouble (Yellow Angels) and provides 44 helicopters for urgent medical rescue services in Germany. ADAC publishes a members? magazine with the largest distribution in Germany, the ?ADAC Motorwelt?.
2. ADAC fully supports Rio +20 as an essential opportunity to define the major sustainability challenges facing the world and to contribute to the design of a post-Millennium Development Goals framework that will meet the needs of developing nations in the next decades. The club strongly believes that global road traffic death and injury as well as the wider but related issues of safe and sustainable transportation policy, must be recognised as challenges for sustainability at the Rio +20 conference.
3. For some, road safety is perhaps not the first issue that crosses the mind thinking about sustainable development. Yet, it is a key factor and the growing number of death and disability on the world?s roads is a consequence of the continuous disregard of this issue, e.g. at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. Pursuant to the Global Status Report on Road Safety (WHO, 2009), road crashes kill an estimated 1,300,000 people each year and injure between 20 to 50 million more. Actually, this means, that road crashes kill more people than malaria. More than ninety per cent of these casualties occur in middle- and low-income countries where road safety awareness and the capacity to tackle the problem is low, and where both - traffic levels and road casualties - are rising. Road deaths and injuries place immense burdens on hospitals and health systems. These tragic deaths and the misery and grief they cause are not inevitable. They can be prevented, if measures are taken by governments, police and all road users to improve safety.
4. The UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 is based on the General Assembly Resolution A/RES/64/255. It aims at reducing global road traffic injuries. According to expert groups, achieving this ambitious goal can save up to 5 million lives over the course of the decade. 50 million serious injuries could be prevented within the same timeframe (?Make Roads Safe: A Decade of Action for Road Safety?, Commission for Global Road Safety, 2009). This would mean a fundamental reduction of economic cost to developing countries.
5. In its resolution proclaiming the Decade of Action for Road Safety, the United Nations General Assembly defines road traffic injuries as: A "major public health problem with a broad range of social and economic consequences which, if unaddressed, may affect the sustainable development of countries and hinder progress towards the Millennium Development Goals". According to leading development experts and international agencies, the impacts of failure to address road safety can go beyond the immediate toll of death and disability, undermine policies on poverty alleviation, child survival and development as well as endanger defined goals regarding climate change.
6. Until road safety will be integrated into the mainstream of sustainability policy, millions of people will be condemned to unnecessary and preventable deaths, or lives blighted by severe disability. This is why it is so important that action to improve road safety and the promotion of sustainable modes of transport are included in the agenda and outcomes of the Rio +20 conference.
7. Therefore, ADAC encourages the secretariat to include a reference to safe and sustainable road mobility in the ?Outcomes Document? of the conference. This would mean a huge step to make our roads safer ? worldwide.