Countries can reduce deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes by flipping the traditional mobility hierarchy and adopting the Safe System approach, according to a new study from Sustainable Mobility for All(SuM4All).

The Enhancing Policy and Action for Safe Mobility report offers guidance, case studies, and resources to help countries implement the Safe System approach — a model that calls for a proactive and coordinated approach to road safety with the objective of creating transport systems that are safer by nature and account for human error.

The approach advocates for several steps towards safer roads: managing speeds more effectively, rethinking the design of streets and highways, leveraging vehicle technology, improving post-crash care, strengthening traffic law enforcement, reforming licensing systems, and promoting alternatives to private car use.

“The report rightly recognises that the overarching priority for the coming decade is to address the operational requirements of road safety delivery at national, subnational, and city levels,” said Said Dahdah, Head of the Global Road Safety Facility and Global Lead for Road Safety at the World Bank.

“There is a pressing need for adequate financing and institutional strengthening efforts to support this.”

Globally more than 1.35 million people are killed and 50 million people injured on roads every year. Over 90 percent of road fatalities occur in low- and middle-income countries, which account for only 50 percent of the world’s vehicle fleet.

SuM4All said broader adoption of the Safe System approach could go a long way in tackling the global road safety crisis. Its new report provides detailed recommendations on how the approach can be mainstreamed into road safety, sustainable mobility, and urban development.