On 11 May 2011, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
launched a global initiative to increase actions to save lives on the
world’s roads: the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. It is
startling that some 1.3 million people are estimated to die on the
world’s roads each year, while as many as 50 million are injured.
Although many governments already have programmes in place to reduce
road deaths and injuries, the number of road fatalities is increasing,
and if current trends continue, road crashes are predicted to become the
fifth leading cause of death by 2030.
In April 2010, ITU Council noted that information and
communication systems, including intelligent transportation systems
(ITS), provide mechanisms for vehicular and passenger safety. Council
also considered, however, that the proliferation of integrated
in-vehicle ICT and nomadic devices, including navigational information
and electronic data communications devices, may contribute to driver
distraction, and are among the leading contributors to road traffic
fatalities and injuries.
This thematic workshop was held on 19 May 2011 in Geneva and brought together advocates
of road safety from intergovernmental organizations, civil society and
the private sector to discuss road safety, and how ICT can impact or
increase road safety.