Group of discussion participants on stage at the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety
Claudia Adriazola-Steil speaks at the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety

More than 1.35 million people die from road crashes every year – a preventable crisis that is not being solved at the rapid pace needed. On February 17-21, transport minister-led delegations from around 80 countries met in Stockholm, Sweden, to address the issue at the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety. Organized by WHO and the Government of Sweden, the conference brought together research experts and industry leaders, aiming to chart the way forward to continuing progress made during the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 and to achieving the global goals for road safety by 2030.

Claudia Adriazola-Steil, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities Director of Health and Road Safety and Deputy Director of Urban Mobility, led WRI’s participation as a member of the conference steering committee. Although the formal conference was only Thursday and Friday, side events began on Monday and went all week. WRI was particularly involved in helping to promote and build momentum for Vision Zero, the growing global movement to end traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries through a systemic approach to road safety. WRI President and CEO Andrew Steer spoke on a panel about harnessing Vision Zero to achieve targets for the Sustainable Development Goals.

On February 20, Adriazola-Steil and WRI Ross Center Director of Urban Mobility Sergio Avelleda led a workshop for the Vision Zero Challenge, a new road safety challenge to help cities in Latin America and the Caribbean create the systemic change needed to reduce traffic deaths and serious injuries. WRI’s workshop in Stockholm convened nearly 30 Vision Zero Challenge jury and consortium members from around the world, along with Latin American city leaders and other conference attendees. The workshop provided a key opportunity for participants to think critically about road safety issues and collaborate on implementable solutions.

WRI was also active at the conference in broader discussions on health, sustainability and road safety in different demographic and national contexts. Adriazola-Steil moderated a panel session on promoting sustainable cities and communities and participated as a panelist for other side sessions related to healthy cities and road safety. In addition, she joined WRI’s Paula Santos and Tolga Imamoglu to speak on the panel of the World Youth Assembly for Road Safety, organized by YOURS – Youth in Road Safety. Later on Thursday, a team from Bloomberg Philanthropies and WRI, including Adriazola-Steil, Avelleda and WRI India Integrated Urban Transport Director Amit Bhatt, discussed India’s new Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill with India’s Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari.

At the week’s end, Sweden’s Minister for Infrastructure Tomas Eneroth presented the formal outcome of the conference, the Stockholm Declaration, which renewed the urgent push for WHO Member States to reduce traffic deaths by 50% over the next decade and to continue setting setting ambitious targets to reduce fatalities and serious injuries, particularly for the most vulnerable road users.

To find out more on the Vision Zero Challenge, click here.