700,000 Lives Saved: iRAP Road Safety Projects make strides in Global Safety efforts

Mamta Shah Posted on: 2024-05-09 18:05:00 Viewer: 2,092 Comments: 0 Country: India City: New Delhi

700,000 Lives Saved: iRAP Road Safety Projects make strides in Global Safety efforts

In a groundbreaking revelation, a recent report from Johns Hopkins University sheds light on the monumental impact of the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) in curbing road fatalities and severe injuries worldwide. Published in the esteemed journal PLOS One, the study unveils staggering figures: nearly 700,000 deaths and serious injuries have been averted across 74 countries since 2016, thanks to iRAP's methodology.

Through meticulous analysis of 1,039 infrastructure projects spanning various nations, the report underscores the transformative power of iRAP-backed interventions. Notably, these initiatives encompass a spectrum of stakeholders, including governments, development banks, NGOs, and private-sector entities, united in their commitment to bolstering road safety.

Central to iRAP's approach is its Star Rating Methodology, a robust framework that assesses road safety levels across multiple user groups, from vehicle occupants to pedestrians. By assigning star ratings based on safety performance, iRAP provides actionable insights to enhance road infrastructure and mitigate crash risks.

The report highlights several success stories where iRAP interventions have yielded remarkable results. In Karnataka, India, a 54% reduction in fatalities and a 42% decrease in injuries were observed along a critical highway section. Similarly, in Victoria, Australia, deaths plummeted by 77%, accompanied by a 74% decline in hospital bed days on key highways.

Rob McInerney, CEO of iRAP, expressed gratitude for the countless lives saved through collaborative efforts. Emphasizing the tangible impact of iRAP's methodologies, McInerney underscored the role of informed investments in fostering safer roads. “We are so proud and thankful for each, and every life saved by our partners around the world. We don’t know who we have saved, but we do know it could be someone you or I love. What this research shows is that countries and organisations that are making use of the iRAP methodology and tools to inform investment in safer roads – such as sidewalks and crossings, bicycle lanes, safety barriers and traffic calming – are having a real and measurable impact,” said Rob McInerney.

With partnerships spanning over 125 countries and encompassing millions of kilometers of road assessments, iRAP's influence on global road safety is undeniable. These efforts align with the objectives outlined in the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030, which advocates for widespread adoption of 3-star or better road standards.

Abdulgafoor M. Bachani, co-author of the report and Director of Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU), emphasized the imperative of prioritizing safe road infrastructure in urban planning endeavors. Bachani's remarks underscore the urgent need for concerted action to integrate safety measures into development initiatives worldwide.

Saul Billingsley, Executive Director of the FIA Foundation, echoed these sentiments, calling for enhanced government investment and support from development banks to fulfill the objectives of the Road Safety Decade and Sustainable Development Goals.

As the world witnesses a historic decline in road deaths and injuries, the impact of initiatives like iRAP cannot be overstated. With unwavering dedication and collaborative spirit, stakeholders are forging a path towards safer, more resilient road networks, sparing countless lives in the process.

The strides made by iRAP in preventing road fatalities and severe injuries underscore the transformative potential of informed investments in road safety infrastructure. As stakeholders unite in their commitment to implementing evidence-based interventions, the prospect of a safer, more sustainable future for global road users becomes increasingly attainable.

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