Regional Dialogue on Road Safety and Sustainable Transport Systems

21-22 February 2017, Lagos, Nigeria – UNITAR in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Transport of Nigeria, the University of Lagos and with the support of Diageo hosted the regional workshop “Road Safety and Sustainable Transport Systems” bringing together over 250 government officials and representatives from academia and the private sector from Nigeria and West Africa to exchange good practices on improving road safety and transport systems, thus contributing to building safe and sustainable cities.

During the two-day workshop representatives from the Federal Ministry of Transport of Nigeria, the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), the Federal Road Safety Commission of Nigeria shared about Nigeria’s strategy to provide safer roads and integrated transport systems in the country.  

Experiences and interventions from West African countries were presented as well. Representatives from the National Road Safety Commission of Ghana, the National Centre for Road Safety of Benin, and the Ministry of Transport’s Road Safety Division of Togo shared their expertise and country strategies to mainstream road safety into transport systems.

The Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Organization (ALCO) is an initiative for infrastructure development in Africa. The Abidjan-Lagos corridor was selected, by the presidents of the five countries concerned (Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria) as one of the most important projects in West Africa in terms of regional integration. One important component of the project is to provide safe roads along the corridor and no obstacle to free movements of people and goods. Specialists from the ALCO shared the progress made in terms of kilometers of rehabilitated roads and upcoming improvements across the five countries.

Academic institutions play a key role in improving road safety by contributing to advance research and provide data that can serve to make informed decisions. During the workshop, experts from Kennesaw State University (KSU) led several sessions to address key topics such as strategic planning to improve road safety and sustainable transport, and smart mobility for safer and sustainable cities. Lagos State University (LASU) also contributed to the discussions by providing concrete examples on the role of academia to improve road safety and urban mobility.

Professors from the University of Lagos (Unilag) School of Transport presented several research papers aimed at strengthening road safety for sustainable cities in Nigeria. The research developed by Unilag addresses topics such as non-compliance to road traffic laws in Nigeria; road traffic accident investigation and reconstruction in Nigeria; teaching, research and advocacy for institutionalizing road safety culture in university environment; and improving road safety and urban mobility by stemming down alcohol consumption among tankers drivers.

UNITAR’s corporate partner, Diageo shared about its work in tackling drink driving around the world. Diageo’s responsible drinking programmes contribute to implement effective ways to address harmful drinking, and to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving.

Road traffic injuries claim more than 1.2 million lives each year with a disproportionate impact on health and development. They are the leading cause of death among young people aged between 15 and 29 years. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has set a goal of reducing road traffic deaths and injuries by 50% by 2020 (SDG 3).

Road Safety is a shared responsibility. UNITAR looks forward to continue working in partnership with governments, academia, the private sector, civil society and individuals to raise awareness about the urgent need of saving lives by improving road safety.  

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