6 May 2019, New York, USA – In the framework of the Fifth UN Global Road Safety Week (UNGRSW), UNITAR in collaboration with the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services, the New York City Department of Transportation and Together for Safer Roads (TSR) hosted the briefing “Public-Private Partnerships to Advance Vision Zero in the City of New York”, providing a venue to exchange best practices that help reduce traffic deaths and injuries.
Today marks the start of the Fifth UN Global Road Safety Week (UNGRSW), which this year places special emphasis on leadership. Thousands of leaders around the world are taking the opportunity of this Week to acknowledge that strong leadership is needed to advance road safety and achieve related Sustainable Development Goals and global targets.
In the framework of the UNGRW, UNITAR with partners from the public and private sectors joined forces to “Speak Up” for road safety and call for urgent actions that lead to concrete interventions that save lives.
Mr. Keith Kerman, Deputy Commissioner of the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) and Mr. Mohamad Talas, Director of System Engineering, Intelligent Transportation System of the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) presented the City’s Connected Vehicle Pilot. The Pilot is consistent with Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero goal of eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries in the city by 2024. It not only aims to make the municipal fleets safer, but it also provides a well-defined opportunity for private fleets to support this goal. “The Pilot promotes the use of wireless communications technology in vehicles and on infrastructure to alert drivers to roadway hazards and help them avoid collisions”, said Mr. Mohamad Talas from the NYC DOT.
Mayor Bill de Blasio launched New York City’s Vision Zero Program in 2014, and it is becoming a national model. Since 2013, traffic fatalities have dropped 34-percent to the lowest level since record-keeping began in 1910. The Connected Vehicle Pilot is managed by the U.S. DOT and is a national effort to deploy, test and activate mobile and roadside technologies and enable multiple connected vehicle applications. The pilot is focused on developing and deploying more than 15 safety applications to provide in-vehicle warnings to motorists behind the wheel. New York City is one of three Connected Vehicle Pilot sites. The others are Tampa and Wyoming.
“Addressing road safety challenges requires the active engagement of all social actors: academic institutions, governments at all levels, the private sector, the media, the international community, and society as a whole to ensure that road safety is a global priority”, highlighted Ambassador Luis Gallegos, Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the UN in New York.
The companies leading TSR collectively operate some 600,000 fleet vehicles around the world, representing a tremendous potential and responsibility to save lives on the world’s roads. People are a company’s greatest asset and companies have the responsibility of ensuring the welfare of their employees, as well as considering the potential dangers business fleets may pose. “By fostering public-private partnerships, TSR’s members can learn from the City’s best practices and share with other cities around the world” said David Braunstein, President of TSR.
Achieving Vision Zero not only requires strong leadership but also requires multi-stakeholder participation from all sectors, especially businesses. UNITAR alongside public and private sector partners, is committed to both strengthening the capacities of government officials and key stakeholders such as the private sector to improve road safety as well as supporting the implementation of innovate actions that can help achieve road safety related targets. In this line, the Briefing aimed to facilitate knowledge sharing and to reinforce public-private partnerships in support of road safety.
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