Some of the world’s deadliest roads are found in Africa and drivers are five times more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident than those living elsewhere in the world. UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, Jean Todt is calling for global and business leaders to unite and financially contribute to improving road safety. GRT General Manager, Daniel Grundy agrees and believes regional road safety needs to be a global priority to address the infrastructure shortfalls that play a role in causing accidents—both overseas and Australia wide.

Road safety in Africa is already a significant problem and it is predicted to get worse as the population continues to grow. Experts predict Africa’s population will practically double from 1.2 billion to 2.4 billion by 2050, with demographics expected to be predominantly 25 years and under. As a result of this forecasting, there is an urgency for global leaders to unite and provide safer and more sustainable roads throughout the continent. 

Africa’s road fatalities rank #1 worldwide

Road fatalities are highest in poor and middle-income countries. Africa takes out the pole position with the world’s highest road toll—1.3 million road deaths each year. With an average a fatality rate of 26.6% per 100,000 population. This is significantly higher compared to Europe’s fatality rate of 6.4% and Australia ranking even lower with 4.5% per 100,000.

“Transport and mobility is a matter of urgency for Africa. The continent boasts the fastest growing middle-class in the world. With the right systems in place, Africa is poised to leapfrog towards being best in class for technological advancement, trade connectivity, investment, and business,” Jean Todt wrote in a recent article for Euractiv.

Ageing motorways and bad roads contribute to the high road toll

As the UN Secretary for Road Safety, Jean Todt has travelled extensively through the world and Africa witnessing first hand the state of the roads and ageing motorways that pass through towns and cities with barely a thought to basic security, air pollution, noise pollution or the high road toll.

GRT welcomes worldwide initiatives to improve road safety. As a leader in dust control, the global company is renowned for its state-of-the-art technology for the civil, mining and agricultural sectors that can be applied to deliver infrastructure, improve safety and reduce environmental impacts. The methods GRT employ are much quicker and more cost-effective than traditiona techniques used. In addition, GRT pride themselves on being environmentally-friendly, so there scientifically-proven polymers can applied across a diverse range of industries including roading infrastructure. 

The call to action followed the announcement of a UN High-Level Meeting on Improving Road Safety on June 30, 2022. It is anticipated that a contribution of $100 million dollars to the UN Road Safety fund could save and estimated 64,000 lives and prevent 640,000 serious injuries.

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The future of road safety

Todt believes investing in safe and sustainable mobility across Africa will be a game-changer for the country’s future. He is prompting global leaders to live up to the to the ambitious commitments of preventing at least 50% of road traffic deaths and injuries by 2030 of the Second Decade of Action of Road Safety 2021-2030.

In Conclusion

The onus is on global leaders to to make a difference in road safety worldwide.GRT prides itself on supporting local road safety advocates, both in Australia and overseas . Find out more about GRT’s participation in the road safety conversations in rural road safety fo 2022.