With the official launch of the UN Road Safety Strategy in February, UNSSC’s road safety programme is well placed to provide critical support to UN and partner organizations through the establishment of in-house capacity to develop contextualised road safety programmes.

Comprised of five mutually supporting pillars, the strategy aims to create safer journeys through the implementation of safe system approach to road safety. Over the past year, UNSSC has been working to support the development of the Road Safety Strategy action plan, including chairing the Safer Road User working group, conducting the first in-depth baseline assessment of road traffic crashes involving UN personnel, and hosting a workshop on the standardization of road safety training and learning across the UN system. In 2018, over 400 drivers were trained in advanced safe driving by qualified driver trainers. Unique to the UN system, the driver trainer network offered training in thirteen languages across Africa, Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East.

Hama Saley Security Officer, UNICEF Niger who is a Driver Trainer points out that: “During the training, thanks to the objective comparison of their normal driving with  ‘coached’ driving on the same course, drivers quickly understand the advantages of safe driving. They find it is ultimately a very dynamic and intellectual activity. They are less stressed and more in control. Drivers rediscover the pleasure of driving through the training. At the end of the day, it is often difficult to close the sessions, as they want to continue to share and learn.”

Held in October 2018, the UNSSC-led road safety workshop included participants with backgrounds in fleet management, administration, training, occupational safety and health, and road safety, representing UN, international and non-governmental organizations. It was the first time the UN system has focused on a collective approach to road safety training. The workshop reaffirmed the urgent need to address road safety in a systemic fashion and highlighted the need for sustained leadership support, including the allocation of appropriate human resources, capacity development and funding. At the end of the three-day workshop, participants supported the proposal to establish a specialized resource to support UN organizations in development of concrete, evidence-based road safety programmes.

In 2019, the UNSSC will continue to support safer road users through the delivery of Training of Trainers (ToT) courses, support to the existing trainer network, and facilitating a Road Safety Management workshop to enable focal points and managers at all levels to develop, contextualize and implement the UN Road Safety Strategy. The first Driver Trainer ToT course will take place in Jordan at the end of January, with future courses set for May and September. Additional, bespoke training and learning support for road safety programmes is available upon request.

“The Advance Safe Driver Training has boosted driver confidence, increasing their awareness of safe driving attitudes and behaviours, and empowering them to communicate these changes to other mission members, thus overall making each mission a holistic experience of security both to mission members and the drivers themselves,” says Nonoy Casiple, Operations Officer, UNICEF Philippines (Driver Trainer).