1.35 million. That is the number of lives lost every year from car crashes. Although figures like that impart a sense of urgency in most of us, it is hard to comprehend what that truly means. Behind such numbers are the stories of people who died on their way to work and children who died on their way home from school; behind such numbers are also the stories of victims of traffic accidents that do not make it to hospitals in time. These stories show us what can happen when we do not act to make our roads safer for commuters and pedestrians. They instruct us to act now.
But the issue of road safety is not easy to tackle. Making our roads safer requires coordinated action. Governments have to enact policies that promote road safety and invest in safe infrastructure. Law enforcement agencies need to be able to enforce traffic laws. Citizens must be educated about road safety and empowered to demand appropriate action from their governments. Just as importantly, companies that make the vehicles used on our roads need clear guidance about the laws and regulations within which they have to operate. Getting these parties to speak with each other is a herculean task. Getting them to exercise leadership in their own respective domains is even harder. We need a global coalition that will make conversation and collaboration possible.
Sustainable Mobility for All (SuM4All) was created precisely to facilitate such conversations and collaborations. Since 2017, SuM4All has been working hard towards a vision of a global mobility system that is universally accessible, efficient, green, and—most importantly—safe.
In two short years, SuM4All has built a consortium of 55 leading organizations with complementary fields of expertise and resources that together can create a movement towards sustainable mobility to benefit people and the planet. Through SuM4All, stakeholders that may have conflicting interests have found a safe space to discuss transport issues, identify a common vision for mobility, and co-create solutions that will make sustainable mobility for all a reality.
To help decision-makers in both the public sector and the private sector better understand their current mobility-related issues, SuM4All produced a Global Mobility Report (GMR) using mobility-related data from 180 countries to measure and benchmark country performance, including performance on road safety. Information contained in the report could be used by policy makers to formulate concrete, evidence-based interventions that can help save lives.
The global movement for safer and more sustainable mobility is already in action. With collaboration, perseverance, and leadership, we will one day change road safety statistics and protect the lives of people who depend on roads to get their to jobs, schools, and medical institutions.