Early investment in road safety saves money and lives - FIA
A new report published last month makes ‘a compelling case for strategic investment in preventative road safety measures’, according to the FIA.
The FIA says the report, published on 22 September, ‘paves the way for a fresh assessment of the benefits of stronger road safety measures’. It suggests that investing early to prevent injury ‘can deliver financial dividends as well as saving lives’.
The report, ‘Investing to Save Lives: An impact investment case for preventing road trauma’, features a series of case studies drawn from road safety programmes in Australia and Cambodia.
The case studies detail the ‘astronomical health costs’ resulting from road trauma in high income countries, and the ‘hidden costs borne by families in low income countries’ with limited access to health services, insurance protection or welfare.
The analysis in the report employs an impact investment approach designed to ‘deliver better outcomes and financial return, and measure both’.
The report says the Australian case studies demonstrate the ‘powerful financial case for frontloading investment in safer road infrastructure’. Meanwhile, in low and middle income countries, the incidence of road trauma is higher and growing and there are a range of hidden costs – to health care systems, to insurers, to victims and their families and to wider society.
The FIA says this ‘innovative approach’ to unlocking capital and directing it to road safety measures has ‘global potential’.
Saul Billingsley, executive director of the FIA Foundation, said: “This is about improving outcomes for people and communities and reducing the impost on government, business and donor agencies of the rising toll of road traffic death and serious injury.
“We encourage investors, donors and the international financial institutions to come together to realise the potential of these new investment models.”
Jean Todt, the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for Road Safety, welcomed the report, saying: “The scale of the global road traffic epidemic demands new thinking and innovative financing solutions. Harnessing the growing potential of the social impact investing market can deliver as yet untapped sources of funding for road safety and help to instil a new rigour in the development of road safety strategies and programmes.
“This report explores these opportunities and signposts directions for further research and action. I encourage institutional and philanthropic investors to join with us in taking this important work forward.”
The report was launched during the iRAP Innovation Workshop hosted by the World Bank in Washington DC.