The status of road crashes as a leading global public health priority is well established. Globally in 2007, 1.3 million people were killed. Most of these deaths occurred in developing countries and they disproportionately involve the young. By 2030, the number of people killed as a result of road crashes is forecast to increase by 52% to close to 2.2 million people killed per annum. The forecast increase in deaths in Africa is estimated to be 127%, largely as a consequence of rapid motorisation.

Following a concerted campaign by a range of global actors, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2011 – 2020 to be the Road Safety Decade of Action with the goal of first stabilising then reducing the numbers killed on the road. Five pillars have been  nominated as the focus of action, these being: road safety management; infrastructure; safer vehicles; road user behaviour; and post-crash care.

In seeking to bring about reductions in the number of citizens killed in southern Africa, Monash University under the auspices of the Monash Africa Centre are bringing together key stakeholders from South Africa, Tanzania, Namibia, Swaziland, and Botswana to  chart a way forward.

The Monash Road Safety Forum is built on four platform areas, the logic being that these platforms represent the fundamental foundations upon which the five nominated pillars sit. The four platform areas are: crash / injury surveillance systems; capacity building; strategy management and performance indicators; and industry engagement and road safety management systems.

The Forum seeks to build these platforms, first by exploring their substance and then by arriving at action plans relevant to the stakeholders present. The forum will also seek to define the implementation and evaluation process for defined actions that are agreed upon. This document seeks to motivate discussion in these content areas.