Workers are vital to production and economic growth, but every worker has the right to work in a safe and secure environment. Road death and injury poses a significant threat to workers and other road users. About a third of road traffic crashes in high-income countries are work-related. Road death and injury also have a devastating effect on families and society.
Ensuring decent work conditions for those who drive for work, and protecting other road users from vehicles being driven for work purposes, is a life-saving activity in support of the Sustainable Development Goals. Due to variability in collision data collation by governments, it is not possible to know precisely how many collisions, worldwide, involve a vehicle operated for work purposes. However, we know it is a significant number and that many vehicles on our roads of all kinds are operated for work purposes, inclusive of goods vehicles, buses, vans, cars and motorcycles. Some collisions involving at-work vehicles result in high numbers of deaths, particularly when they involve a large goods vehicle or a passenger carrying vehicle or happen where there are large numbers of people on foot or other vulnerable modes of transport.
Thanks to the guidance and experience provided by many, inclusive of governments, academics, organisations themselves and NGOs promoting fleet safety and fleet sustainability, there is much that can be achieved, and quickly. Government legislation and enforcement of the standards of at-work vehicles and their operation can make a significant difference in the battle to tackle the unnecessary daily disasters on our roads and the world’s biggest killer of young people. There is also much that can be achieved by organisations responsible for the movement of goods and passengers on roads, operated by both governments and private organisations, through the implementation of safe and sustainable policies and procedures within those organisations’ fleets and the fleets of their supply chains.