Most countries have achieved significant improvements in road safety over many years, but many are finding further improvements progressively more difficult to achieve. At the same time, there is still quite a disparity in overall road safety performance in member countries and some countries have seen their road safety situation worsen in recent years.

Ambitious targets have been set by many individual countries and at international level to reduce the number of road casualties but few countries are on track to achieve their targets.

This report Towards Zero: Ambitious Road Safety Targets and the Safe System Approach takes stock of recent developments and initiatives in OECD and International Transport Forum member countries to meet increasingly ambitious road safety targets. It highlights the institutional management changes required in many countries to implement effective interventions through a strong focus on results, and builds the economic case for road safety investment.

The report is the result of a three-year co-operative effort by an international group of safety experts representing 21 countries, as well as the World Bank, the World Health Organisation and the FIA Foundation. The Working Group was chaired by Mr Eric Howard and the work was co-ordinated by the Secretariat of the Joint Transport Research Centre. The report was subject to external review
before completion by Mr Fred Wegman and Mr Claes Tingvall and the Group is grateful for their advice in improving the work.

To undertake this report, the working group carried out a survey to collect information and data on road safety performance, recent road safety strategies, the costs of road crashes and expenditures on road safety. Preliminary output from the Working Group was published as Country reports on road safety performance to provide a comprehensive description of the road safety situation in each country, available on the website of the Joint Transport Research Centre at: The present report analyses that data and examines the policies being developed to achieve ambitious road safety targets.