Local Empowerment for Road Safety – LERS Provided by Adel Metni Foundation / Lebanon & MENA Region
Governments across MENA region currently share a common challenge in improving road safety performance on both national and local levels. The frequency of traffic crashes in these countries is increasing hastily and dramatically.
Public health reports alongside with ‘WHO Global Status Report on Road Safety 2013’ illustrated by “Time for Action”, all confirm that road crashes are the leading cause of deaths among youths, which demands urgent initiatives and solutions at both national and local levels. The increase in prosperity & the economic development didn’t actually lead to a real improvement in reducing the level of fatal crashes in these countries.
Lost GDP, recessed socio-economic situation and the ongoing increase in fatalities, are all indicators that combine together to bring more attention to the road safety crisis facing the MENA region and Lebanon.
When the majority of central governments in these countries are lacking effective means and ways to strengthen and improve road safety management, and when lead agencies involved in handling road safety initiatives at the national level are practically vague, this paper will discuss the ‘bottom-up’ approach of local empowerment for road safety.
“LERS” (Local Empowerment for Road Safety) prototype is a vigorous solution which may help local authorities in Lebanon & the MENA region to overcome challenges of road safety at all levels. Empowering communities to better approach road safety will lead to positive effects nationwide. Local governments can play the role of ‘lead agencies’ in managing & monitoring road safety programs RSP(s), and communities will be interacting effectively towards participating in the decision an implementation of road safety interventions at the educational, engineering, and emergency levels.
When the majority of local authorities in MENA and Lebanon lack adequate managerial and financial capacities to undertake road safety management, LERS prototype will try to identify the main weaknesses on all levels while providing the best ways to overcome challenges of road safety through developing dimensions to better approach traffic problems locally.
Road safety is multi-sectorial, multi-disciplinary and multi-functional. Keeping track with the five pillars of the UN decade of action for Road Safety (2011-2020) , different stakeholders are asked to coordinate and to be involved in either stabilizing, or reducing the rate of fatal crashes & injuries occurring locally.
The MENA region currently holds the highest mortality rate in the world for drivers (22 deaths per population of 100,000 based on GRSP Report 2010) which causes a further drain to these rapidly emerging economies with total cost estimated by 120.000 billion USD associated with the loss of 5.4% as average of their GDP (WHO,2013).
The Main Intercessions of LERS Combine with The 5 pillars of The Decade of Action (2011-2020)
- Road Safety Management
- Safer Roads and Mobility
- Safer Vehicles
- Safer Road Users
- Better Post-Crash Response
Fleet Safety Management
Road Safety Problems have their negative impacts on societies as well as on organizations.
Requiring a collective hard work seeking sustainable solutions, fleet safety management plays a primordial role in adding efficient programs reducing the huge cost of human grief and economic-social shocking losses. In Lebanon, as the case of all other developing countries, more attention should be given to Fleet Safety Programs in both public and private sectors.
Fleet Safety Programs do involve basically organizational members (from top level managers to low level employees), as well as their surrounding environment (their families and social connections). The main aim is to target capacities and resources towards implementing long term successful programs to the company.