Ten Step Plan for Safer Road Infrastructure

It has been estimated that about 1.35 million people are killed every year and around 50 million are injured because of road traffic crashes. Road fatalities are the eighth death cause worldwide and the first among young people aged 15 to 29, making road safety a social, economic, health and development issue that needs to be addressed (WHO, 2018). Poor road safety is considered a severe burden to social and economic development especially in low- and middle-income countries. In fact, 90% of all road fatalities occur in developing countries resulting in about 12-70 million people kept in poverty each year because of road traffic injuries and fatalities resulting in an estimated global economic loss of $ 1.85 trillion (WHO,2018).


The 10 Step Plan targets and objectives

UN Member States have agreed on 12 Global Road Safety Performance Targets in order to guide institutional action in its response to the global road safety crisis. Produced by the Project Group “Safer Roads and Mobility” of the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration group (UNRSC), the “Ten Step Plan for Safer Road Infrastructure” has been designed in order to help countries build a national capacity for “improved safety of road infrastructure and broader transport networks” using a step-by-step process. The aim is to achieve Target 3 and Target 4. Target 3 states that “by 2030, all new roads achieve technical standards for all road users that take into account road safety or achieve a three-star rating or better”. Target 4 states that “by 2030, more than 75% of travel on existing roads is on roads that meet technical standards for all road users that take into account road safety.”

The interventions and initiatives are framed in order to respond to high-level objectives:

  • Strengthening national and local road safety management capacity and unlocking sustainable resources of domestic road safety financing in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Providing funding support to participating institutions and organizations to supporting road safety programmes at the national and local levels.
  • Coordinating other complementary channels of road safety and sustainable transport assistance to countries and cities to harmonize initiatives for the Sustainable Development Goals and maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of the goals.


The 10 Step Plan priorities

The United Nations Road Safety Collaboration group outlines 3 key priorities to reach the objectives described above and to assist countries in implementing the Ten Step Plan for Safer Road Infrastructure.


Priority 1: Gap Analysis (contains the first 4 steps of the plan)

  • STEP 1: National Safer Road Infrastructure Workshop
  • STEP 2: Road Infrastructure Management Organisational Mapping
  • STEP 3 : Review of Current National and State Operational Policies, Standards, Guidelines and Financing Arrangements
  • STEP 4: Develop National Safer Road Infrastructure Strategies and supporting Action Plans

Priority 2: Capacity Building (contains the next 2 steps of the plan)

  • STEP 5: Development of National Road Design Standards in accordance with the UN Global Road Safety Performance Targets
  • STEP 6: Development of National Training, Accreditation and Certification Standards and Institutional Capacity

Priority 3: Institutionalism (contains the last 4 steps of the plan)

  • STEP 7: Establish and/or enhance a National Road Assessment Programme (e.g. BrazilRAP, ChinaRAP, IndiaRAP, ThaiRAP, SARAP – South Africa)
  • STEP 8: Immediate Road Design Assessments and Road Safety Audits that elevate the safety for all road users to a 3-star or better standard in support of UN Target 3
  • STEP 9: Strengthen National Capacity for Infrastructure Road Safety Construction Quality, Data Management, Performance Tracking, Monitoring and Evaluation
  • STEP 10: Establish an effective communications programme that celebrates safer road


The International Road Federation (IRF)  - who chairs the UNRSC “Safer Roads and Mobility” Project group - 

alongside  UNECA, iRAP, TARA and PIARC,  are carrying out a pilot project of the Ten Step Plan in Tanzania thanks to funding from the United Nations Road Safety Fund and World Bank Global Road Safety Facility. The project will last 2 years.

More information is available on the gTKP page Ten Step Project Tanzania.


If you would like to know more about the UNRS Ten Step Project you can also access a dedicated page on the International Road Federation (IRF) website, the link is provided in the useful links session at the bottom of this page. This page contains videos, Q&A, recordings and presentations of a webinar hosted by IRF and iRAP on 9th September 2019 where a number of international speakers introduced the Ten Step Project.