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The European Investment Bank (EIB) today entered a partnership with the three NGOs leading Road Assessment Programmes (RAP) as part of the global drive to halve the 1.35 million annual global road deaths by 2030. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed at the 3rd Global meeting of Road Safety Ministers in Stockholm. 

The EIB and the European Road Assessment Programme (EuroRAP), the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP), and the Road Safety Foundation (RSF) joined forces to specifically support investment in national and regional “safer road” projects and to develop the analysis and skill sets needed to make investment in safer road infrastructure successful.

“We aim to finance road projects that will help to save lives and prevent serious injuries. The reward both in humanitarian and in economic terms is huge,” said EIB Group Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova, responsible for the bank’s transport operations. ”We, therefore, need to provide not only finance but also access to the required advice, training and skills to develop large scale safer road investment programmes. We all need to work closely together to improve safety on our roads. That is why we are delighted to enter this partnership with the RAP organisations.”

 EuroRAP’s Chairman Ferry Smith, who signed the agreement on behalf of the three RAP organisations, said: “This is a welcome initiative from the EIB. The challenge of the next decade is in managing infrastructure safety in a new way, which needs a changed approach and new skills. On behalf of the Road Safety Foundation, EuroRAP and iRAP, I am delighted that we can support EIB in this lifesaving initiative with massive potential throughout Europe and worldwide. We hope, in the future, to extend RAP protocols into urban areas with a focus on pedestrian and cyclist safety as well as assessing the fitness of roads to support connected and increasingly automated vehicles.”

Systematically preventing deaths and serious injuries linked to road crashes is a priority of the EIB, the EU’s bank, which provides finance and expertise for investment projects worldwide. The Memorandum of Understanding is aligned with the new EU Strategic Plan for Road Safety, which aims to cut deaths in Europe by half by 2030 and introduces major changes to the way infrastructure safety is measured and managed. The European Union (EU) Road Infrastructure Safety Management Directive (RISM) now extends to a new ‘primary’ inter-urban road network on which more than a third of European deaths are concentrated. RISM requires all EU countries to inspect the in-built safety of their primary network by end-2024 - and target action to make these busy and often high-risk roads safe.

The protocols of the International Road Assessment Programme, which measure in-built infrastructure safety in a consistent and systematic, way have now been applied in more than 100 countries worldwide as part of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. Many busy roads do not yet achieve the 3-Star or better RAP benchmark, which is contained in the World Health Organisation’s global performance tracking framework.

The Road Safety Foundation has carried out analysis across Europe to identify practical investment strategies and budgets that will bring both high economic returns and save lives. EuroRAP’s Members come from civil society, road authorities and research institutions, and are currently overseeing applications in more than 20 European countries across Europe to identify practical investment strategies and budgets that will bring both high economic returns and save lives.

The MoU will also contribute to the EIB’s projects in the context of the Safer Transport Platform–Road Safety Advisory, an initiative jointly launched by the EIB and the European Commission (EC). The platform, hosted and managed by European Investment Advisory Hub, promotes road safety investment and offers advisory services to national and regional road authorities, municipalities, transport providers and authorities responsible for communication and enforcement. The Platform fosters investment in safer transport, to achieve higher EU-wide safety standards through innovative approaches that improve access to finance including EU funding and financing.

Background information:

About the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP)
The International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) is a registered charity dedicated to saving lives through safer roads, established to support the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. iRAP works in partnership with government and non-government organisations to: inspect high-risk roads and develop Star Ratings and Safer Roads Investment Plans; provide training, technology and support that will build and sustain national, regional and local capability and to track road safety performance so that funding agencies can assess the benefits of their investments.

About The European Road Assessment Association (EuroRAP AISBL)
The European Road Assessment Programme (EuroRAP) is an international not for profit association set up in 1999 and registered in Belgium that is dedicated to saving lives through safer roads. The programme aims to reduce death and serious injury through a programme of systematic assessment of risk, identifying the major shortcomings that can be addressed by practical road improvement measures. It forges partnerships between those responsible for a safe road system – civil society, motoring organisations, vehicle manufacturers and road authorities – and aims to ensure that assessment of risk lies at the heart of strategic decisions on route improvements, crash protection and standards of route management.

About The Road Safety Foundation (RSF)
The Road Safety Foundation is a UK based charity founded as a permanent legacy of European Road Safety Year 1986. The charity develops road casualty reduction through simultaneous action on all three components of the safe road system: roads, vehicles and behaviour. The charity has enabled work across each of these components and its reports and analysis have provided the basis of new legislation or policy.