As a new UN resolution backs consumers’ rights to safe vehicles, Consumers International’s Director General Amanda Long outlines why urgent action to implement and enforce the resolution is vital to help stop the loss of life on our roads.
Consumers now have the weight of a formal United Nations General Assembly resolution behind them in their demand for safer cars. This is incredibly valuable as it provides a moral catalyst to car manufacturers and governments to improve vehicle safety standards throughout the world by 2020.
This resolution comes at the mid-way point in the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011-2020) and supports the ambitious road safety targets now included in the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. It sets a benchmark for safety standards by inviting Member States to adopt policies and measures to implement United Nations vehicle safety regulations or equivalent national standards to ensure that all new motor vehicles, meet applicable minimum regulations for occupant and other road users protection, with seat belts, air bags and active safety systems fitted as standard.
The Global Status Report on Road Safety, 2015 demonstrates the scale of the problem; noting only 40 countries require new vehicles to meet all seven priority safety regulations.
|Image from Global Status Report on Road
A safer future on the road for consumers
Safer vehicles are urgently needed in low and middle income countries, where consumers suffer from a dangerous double standards approach to safety. It is in these countries where 90% of the road traffic deaths occur, although they have only half of the world’s vehicles.
Major manufacturers continue to produce and sell millions of unsafe cars into weakly regulated low and middle income markets, such as Latin America and India, while simultaneously producing much safer cars for countries with high mandatory safety standards. This is despite costing as little as US $200 to install basic safety features such as air bags and strengthened bodywork. This can no longer continue, and now the UN has made it clear in its resolution that Member States agree.
|Image from Global Status Report on Road Safety, 2015|
Consumers International and its Members will continue to urge governments and producers to improve car safety. For more information on our Global Car Safety Campaign, visit our website.