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World Forum for Road Traffic Safety

IFP advocating for a better consideration of the pedestrians

The International Federation of Pedestrians, in collaboration with Pedestrian Mobility Switzerland, actively participated in the UNECE Global Forum on Road Traffic Safety, which took place from September 25th to 29th, 2023. The Global Forum for Road Traffic Safety serves as the entity within the United Nations system, dedicated to enhancing road safety. Its principal mission is to safeguard United Nations legal instruments designed to standardize traffic regulations and provide a platform for addressing the ever-evolving landscape of road traffic, encompassing vehicles, road user behaviour, and infrastructure improvements to enhance road safety.

During the 87th edition of the Forum, several relevant subjects were discussed in relation to pedestrians. Notably, the advancement of vehicle automation was explored and beyond the safety aspects of these vehicles themselves, automation of driving tasks has far-reaching implications, including considerations related to driver attentiveness and behaviour, liability concerns, and the cohabitation with other road-users. Of particular importance is the potential cognitive burden that vehicle automation may impose on pedestrians.

An important point of discussion over the past year has centred around the terminology used in UN documents. Many participants, including IFP, the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims, Canada, and the USA, have expressed that the term “accident” is no longer appropriate and have recommended using “crashes” and “collisions” instead. One of the reasons evoked is the consideration of the victims and their relatives.

Personal mobility devices, such as e-scooters, also emerged as a relevant topic. These vehicles introduce road safety challenges. Their use, especially on sidewalks, can threaten pedestrian safety, impact their perception of safety, and impact their experience in public spaces. Additionally, the IFP recalled the participants that the use of e-scooters mostly replaces walking and that walking is more beneficial to health and environment than e-scooters.

Other relevant subjects, including road safety in Low- and Middle-Income countries and the alignment with Sustainable Development Goals, were also addressed by the participants.

The International Federation of Pedestrians, with Pedestrian Mobility Switzerland as one of its members, played a vital role in raising awareness about the rights and needs of pedestrians. They advocated for greater consideration of pedestrian interests when establishing new regulations aimed at addressing the issues outlined above.

27.10.2023

Contact

Swiss Pedestrian Association
Fussverkehr Schweiz
Klosbachstrasse 48
CH-8032 Z├╝rich

+41 43 488 40 30
info at fussverkehr.ch