In the last two years, 490 lives were saved in Argentina thanks to the implementation of road safety policies, led by the National Road Safety Agency (ANSV). Created in 2008 ANSV has now been globally recognized with the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award for its outstanding work.
The award was delivered to Florencio Randazzo, the minister of Interior and Transportation, by Etienne Krug, director of the Department for Violence and Injury Prevention at the World Health Organization, who attended the event on behalf of Prince Michael of Kent. The ceremony was held during the III Road Traffic Safety Meeting for Ibero-America and the Caribbean that took place in Buenos Aires on May 8-10.
“I am delighted to see the progress they are making in Argentina. The leadership shown by the National Road Safety Agency and the tremendous support they had from the World Bank is really having an effect with the greater public understanding of the need for safer roads, better driving and better enforcement”, said Prince Michael of Kent in a recorded message.
In 2008, Argentina was facing a serious problem. About 5,700 people died and over 95,000 were injured each year due to road accidents. If no action was taken, the World Bank estimated that by 2020 Argentina’s fatality rate could have been at least at 10 times the one registered in some European countries that apply best practices behind the wheel.
Road safety became a key priority for Argentina’s public agenda and so ANSV was created with the mission of reducing road deaths figures through the promotion, coordination, control and monitoring of road safety policies.
The National Road Safety Agency worked with the Bank to launch the Road Safety Project, which provided support to the ANSV in the design and implementation of key actions such as the establishment of a National Driver License and the creation of monitoring and evaluation systems, such as the National Road Safety Observatory.
Moreover, education and communication campaigns were developed in collaboration with social organizations. Also the emergency response services were improved, including protocols, action plans, and new equipment.
"One of the most rewarding aspects of working on this project has been the close collaboration with civil society organizations and victims associations, raising awareness on that we all share the responsibility of changing behaviors to improve road safety, governments, civil society, the private sector, and individual citizens” said Verónica Raffo and Luis Pérez, World Bank specialists of transport and health sectors.
Since 2008, road traffic deaths have been reduced from 15.4 to 13.6 for every 100,000 inhabitants. Other significant results achieved include a 15% decrease in average driving speed, 50% decrease in drunk-driving rates, 43% increase in seat belt usage, 19.5% increase in the use of helmets, and a 50% decrease in traffic fatalities in selected demonstration corridors.