SDG target 3.6 called to halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes by 2020. This global imperative was extended to 2030 as progress remained far from sufficient. Despite being a committed road safety front runner on the continent with stricter law enforcement and public awareness campaigns, Rwanda still faces challenges which hinders its ambitions. Systemic challenges include a lack of thorough standards on road design (i.e. zebra crossing, signalling, etc.) and vehicle inspections, siloed approaches of stakeholders leading to a lack of direction and shared understanding and an overall limited quantity of accessible and usable data to inform actions. New approaches are necessary to create a smart and comprehensive road safety system and thus improve the quality of life in cities. Innovative solutions powered by real time traffic data, road engineering, vehicle technology or driving behaviour monitoring can unlock opportunities for smarter road safety systems and new ways to prevent accidents for all road users.
Innovation cannot be a silver bullet, but it can nudge the system to a healthier state by opening new avenues for impactful change. In the case of road safety in Rwanda, data-driven technology could help bring the wealth of involved actors together, pulling and channelling thus far scattered resources, creating a common vision and understanding of road safety that goes beyond blaming individual road users. Technological innovation can broaden the spectrum data available, change our understanding of the challenges and increase multi-stakeholder engagement through greater dissemination of information. Such system change approach prompted by innovation could design resilient road safety systems in a way that human error does not lead to serious or fatal outcomes.
We welcome the attendance and participation of:
- Government institutions such as policy makers, regulators, and implementers
- NGOs and civil society organizations
- Vehicle manufacturers
- Research institutions and academia
- Transport operators and federations
- Development partners, donors and conveners
- Companies, start-ups and entrepreneurs working on road safety