The UN Road Safety Fund’s 2020 call for Proposals will be partially connected with the changing priorities of governments as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic with respect to building better and safer mobility. This was decided by the Fund’s Advisory Board at its fourth session last week.
The COVID-19 pandemic is the defining global health crisis of our time. It is causing disruption and human suffering around the world. Its far-reaching social, economic and multidimensional impacts will be felt across all corners of the globe for some time to come.
How will urban mobility change in the aftermath of COVID-19 lockdowns? In the short term, if passengers avoid public transport due to health fears, passenger car journeys could increase significantly, which would choke cities with traffic and pollution. Many cities have been reallocating space to walkers and cyclists during the crisis and to better manage this shift as confinement measures are relaxed.
During the lockdown, city- and town-dwellers enjoyed clear blue skies and clean bodies of water thanks to reductions in air pollution and began to hear birdsong owing to lower levels of noise pollution. Pollution levels in Barcelona, for instance, dropped by an estimated 62 per cent.
It is clear that the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic cannot simply be a return to business as usual. With the mobility that societies take for granted severely limited in many countries due to emergency measures, one area that calls for a critical re-assessment is how we can shift to more sustainable and efficient mobility.
Faced with a road safety emergency that costs 1.35 million lives a year, the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, held in Stockholm, launched a call for unprecedented efforts to halve road fatalities by 2030.
A variety of products used or produced daily by hospitals need to be handled and transported with special care because they are infectious, hazardous or radioactive substances. The United Nations have developed Recommendations for the Transport of Dangerous Goods to ensure their safe and efficient transport.
International movement and connectivity are facing unprecedented challenges as an increasing number of countries around the world close their borders and impose travel restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The patchwork of uncoordinated measures taken complicates compliance by transport operators.
From road and rail networks to ports, airports and inland waterways, critical transport resources are facing unprecedented threats from a climate which is already changing. Spain, for example, has just suffered the most powerful storms experienced in decades, destroying bridges, cutting off roads and railway lines and submerging entire towns in coastal areas.