Monday, September 13, 2010

The Tylösand seminar

Today was the first day (of three) of a Swedish traffic safety conference called "Tylösandsseminariet". It's actually located here in Halmstad, it's nice to have the world come to you for a change! The seminar has been an annually reoccurring event for the past 53 years and gathers a wide variety of traffic safety decision makers and other stakeholders.

One of the mornings highlights was a talk by Saul Billingsley from the FIA Foundation who painted a grim future in terms of road deaths especially in what we used to term "developing countries". As GDP per capita passes a certain level ($10k USD if I remember right) vehicle ownership takes off. In industrialized countries the road infrastructure and associated safety mechanisms have had time to mature as vehicle ownership has increased over the years. This hasn't been the case in many growing economies with a projected rapid increase in fatalities as a consequence.

Saul talked about the UN initiative "The Decade for Action on Road Safety" which aims at stabilizing and reducing predicted global traffic fatalities up until 2020. A description of the initiative as well as the effect of road traffic fatalities on developing countries can be found here.