Following the recently concluded discussion about Global Road Safety in Stockholm, Global NCAP has recently sent out an official letter to the heads of top global automotive brands requesting their help in reducing road deaths and serious injuries by 2030. In his letter to the global auto heads, David Ward, President and CEO, Global NCAP pointed out that, while there has been some progress with stabilisation of road fatality rates, despite growing levels of motorisation, there is no significant reduction in road deaths, which the United Nation (UN) planned to achieve by 2020.
Highlighting the World Health Organization's (WHO) estimate of 1.3 million road deaths each year, the Global NCAP head has said that future commitments to road injury prevention are important. He also pointed out the manifesto submitted by the International Organisation of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers or OICA in October 2019, which addresses a significant contribution by the automotive industry towards global road safety. While the Global NCAP has welcomed OICA's commitment, David Ward has expressed his concerns regarding the timeline for the regulatory action proposed by the organisation and some significant omissions from the document. For instance, the manifesto overlooks child occupant protection, pedestrian protection, and ESC for commercial vehicles. OICA also fails to mention the Global Road Safety Performance Targets which includes a specific 2030 target for vehicles endorsed by the UN General Assembly in 2018.
Ward said, "We are also very disappointed by the long lead times OICA is suggesting for implementation of their recommended regulations. Given that front and side-impact standards and ESC are all not far from universal coverage of the new car market, it is very hard to understand why OICA proposes to delay these vital crash tests by another three years and ESC for a further five years. This is almost certainly behind current market trends. Progress needs to be accelerated and OICA's slower than 'business as usual' is simply not ambitious enough when so many lives are at stake."
Addressing the global head, David Ward further added, "As leaders of companies that together account for over 80 per cent of total worldwide automobile production, we hope that you will be able to provide stronger leadership than so far shown by OICA. We trust that you will fully support the Stockholm Declaration being adopted this week and the new "50-by-30" target. We would also urge you to go further and respond positively to Mr Todt's call for an industry self-commitment. In this regard, we would encourage you to either collectively or individually accept a voluntary commitment to implement all the Manifesto's proposed legal recommendations (amended to include child occupant protection, pedestrian protection, and ESC for commercial vehicles) by the end of 2020."
Stating that this would be a fitting way for the automotive industry to mark the end of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety, Ward said taking this initiative will ensure that all new vehicles produced worldwide over the next ten years will meet minimum standards of safety. In his letter, the Global NCAP Head also recognised the efforts of global automakers to make safer vehicles. He appreciated the fact that fitment rate of electronic stability control (ESC) has doubled and now 80 per cent new cars get it, and that the UN regulation for front and side-impact are now applied to over 90 per cent of the global new passenger car market. He said, "As these and other safety features spread through the global vehicle fleet, we will see further, much needed, reductions in fatality rates around the world."