Roads, transport, traffic, city and regional planning and the surrounding road environment are important parts of traffic safety, traffic accidents and their negative consequences on lives and infrastructure. This is an international issue in general, on the continent, and South Africa in particular. The planning, design and developments of highways and roads are currently undergoing development and modernisation, especially with respect to road safety. With the increase in the number and speed of vehicles on our roads, and the diversity of transport and traffic mode, it has become of paramount importance to address the issue of road safety.
Road accidents are the leading cause of death in many countries and it is estimated that approximately 1,240,000 people die annually and about 50 million people are injured and disabled by road accidents worldwide. These road traffic accidents deaths and injuries also cause significant social and economic losses in many countries. In order to achieve the highest standards of road safety, transportation engineering is the key to mordernising the design of safe roads, especially in this era of high speed and unlimited road limits. As we edge closer to the age of autonomous vehicles, smart roads and vehicles, road safety has become more and more an issue that must be addressed sooner rather than later.
One of the objectives of the conference is to look into ways to raise the inherent safety and protective quality of road networks for the benefit of all road users, especially the most vulnerable. This can be achieved through the implementation of the various international agreements on transport under the UN framework, with thorough road infrastructure assessment and improved safety-conscious planning, design, construction and operation of roads.