Last Updated:
7 Aug 2022

Saving Lives Through Private Investment in Road Safety: Knowledge Report - 2022

The World Bank estimates a significant funding gap in road safety of 260 billion to achieve SDG 3.6 and 11.2 in the next ten years, and recognizes that this gap cannot be closed through public funding alone and thus mobilization of private capital is required. The impacts of road traffic crashes reach far into the economy and can cost L/MICs as much as 6% of their GDP. The costs of a road traffic crash do not end at the roadside; they create ripple effects throughout the wider economy. Loss of income, property damage, insurance premiums, loss of taxes, and burdens on the health sector are just some of the far-reaching costs associated with road traffic crashes. Road traffic crashes can cost countries as much as 6 percent of their GDP and trap families in poverty as they lose income generating potential and focus on providing lifetime care. This report examines the potential for private capital mobilization to close this gap. The report investigates the market failure to appropriately account for the cost of road crashes, which prevents private capital from flowing to road safety investments. The growth of socially responsible investing and the sustainable finance market offers a new opportunity to address this market failure. The report proposes different business models and financing instruments to channel private investment into road safety projects. These investment structures consist of subnational, public-private partnerships (PPPs) and corporate investments that can leverage the growing sustainable finance market, including social and sustainability-linked financings (SLFs). The report also develops indicators that can be used to tie the cost of financing to the attainment of road safety targets, incentivizing borrowers to commit to road safety as part of SLFs. The report examines the enabling environment for structuring investable road safety projects in a sample of countries, looking at the barriers and opportunities, and proposing risks and mitigation strategies, like blended finance mechanisms and stable revenue sources, for long-term sustainability of road safety investments.