A Safe Systems approach is focused on the elimination of deaths and injuries that undermine the sustainability of road transport networks and the communities they serve. The priority is to afford protection to all road users and this includes the most vulnerable such as children, pedestrians, pedal cyclists, motor cyclists, the old and the sick.

This approach also recognizes that human beings, as road users, are fallible and will make mistakes. A key part of the Safe System approach requires that the road system be designed to take into account of these errors and vulnerabilities so that road users are able to avoid serious injury or death on the road

Pillar 1
Road Safety Management

Pillar 2

Safer roads and Mobility

Pillar 3
Safer Vehicles

Pillar 4
Safer Road Users

Pillar 5
Post-crash Response

A Safe System Approach has the following characteristics:

  1. It recognises that prevention efforts notwithstanding, road users will remain fallible and crashes will occur.
  2. It stresses that those involved in the design of the road transport system need to accept and share responsibility for the safety of the system, and those that use the system need to accept responsibility for complying with the rules and constraints of the system.
  3. It aligns safety management decisions with broader transport and planning decisions that meet wider economic, human and environmental goals.
  4. It shapes interventions to meet the long term goal, rather than relying on “traditional” interventions to set the limits of any long term targets.

The Safe Systems Approach represents a fundamental shift in thinking in addressing road safety issues. In a Safe System Approach, road safety problems are typically treated by considering the interaction of several components of the transport system, rather than by implementing individual countermeasures in relative isolation. This means that the full range of solutions, infrastructure, traffic and speed management, vehicle standards and equipment and road user behaviour need to be addressed together.

The reduction deaths and injuries will be achieved through methodical implementation of five modules approach.
SWRW programs and partnership adopts a modular approach based on the five pillars of the Safe Systems Approach. We believe that concerted and aligned activities in these five core areas will successfully reduce road carnage and injury.


Pillar Program/Activity
Road Safety Management Advocacy- Formation of NTSA, New Driver Training  Curriculum & Road Safety Drills
Safer Roads Northern Corridor & Nairobi Route Hazard Mapping (2013 & 2018)
Safer Vehicles
Safer Road Users Speed Gun Donation, Children’s Road Safety, Road Safety Caravans, Set Up Driver Wellness Centre (Jomvu) and participation in World Day of Remembrance Commemorations and UN Road Safety Weeks.
Post Crash Response Set up of Rescue centres in Jomvu and Salgaa, Set Up of ICU at the National Spinal Injury Referral Hospital.