Newsletter – October 2021

Newsletter – October 2021


Dear Reader,

We are pleased to share with you a new edition of CROSSROADS, the IRF newsletter. 

The IRF Annual Conference has been an extraordinary success this year and we thank all the speakers and all of you for the constructive exchange. Those who missed the event have the chance now to watch the recordings. 

Our conference could not be more timely this year. Happening right before the launch of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action on Road Safety and COP26, the event offered a unique platform to discuss innovation and partnerships to deliver. 

As reminded this week at COP26 by Barbados Prime Minister “National solutions to global problems do not work” when it comes to climate. Equally, meeting our road safety targets for the decade requires collaboration on all fronts as it is only united that we can deliver. 

We have come together at COP26 and for the Decade of Action on road safety with the ambition to save our planet and the people. We do have the solutions and they are within our grasp. It would be “immoral and unjust” to not use them. 

We need to try harder, not only at COP26 but every day, as leaders, as professionals, as citizens. 

This and a lot more in this edition of CROSSROADS.

Good reading!

Susanna Zammataro
Director General

IRF Annual Conference Hits Record Participation

Over 1000 participants and 50 speakers from 100 countries gathered on 20-21 October at the IRF Annual Conference. Road safety investments, digitalisation, Sustainability, transport new trends and a pitching session for the finalists of the IRF Start-up label were the key pillars around which the conversation was structured. The event concluded with a special announcement from IRF. All the recordings and speakers’ material are now available online. 

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Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety Launched

The global plan for the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety was officially launched on 28 October with a global event hosted by the WHO/UNRSC. The target of this Decade of Action is to reduce road deaths and injuries by at least 50% in the period 2021-2030 thus achieving SDG Target 3.6. 

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Istanbul to host the IRF World Congress in 2024

Istanbul – the city on two continents – will be hosting the IRF World Congress in 02024. The venue of this prestigious event was unveiled at the closing of the IRF Annual Conference. Held every four years, the IRF World Congress has represented – for almost seven decades – an opportunity to celebrate the roads and mobility sectors as enables of growth and development.

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Join the Transport Community at COP26

The UK COP26 Presidency has selected transport as a priority theme and designated 10 November as the dedicated transport thematic day. SLOCAT partnership, of which IRF is an active member, will play a central role. A dedicated page is available on SLOCAT’s website with a list of all the events led and supported by SLOCAT, as well as events organised by the transport community and the UK COP26 Presidency. All info is constantly updated.

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Smart City Expo World Congress 2021 – Limited Free Tickets for IRF Members! 

IRF is proud to support the Smart City Expo World Congress 2021 (SCEWC) to be hosted in a hybrid format, online and in Barcelona, on 16 – 18 November 2021. Expecting over 20,000 attendees, SCEWC is the leading event for cities. A limited number of free tickets are available for IRF Members.

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Tomorrow.Mobility World Congress

In the framework of the Smart City Expo World Congress, the first edition of the Tomorrow.Mobility World Congress will be hosted on 16-18 November. IRF Senior Manager Membership & Innovation, Gonzalo Alcaraz, will join the event to discuss active mobility.

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IRF President Becomes Member of IBTTA’s Board of Directors

On 12 October 2021, the General Meeting of the International Bridge Tunnel & Turnpike Association (IBTTA) unanimously elected IRF President, Mr. Bill Halkias, as Member of the Association’s Board of Directors. Mr. Halkias will become IBTTA’s 2nd Vice President in 2022 and 1st Vice President in 2023, leading to IBTTA’s Presidency in 2024. 

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Introducing the Winner of the IRF Start-up Label: ASIMOB

After a thorough selection, the IRF was pleased to announce during the ITS World Congress in Hamburg, the winner for the 2021 Edition of the IRF Start-up Label: ASIMOB. IRF interviewed the Spain-based company to share more about ASIMOB’s product and identity. The full interview is now available online. 

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UNRSC Side Event at UN Global Sustainable Transport Conference: Proceedings Available

In the framework of the second UN Sustainable Transport Conference held on 14-16 October, a UN Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC) side event was hosted on 15 October on the topic “Halving Road Deaths and Injuries by 2030: The UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030″. The proceedings of the event are now available.

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SATC 2022: Call for Abstracts Extended

The 40th annual Southern African Transport Conference (SATC 2022) will be hosted on 4-7 July 2022 at the CSIR International Convention Centre, in Pretoria, South Africa, under the theme “Addressing the new normal and the future of transport”. The call for abstracts has been extended to 30 November 2021. 

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Online Training: Planning for Autonomous Mobility

On 4th November, IRF, in collaboration with FACTUAL and EIT Urban Mobility, kicked off the training “Planning for Autonomous Mobility”. This training is designed to tackle key aspects of autonomous mobility as a means to respond to new transport demands and to deliver value to society and businesses. Speakers from top organisations will be joining us.

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IRF President Speaking at the UN Global Sustainable Transport Conference 

On 14-16 of October 2021, the Second United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference was held in Beijing, China. IRF President, Mr. Bill Halkias, was part of a distinguished panel tasked to discuss sustainable transport, poverty, livelihoods, and growth.

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Introduction to Road Safety Audits: Recordings Available 

As one of the IRF initiatives in support of the Decade of Action Plan, IRF, together with the Qatar Transportation and Traffic Safety Centre (University of Qatar), hosted a three-day free online course on road safety audits on 9-11 October. The recordings of this course are available online. 

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Join IRF President at the ASECAP Days

IRF President, Bill Halkias, will join other high-level personalities for the political panel at the 48th ASECAP Days on 10 November. The event in a full digital format this year will address among others: Infrastructure Financing, Sustainable Transport Solutions, Road Safety, CCAM, Emerging Technologies, and R&D Road Infrastructure Projects. 

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IRF Supports the 7th GIFTS Symposium in Japan

IRF is proud to support again this year the 7th GIFTS Symposium organised by the International Association of Traffic and Safety Sciences (IATSS) based in Japan. IRF Director General, Susanna Zammataro, will join other eminent speakers on 18 November to discuss the Cultural Diversity in Traffic and Building of Safe Societies. Registrations are now open.

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SUM4All at COP26: Electromobility – An Opportunity for ALL Countries or Only a FEW?

On the framework of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), the SuM4All Partnership hosted a side event on 3 November to discuss its recently released paper “Electromobility in the Global South: An Equitable Transition Toward Road Passenger Transport Decarbonisation”. The discussion paper is available online.

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High-Level 14th Regional EST Forum in Asia

Co-organised by ADB, UNESCAP, the Japanese Government, UNDESA, UNCRD, and supported by IRF and other leading transport organisations, the high-level 14th Regional EST Forum in Asia was held on 18-20 October in Tokoname City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. The theme of the forum was “Next Generation Transport Systems for Achieving SDGs and Carbon Neutrality – for a Safer, Affordable, Accessible and Resilient Asia”.

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IRF India Chapter Webinars 10th and 11th

IRF India Chapter hosted its 10th Webinar on 20 October 2021 on the subject “Enforcement Innovations for Road Safety”. The 11th Webinar has been scheduled for 17 November on the subject “Strengthening Emergency Care System along the National Highways/Expressways – a National Priority”. Registrations are open.

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HVT to Host an Online Research Knowledge Exchange 

The High Volume Transport Programme (HVT) is hosting an online Research Knowledge Exchange on Wednesday 1 December to explore the evidence base for how transport in low- and middle-income countries responded to the challenges of COVID-19. Hear the findings from HVT’s COVID-19 Response & Recovery grant projects and be part of workshops on Gender, Disability, Urban Transport and Economic Resilience.

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Nazir Alli to Become Next PIARC President

During the last Council meeting on 19-21 October, the World Road Association, PIARC, announced that Mr. Nazir Alli, former South Africa National Roads Agency’s CEO and IRF Senior Advisor, will become the next PIARC President.

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SWARCO Acquires HITEX Group

In a transaction closed on October 2021, SWARCO AG has acquired 100% of the family-owned Hitex Holdings. Founded in 1972, the Hitex Group handles different road safety-related work, including the production of road marking materials, contracting for road marking services and manufacturing road marking vehicles among others.

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Online Training: Planning for Autonomous Mobility

04 November 2021 – Online

48th ASECAP Days 

10 November 2021 – Online

Smart City Expo World Congress 2021

16 – 18 November 2021 – Barcelona, Spain


16 – 18 November 2021 – Online

IRF-India Chapter 11th Webinar on Road Safety

17 November 2021 – Online 

7th GIFTS Symposium

18 November 2021 – Online 

IRF Members’ Briefing – by invitation

30 November 2021 – Online 

2nd International Traffic Safety Conference

21 – 22 March 2021 – Doha, Qatar 

40th Annual Southern African Transport Conference

30 November 2021 – Online 

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