A high-powered industry coalition formed last November to improve safety conditions on the world's roads will unveil its first major initiative Tuesday when it discloses findings and recommendations from a panel's year-long study of how the private sector can reduce the incidence of road traffic deaths worldwide.
The 11-company coalition, which calls itself "Together for Safer Roads," will hold a digital press conference on Tuesday to discuss the panel's report's findings. The group consists of IBM Corp.; insurer American International Group Inc.; telecommunications firm Ericsson Corp.; Wal-Mart Stores Inc.; Ryder System Inc.; PepsiCo; Chevron Corp.; media firm iHeart Media Inc.; Facebook Inc.; AT&T Inc., and brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev.
In a statement, the group said its objective is to promote "major change in helping reduce global deaths from road traffic incidents." As a coalition, "we believe we are in a unique position to bring together industry knowledge, data, technology, and networks related to transportation safety to help make a significant improvement in global road safety," it added.
The group brings diverse interests and skills to the common effort, according to Cindy Haas, a spokeswoman for Miami-based Ryder. Her company provides truck leasing, logistics, and supply chain management services. Companies like Wal-Mart and PepsiCo have huge private fleets. Firms like Facebook and AT&T have large commuting workforces, and Ericsson, IBM, and AT&T believe they can leverage their high-tech expertise to make roads safer, she added.
The panel's paper will outline specific actions the private sector can take to help achieve a goal set by the United Nations to reduce by half the number of worldwide deaths from road traffic collisions. Road crashes will be the fifth leading cause of death worldwide by 2030 unless steps are taken to reverse the trend, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The panel is headed by Dr. Kenneth P. Moritsugu, a former acting U.S. surgeon general, and consists of officials from academia, public health, and international organizations.