Rethinking road safety



Road traffic accidents are the ninth most prevalent cause of death worldwide. Montenegro is one of the countries with the highest number of persons killed in traffic accidents in Europe. In 2016 alone, there were more than 5,200 traffic accidents, with 65 persons killed and another 2,500 lightly or seriously injured. The number of road users in the summer rises rapidly and with nearly a million visitors each year ensuring their safety is important to the future tourism economy.

Estimates show that that the cost of one lost human life ranges between half a million and million euros. Some countries calculate as higher, (e.g. 1,3 million in Norway), some lower. In Serbia for example it is assessed to be 480,000 euros based on minimum prices and expenses in this country. The calculation includes the costs that result from a traffic accident (on-the-scene police investigation, court proceedings, detention and imprisonment, road closure and repair, medical treatment and funeral expenses) and loss of earnings and social payments.

This proves that even a moderate investment in Montenegrin road safety would mean saving lives, but also significant financial resources.

What is the project about?

The change we want to achieve is to reduce the overall number of traffic accident deaths in Montenegro from 8 to 6 persons per 100,000 annually, which is the EU average. We plan to do so by testing an innovative model - Social Impact Bond (SIB) – as a way of raising money for road safety reforms.

The road safety will be selected as Montenegro’s first pilot for SIB modality. The project will include conducting an Assessment of Road Safety in Montenegro with Recommendations and Analysis of the Legal Framework. The next step will be to engage national stakeholders and create the conditions for the design and establishment of Road Safety Bond in Montenegro. This, in turn, will open an innovative way to engage private sector to invest into road safety improvement in the country and thus bolster global sustainability together with public sector. The value added of this idea is “pay for success” principle, which means that the Government and tax payers will pay only for the intervention that is successful and yields results.

What's next?

Here is what our next steps look like:

  • Conduct a road safety assessment to look into the main causes of accidents;
  • Check what legal frameworks are in place in Montenegro for setting up SIBs;
  • Look at the math and calculate costs and benefits.




Road Safety is a joint initiative of UNDP in Montenegro and our partners at the UNDP Innovation Facility, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) and Development Impact Group. This initiative was funded by the Government of Denmark.


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