Ensuring the safe transit of dangerous goods is a fundamental dimension of road safety. The European Agreement concerning the International Transport of Dangerous Good by Road (ADR), which celebrates its sixtieth anniversary this year, is a successful example of the positive impact of harmonization and cooperation on improving road safety.
ADR covers both the packaging and labelling of dangerous goods, and the construction, equipment and operation of the vehicle carrying the goods. As the key reference for transporters carrying dangerous chemicals within the Agreement’s 49 Contracting Parties, ADR also helps to ensure quick and effective emergency response in case of accidents.
UNECE Executive Secretary Olga Algayerova stated “ADR has made a direct contribution over sixty years to improving road safety for the transport of dangerous goods, reducing risks and saving lives. As a global Agreement, ADR is open to all United Nations Member States. Growing international interest in ADR means that more and more countries will be able to benefit from enhanced safety on the road.”
Umberto de Pretto, Secretary General of the International Road Transport Union (IRU), said: “It is gratifying to look back at 60 years of improving road safety. Looking ahead, IRU will continue to support revisions as the industry develops, and we reinforce the message today that global conventions, together with training, are the most effective means to secure, professionalise and harmonise road transport services around the world.”
ADR facilitates the international transport and trade of a wide range of products of economic importance, including petroleum products, gases, chemicals, agrochemicals and fertilizers.
Although ADR is primarily intended to increase safety, its provisions also address other aspects of the transport of dangerous goods, notably security (to prevent misuse of dangerous goods carried by terrorists) and protection of the environment (to prevent leakages/spillages that could lead to the release of hazardous chemicals to the air, soil, and water).
UNECE encourages all United Nations Member States to join ADR, sharing its proven successes over sixty years in improving road safety and facilitating the global transport of dangerous goods.