Annals of Health Law
MAKING A POSITIVE IMPACT
has been claimed that the mandating of these devices is a violation of an
individual’s right to self-determination and liberty.145 However, a FCRS
would focus on macro-level objectives and parameters; it would not seek to
dictate specific details or measures to be taken by a state in order to achieve
these objectives. Countries that have solid histories and place great value on
individual civil rights, such as the United States, would have the capacity to
balance the competing objectives within their national borders. A FCRS
would, however, offer a mechanism for improved harmonization of road
safety legislation, which is an implicit goal of the Decade of Action.
The heated and highly political debates that accompanied the development
and entry into force of the FCTC show that even in the face of intense
lobbying and opposition, framework conventions can be successfully
negotiated. This is illustrative of how a bold vision in global health can be
translated into a tangible and lasting legal instrument. While opposition to
the proposed treaty will exist, opponents are unlikely to be as well-resourced
and innovative as the tobacco industry was in relation to the FCTC.146
Moreover, unlike the disconnected and disjointed landscape of tobacco
control in the 1990s and early 2000s, unity is already evident among U.N.
Member States in relation to the need for global leadership and multi-lateral
action for road safety. Therefore, the dynamics of any debate are likely to be
extremely different from those that surrounded the call for an international
governance regime on tobacco control.
Moving beyond the MDGs, where road safety was not explicitly
acknowledged, into a new era of Sustainable Development Goals as part of
the RIO+20 global movement, there is a critical opportunity to embed road
safety as part of the development agenda. A FCRS would further amplify
road safety governance into the global consciousness and give rise to
In recognition of the increasing global burden of road traffic crashes, the
U.N. declared 2011 through 2020 to be the Decade of Action. A strong global
549-68 (1985-1986); Tim R. Sass & Paul R. Zimmerman, Motorcycle Helmet Laws and
Motorcyclist Fatalities, 18 J. OF REG. ECON. 195, 195-215 (2000).
145. Warner, supra note 144; Christopher P. Ogolla & Frederic E. Shaw, Is the Repeal of
Mandatory Motorcycle Helmet Legislation a Contributing Factor to Traumatic Brain Injury
as a Public Health Problem? Recommendations for the Future, 14 MICH. ST. U. J. MED. & L.
163, 163-213 (2010).
146. Thilo Grüning et al., Tobacco Industry Attempts to Influence and Use the German
Government to Undermine the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, 21
TOBACCO CONTROL 30, 30-38 (2012).