United Nations presents new Charter on the Rights of Road Traffic Victims

On the occasion of poor interpersonal behaviour in the context of claims settlement between the road traffic victim and the body which is responsible for compensating the road traffic victim the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, the Institute for European Traffic Law (IETL) and the Council of Bureaux (CoB) recently dedicated an UNECE Charter (TD/SITC) to traffic victims. The Charter does not intend to legislate in whole or in part. It does not affect national or international sources of law in any way. Rather, the Charter is intended to be a code of conduct for all those involved in the compensation of road traffic victims.




The Charter contains a total of 10 principles. Some of these principles are:


Principle 2: The victim should not only be able to address a claim to the person violating the traffic rules or – if based on the operational risk of the use of a motor vehicle – to its keeper. If an entity (“the compensator”) was established by law to offer full or partial compensation for damage resulting from the use of a motor vehicle in road traffic, the victim should also be able to address the claim to such entity under the conditions of the applicable law.

Principle 5: The victim and/or their duly appointed representative(s) should be treated with fairness, dignity, respect and empathy, with due care for the situation in which the victim may be in after the road traffic accident, whilst respecting the rights of the compensator or tortfeasor.

The victim should receive a reasoned response regarding the acceptance or the partial or total rejection of the claim.

Principle 7: The victim should receive advance payments and/or interim payments on account of damages from the compensator if liability is determined but the compensation is not yet fully quantified. The advance payments should ideally cover the damage or injury that has already been suffered and that is not compensated by any other entity.

Principle 8: The victim’s rights should not be compromised by any obvious incorrect or insufficient compensation. If compensation is due to the victim, the compensation should be paid on time and in full accordance with the applicable law.

Principle 10: The victim should have due access to a court or any other neutral entity, in order to receive an independent assessment of his/her rights according to applicable legislation.


For decades, the United Nations has been striving to reduce the number of road accidents worldwide. Preventive road safety measures alone do not seem to reduce the number of road accidents worldwide. Against this background, the UNECE Secretariat, the IETL and the CoB hope that through the application of the ten Charter principles, the situation of the road accident victims concerned or, in the case of the death of the road accident victim, their families, will improve after the accident by mitigating, with fair and fully adequate compensation, the injustice suffered.

Charter available at:

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