Friday, 21 December 2012

Tunataka tuta

Children in Dar negotiate roads on the way to school
photo copyright: Amend
Our NGO partner Amend has written a powerful op-ed for the Guardian development website on the impact of rising traffic and badly planned roads in Tanzania's capital Dar es Salaam. Tom Bishop, Amend's Africa Director, writes about riots after communities suffer road casualties, with people urging 'tunataka tuta' - we want speed bumps. He writes:

"Narrow dirt roads, which wind through sprawling unplanned residential areas, are being paved – the tarmac squeezing out pedestrians and leaving no room for footpaths. People have little choice other than to walk on the roads, with cars flying past on one side, and deep, dangerous storm drains on the other. These new roads are deathtraps, especially after dark when the congestion has eased, the traffic police have gone home and the drink-drivers treat the streets as their own.

Elsewhere in the city, roads are being widened with no traffic management systems, parked cars block footpaths, traffic lights function intermittently due to frequent power cuts, and an increasing number of motorcycle taxis are being driven by unlicensed, untrained young men.

People in Dar want safe roads. The dirt road outside my house was upgraded last week, transforming it from potholes and craters, where cars could barely go faster than 5mph, to a smooth, compacted surface used as a rat-run by speeding taxis, 4x4s and cheap Chinese motorbikes. Within a day, the local community had dug up parts of the road to create informal speed bumps, and had scattered rocks and disused tyres to slow the movement of traffic in an attempt to keep themselves and their children safe.

I have seen riots at schools after a pupil has been killed or injured. It is becoming increasingly common for children to lie down in the roads, forcing traffic to stop until the police and local MP arrive, promising speed bumps. But doing this after the event is too late".

The Road Safety Fund is supporting Amend's community safety programme in Dar, a pilot project working with schools and local communities to improve road infrastructure for pedestrians and to encourage local people to advocate for greater safety measures, like lower speed limits, pavements and safe crossing points. This is an important agenda for child injury prevention and pedestrian safety, and one which will be a priority in 2013 as the UN Global Road Safety Week focuses on pedestrians, and we lead the Long Short Walk campaign with our partner organisations.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Road injury high in Global Burden of Disease

The Lancet has published the new Global Burden of Disease study, the largest ever global report on the causes and distribution of disease, injury and other health risk factors. The study was led by the Institute for Health Metrics & Evaluation, at the University of Washington, with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and provides a picture of how life expectancy and causes of death and disability have changed over twenty years from 1990 to 2010.

The study confirms the rise in road traffic injury - with deaths increasing by almost half over two decades - to be the tenth leading cause of death overall. It also finds a shift from communicable to 'non communicable' disease, partly through some success in combating early childhood disease and partly through demographic change, with an increase in the overall share of DALYS (Disability Adjusted Life Years) lost due to premature death and disability amongst young adults as compared to child aged under five.

Some of the findings relating to road injury:

-  Road-traffic crashes were the number one killer of young people and accounted for nearly a third of the world injury burden - a total of 76 million DALYS in 2010, up from 57 million in 1990.

- The fraction of global deaths due to injuries (5.1 million deaths) was marginally higher in 2010 (9.6%) compared with two decades earlier (8.8%). This was driven by a 46% rise in deaths worldwide due to road traffic accidents (1.3 million in 2010) and a rise in deaths from falls.

The study also says:
"To put road injury in context, it accounts for 53% more burden than tuberculosis. Road injury shows a classic inverted U-shaped pattern with the largest DALY rates and highest rank as a cause of burden in regions that are upper low-income or middle-income. Nevertheless, even in the demographically and epidemiologically advanced regions, road injury is in the top 16 causes. The distribution of road injury by specific subcause is also important for policy: in seven developing regions more than 40% of road injury deaths are in pedestrians including all sub-Saharan African regions, south and east Asia, and Andean Latin America. Motorised two-wheel vehicles account for more than 20% of road injury deaths in southeast and east Asia and tropical Latin America. The local patterns of road injury and publications on road safety argue that most road injury is preventable. Some high-income countries such as Australia have been able to reduce the death rate from road injuries by 43·7% since 1990, providing a population level demonstration that many deaths are preventable. Various global initiatives on road safety have been launched but they remain relatively weakly funded and are yet to have a demonstrable effect on the rising burden from road injury globally. Continued attention from both the health sector and the transport sector will be needed to address this growing challenge".

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Observer spotlight on killer road

A major article in today's Observer magazine on the N2 highway in Bangladesh, one of the most dangerous roads ever surveyed by the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) . Around 60% of casualties on the highway are pedestrians, because the design of the new road took no account of the people living, working and walking alongside it. The Road Safety Fund is proud to be supporting the work of iRAP, which maps, assesses and rates these killer roads, and proposes detailed and costed infrastucture improvements. Many of these remedies are extremely cost-effective, and governments and the development banks are being encouraged to ensure that no roads are built or upgraded to less than a 3 star iRAP standard. Achieving this on the highest risk roads would save many thousands of lives.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Rights of Way

Walking safe from traffic should be a right for all! Watch Zindzi Mandela and Michelle Yeoh introduce this new video for the Long Short Walk, our new campaign for pedestrian rights and safer roads for children, in support of the UN Global Road Safety Week 2013. The campaign aims to encourage people to send in photos or video of a short walk - it can be a walk to work or school, a favourite walk or a photo of a dangerous road that needs fixing. All these short walks will be combined to form the Long Short Walk - a record of how we walk in different countries around the world, and a call to action for governments to give pedestrians a higher priority in transport and land-use policies. The Long Short Walk is also a step in the campaign for road safety to be included in the new Sustainable Development Goals, post-2015. So get involved, join the Walk!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Safer drivers in Abu Dhabi

The Road Safety Fund has agreed a partnership with the Abu Dhabi Department of Transport to disseminate a manual for implementing road safety campaigns.

The Abu Dhabi Emirate Road Safety Campaign Guide was prepared by the UK Transport Research Laboratory and peer reviewed by partners including the Global Road Safety Partnership, as part of a wider Road Safety Strategy and associated Action Plan. This initiative by the Abu Dhabi Department of Transport facilitated the establishment of a Joint Committee for Safety and Traffic Solutions (JCSTS), led by the Chairman of the DoT with a broad range of government agencies concerned with road safety including the police, the Urban Planning Council and the Abu Dhabi Health Authority.

Through support from a corporate donor active in the region, the Road Safety Fund will provide funding for printing and distribution of the manual, which focuses on strategies for addressing road user behaviour, and to enable the organisation of a launch and workshop with key stakeholders. The partnership was announced at the 2012 Gulf Traffic Conference in Abu Dhabi.    

Monday, 19 November 2012

Helping NGOs to communicate

Road safety NGOs and road victim organisations across the world are now able to work together, share knowledge and promote their activities thanks to a new website built with support from the Road Safety Fund's small grants programme. The Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety launched its new website at a meeting of the UN Road Safety Collaboration in Geneva on November 15th. The website is part of a wider communications strategy which for the first time brings together more than 100 NGOs around the world in a single network to coordinate advocacy campaigns and share information.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

UN Secretary General urges action for road traffic victims

To mark today's World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon has issued a statement in which he urges greater efforts to reduce road casualties as part of a global drive for sustainable development.

Mr Ban said: "Earlier this year, the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development emphasized the importance of safe roads. On this World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, let us commit to minimizing road traffic deaths and injuries as part of our quest for an equitable and sustainable future".

What should this mean in practice? It should mean honouring the memory of people like Pedro da Silva Queiroga by designing road transport that puts people first:

São Paulo, Brazil. Since a new stretch of Avenue Jacu-Pessego opened, the movement of traffic and heavy vehicles at high speed has increased. So too have the road casualties.

According to local people living alongside the new road, in the first six months of 2011 alone nine people died after being run over on a short section of Jacu-Pessego Avenue . Visiting the communities that straddle Jacu-Pessego it is easy to see how the road has changed – and sometimes ended – lives. Trucks and cars thunder along the six lane highway, separating the poor community on one side from a major local school on the other. Locals feel abandoned, claiming that the city and regional authorities have reneged on promises of pedestrian crossings, walls and tree planting to shield homes and schools from the traffic.
Pedro da Silva Queiroga was aged 15 when he died in September 2011. He had just left home and was crossing the Avenue when he was hit by a car. The authorities were soon on the scene but, according to Pedro’s mother, Ana Patrícia da Silva Queiroga, her son’s body lay in a pool of blood on the road, covered by aluminium foil, for another six hours before he was removed. It was one facet of what Ana Patrícia describes as the ‘disrespect’ shown to the local community by politicians and city bureaucrats. She says: “There is nothing more painful than losing a child. You wake up in the morning and see that your child is not going to wake up with you. You go to sleep at night knowing that he is not coming home”.
Road deaths suffered by the community were the catalyst for an outpouring of anger and organised action by local people which resulted in representations to the authorities, demonstrations on the streets and, eventually, the building of a pedestrian bridge connecting homes to the school. It is a bridge that is now used by up to 3000 children every day.

On this World Remembrance Day for Road Traffic Victims the efforts of one community to turn grief into positive action and a fight for justice should serve as an inspiration to us all to do more to advocate for safe and sustainable transport, so other communities do not have to experience the same unnecessary and avoidable tragedies. 

See here to find out more about events taking place around the world today.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Crash tests find mixed progress

The latest Latin American car safety crash test results from Latin NCAP have been released at a press conference in Buenos Aries, Argentina. The third phase of the independent consumer tests found some encouraging progress with a significant increase in the number of four star cars. Five models achieved four stars, showing the combined benefits of improved body shell strength, air bags and seat belts. The four star models are the Ford New Fiesta KD, Honda City, Renault Fluence, Toyota Etios hatchback and the VW Polo hatchback. The other models tested were the Volkswagen Clasico/Bora which scored just three stars, held back by its poor structural integrity, and the Renault Sandero and the JAC J3.  The Sandero achieved just one star caused by the model’s unstable performance of the body shell and lack of airbags. The JAC 3 also only gained one star despite having two airbags, showing clearly the vital importance of body shell strength in protecting occupants in a crash.
Latin NCAP is supported by the Road Safety Fund through an FIA Foundation grant to Global NCAP.  

Friday, 9 November 2012

Innovative driver training launched in South Africa

A new and unique training product for truck drivers has been launched by the Fleet Forum and North Star Alliance, following a pilot programme funded by UPS Foundation through the Road Safety Fund.
NSEWA Learning Network is an initiative which aims to close the gap between health services and road safety through specially designed driver safety training and health-related programmes aimed at the road freight industry. The learning network, initially launched in March this year, has completed its pilot stage and the project partners aim to now make it available as a commercial, non-profit, service which could lead the way in promoting health and safety in the South African transport industry.

NSEWA was piloted in South Africa with local and regional transport companies earlier this year. The pilot assessed the aim of the learning network: a modular training package aimed at refreshing and reinforcing skills for drivers who have already had some training but lack specific knowledge and skills needed to stay healthy and safe while on the road.

“The NSEWA learning network pilot has given us a great indication of how NSEWA will contribute towards a safer and healthier transport industry in South Africa,” said Paul Matthew, Director Southern Africa for North Star Alliance. “We are ready to bring an innovative training package that is new to the market.”

“The results of the pilot enabled us to assess the effects of the NSEWA learning network on a driver’s knowledge and behaviour. The transport companies that participated in the pilot were also able to track the benefits and results of the learning network. We are excited about the results which we were able to obtain from the truck drivers’ survey and the assessment at the end of each module of the learning programme,” said Rose van Steijn, Programme Manager for Fleet Forum.

By coming together under NSEWA, North Star Alliance, which specialises in healthcare delivery for mobile populations, and Fleet Forum, an expert in delivering standards-based solutions for the humanitarian and commercial transport sector, aim to create a powerful force to accelerate targeted health and safety for the transport industry.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Register: Latin NCAP 2012 test results

The 2012 Latin NCAP independent car crash test results of popular cars sold across Latin America will be published on Tuesday 13th November, at the National Institute of Industry Technology, Buenos Aires, Argentina. To register for the launch event see here . The work of Latin NCAP is supported by the Road Safety Fund through a grant to Global NCAP.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Sidewalks and safety at 'Model School Zone'

Ceremony at the Nguyen Thi Minh Khai school (copyright AIPD
Safe Kids Worldwide has celebrated the latest phase of its Model School Zone pilot programme, with the unveiling of infrastructure improvements, including a new sidewalk, traffic lights and rumble strips, at a school in Vietnam. The Model School Zone initiative, which combines the implementation of pedestrian infrastructure improvements with in-school education and parental awareness raising, is running in 10 countries with the support of FedEx, via a grant to the Road Safety Fund.

As we prepare for the 2nd UN Global Road Safety Week, highlighting pedestrian safety, in May 2013, the implementation and evaluation of the Model School Zone initiative will provide vital information on the impact and benefits of protecting children in the environs of their school. Baseline research conducted at the Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Primary School, where the Vietnam pilot is based, suggested that 16% of the 600 children, who predominantly walk to school, had been in a collision of some kind with a vehicle before the project began.

See the website of the AIP Foundation, the Safe Kids partner in Vietnam, for more details of the scheme and before-and-after images of the improvements that have been put in place.

The Safe Kids Vietnam team with school officials

SAD(D) story from South Africa

South Africans Against Drunk Driving is an NGO doing valuable work campaigning for tougher enforcement of drink drive laws and working with victims and families bereaved by drunk drivers. The Road Safety Fund is supporting this work in 2012 through our small grants programme.

The latest newsletter from SADD features one story which highlights the tragic and utterly pointless waste of life that can result from drinking and driving (and speeding). Please read the story of the van Wyk family below.

"In February this year an alleged drink driver, driving at aprox 180 kms, ploughed into the car of Jaco van Wyk’s in Mossel Bay – killing Dante and Sonya – aged 11 and 10 and severely injuring Jaco and hospitalizing Janika (8) – leaving him unable to work and support his family. In a few minutes the lives of 2 families were changed forever. The accused (who was driving on a suspended licence) has 2 previous convictions for drink driving and negligent driving. We are pleased to report that he has been found guilty of 2 counts of murder and 2 of attempted murder, and has been remanded in Jail. SADD continues to remain concerned that Drink Driving is not taken seriously enough and that repeat offenders such as in the Mossel Bay crash should be removed from our roads or have Alcohol Ignition Interlocks fitted."

(story and photo from SADD)

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Planning for safer urban roads

A speaker at the workshop, held at the College of Traffic Management
The Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE) has provided training in Urban Transport Planning to Indian and Indonesian engineers, academics and policymakers at its College of Traffic Management, with support from the Road Safety Fund's small grants programme.

The three-day course on Urban Transport Planning & Traffic Management, aimed at capacity building in the South Asian region, was held at the College of Traffic Management in Faridabad, just outside Delhi. The workshop brought together 33 participants from the Indian Police, Central Public Works Department of Government of India, the Indian Highways Authority and Delhi International Airport, as well as professors and lecturers from univeristies in Indonesia. The objective of the course was to improve the skills and capacity of highway engineers and the traffic police in safely designing and managing road systems with mixed traffic conditions, and ensuring that all road users - particularly the most vulnerable, such as pedestrians and cyclists - are able to safely share urban space with motorised traffic. Areas covered in the course included traffic and and transport engineering, traffic legislation and good practice in management, safety audit and enforcement. The course was co-sponsored by the Road Safety Fund and the Bureau of Police Research & Development in the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Child seat safety in Chile, with help from Educar

The Gonzalo Rodriguez Foundation has linked up with the Chilean traffic police, the National Road Safety Council and the Automobile Club of Chile to assist with developing child restraint policies and improved technical standards for child seats. GRF's Educar child safety programme, co-funded by the Road Safety Fund, has been a big success in Uruguay, raising parental awareness of the need for child restraints, improving standards of the restraint equipment sold and leading a campaign to introduce seat belts in all school buses. Now the Educar initiative is being piloted in neighbouring countries in South America - with Chilean road safety leaders eager to adopt the same approach. Recent activities, shown below, included training for police and advice sessions for parents.

The Educar team shows parents correct CRS fitting

The Uruaguan and Chilean partnership

Training the police

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Dutch university goes global


Students listen to Noel Brett, CEO of Ireland's Road Safety Authority
This month we are pleased to be supporting a skills development project led by Delft Technical University. Around 20 road safety researchers, NGO campaigners and government transport officials from countries including India, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria and Russia are participating during October in an intensive two week course on traffic safety at the prestigious Dutch university, where they will learn both theory and practice from world-leading academics and frontline practioners. The course, Road Safety for All, is intended to equip participants with the latest 'Safe Systems' thinking and real life experiences of implementing road injury prevention programmes. The course is being co-funded through the Road Safety Fund's Small Grants Programme, made possible through the support of companies including Allianz and Bosch.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Child safety focus in Georgia advocacy

Anri Jokhadze promotes seat belt safety
Policymakers and the public in the Republic of Georgia are being encouraged to make children's road safety a priority, in a campaign co-financed by the Road Safety Fund and BP. The 'Partnership for Road Safety' NGO, based in Tblisi, has made a big impact with its awareness raising campaign, featuring regularly on the country's media, and highlighting the benefits of seat belts and child restraints, and promoting pedestrian safety. The work of the Partnership is also supported by the Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport (EASST), which provides strategic advice and fosters external partnerships, and other donors include USAID.

All of the Partnership for Road Safety's activities have a core focus on capacity building, particularly encouraging effective legislation and enforcement. And the Partnership has a track record of success. As a result of three years of active work on seat belt regulations led by the Partnership, the Georgian Parliament introduced new regulations making seat belts compulsory from January 2011. Previously, seat belt regulations applied only on inter-urban highways and roads where the speed limit is above 80 km/h. The new amendment secured extended this to all roads and streets throughout Georgia. The Partnership has worked closely with the First Lady of Georgia, Sandra Roelofs, to publicise its work, and recently appointed Georgian singer and celebrity Anri Jokhadze as its road safety ambassador.

Current efforts of the Partnership include consolidating the implementation of seat belt rules and building towards further action on provision of child safety. Earlier this year, with support from the Estonian Government, the partnership opened the first road safety traffic centre for children in the region, where children are given bicycle skills training free of charge, and Anri Jokhadze produced a video promoting child safety which was broadcast widely on Georgian TV. We'll be updating on further progress with the campaign, which is supported in 2012 through the Road Safety Fund's Small Grants Programme and with a grant from BP Georgia.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

In pictures: At CGI and the UN

It has been a busy week in New York City, as we participated in the Clinton Global Initiative and meetings at the United Nations aimed at keeping road safety high on the international agenda. President Bill Clinton invited Global Road Safety Ambassador Michelle Yeoh on stage at his CGI annual meeting, as he highlighted progress by the FIA Foundation in supporting the AIP Foundation's helmet safety work in Vietnam (work also supported by Johnson & Johnson through the Road Safety Fund) and the UPS Foundation announced it would also enter a new partnership with AIP Foundation for its 'Helmets for Kid's' initiative. Meanwhile at the United Nations, where President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil committed her government to supporting the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety in her address to the UN General Assembly (see at 18m 20s) following the FIA & IDB's road safety advocacy in Brazil, Michelle Yeoh also met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. Also at UN HQ the Road Safety Fund attended the first open meeting of the new High Level Panel on the post-2015 sustainable development agenda.

President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil commits her support for the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety during her speech at the UN General Assembly (photo copyright: UN)
Michelle Yeoh and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon meet the media to discuss global road safety (photo copyright: UN)

President Bill Clinton reports to the annual meeting of his Clinton Global Initiative on the progress of the helmet safety work we support in Vietnam, as Michelle Yeoh listens (photo copyright: Clinton Global Initiative)

l-r Ed Martinez, President of UPS Foundation, Michelle Yeoh and Mirjam Sidik, Executive Director of AIP Foundation announce new partnership for 'Helmets for Kids' at Clinton Global Initiative


Wednesday, 26 September 2012

CLEAR support at Singapore fundraiser

Francois Renard, Global VP, CLEAR
Lotus F1 racing helmets have been auctioned at a glitzy fundraiser in Singapore - to provide crash helmets for motorcyclists in South East Asia. Unilever personal care brand CLEAR gave its support to the Decade of Action for Road Safety by hosting the fundraiser on behalf of the Road Safety Fund ahead of the Singapore F1 grand prix. F1 replica helmets signed by Lotus drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean were auctioned at the party and additonal helmets are also being sold via Ebay.
The fundraiser was the first activity in a new global CSR initiative 'Helmets for Heads' in partnership with the Road Safety Fund. Initial proceeds will be invested in the helmet safety campaigns managed by the AIP Foundation. Francois Renard, Global Vice President of CLEAR, explained the motivation for becoming a Supporter of the Decade of Action. "CLEAR wants to drive change and help the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety make a positive impact, by enabling the purchase and distribution of helmets to motorists in low-income communities".

Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1
Saul Billingsley, Director of the Road Safety Fund, welcomed the alliance. "Wearing a motorcycle crash helmet is proven to reduce the risk of serious head injury in a road traffic crash by more than 70%. With the generous support of CLEAR, this is a message that can reach many more at-risk road users. And by financing the distribution of safe and affordable helmets, CLEAR will be helping, in a direct and practical way, to save lives and achieve the goal of the UN's Decade of Action for Road Safety".

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

In Brazil, Michelle Yeoh urges Rio+20 follow up

Michelle Yeoh speaking at the FIA and IDB 'Action for Road Safety' event
Michelle Yeoh, actress and Global Road Safety Ambassador, has urged Brazil to take a lead in the post-Rio+20 agenda by promoting road safety as a sustainable development priority.

In a speech at a Decade of Action event in Sao Paolo, Brazil, organised by the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Michelle Yeoh said:

"The Rio+20 conference in June marked the first time ever that road safety was recognised and included at an international development summit. With Brazil's leadership the summit also resulted in agreement to develop 'Sustainable Development Goals' to meet the new challenges of the twenty-first century. This is a real opportunity. Surely this issue of road safety, which affects every one of us, in every part of the globe; which kills four hundred thousand of our children and young people each year; which mains a million people every month around the world; surely this issue meets every definition of unsustainable development?"

The conference 'Paving the Way for Road Safety', was attended by the IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno and FIA President Jean Todt. A delegation including Michelle Yeoh went on to meet the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff.

Michelle Yeoh has been a Global Road Safety Ambassador working with the Make Roads Safe campaign since 2008. She is the star of many international movies including, most recently, the lead role in 'The Lady'. You can see 'Turning Point', Michelle Yeoh's documentary film on the global road injury crisis here.   

Friday, 10 August 2012

Record breaker

Congratulations to David Rudisha, who last night set a new World Record as he won gold in the 800m final at the Olympic Games. We're grateful to David for his strong support for the Decade of Action, arising from his concern about road traffic injuries in his own country, Kenya. See his message on road safety here.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Gold and silver...

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce supporting the Decade of Action in London
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Jamaican sprinter and supporter of our Zenani Campaign, has successfully defended her 100m title with a gold medal performance at the London 2012 Olympics, and added a silver medal in the 200m final for good measure. Shelly-Ann and members of the Jamaican and South African Olympic teams recently joined us to put a group of London school children through their paces at a road safety event in support of the Zenani Mandela campaign. In the 100m race she crossed the line 0.03 seconds ahead of Carmelita Jeter of the USA, who has also endorsed the campaign to make roads safe for children. Our congratulations to both amazing athletes.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Johnson & Johnson leaders review progress

A delegation of Johnson & Johnson senior executives has visited AIP Foundation in Vietnam to discuss road safety and review the impact of the company's support of the NGO. Johnson & Johnson, a Global Supporter of the Decade of Action, committed US $140,000 this year to AIP Foundation, via a donation to the Road Safety Fund, to implement the Helmets for Kids initiative. Through their sponsorship, a total of 11,000 helmets have been donated to children at 21 schools. Eighteen Johnson & Johnson executives from across the globe were visiting Vietnam as part of the company's 'Accelerate Enterprise Leadership' programme.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

AIDS 2012 addresses road safety as public health challenge

Bella Dinh-Zarr with Kweku Mandela at AIDS 2012 in Washington DC
The XIX Annual International AIDS 2012 Conference being held in Washington, DC, this week, discussed the intersection of road safety and AIDS prevention.  “Road traffic injury and AIDS prevention have a great deal in common and we have a great deal to learn from each another – they are both horrendous public health and development problems that can and must be addressed head-on,” said Road Safety Fund North American Director Dr. Bella Dinh-Zarr who spoke before a diverse audience of AIDS researchers, policy makers, persons living with HIV, and others committed to ending the AIDS pandemic. 

 Road crashes, currently causing 1.3 million deaths per year, are expected to rise rapidly in the coming years, surpassing the death toll of HIV/AIDS in less than 20 years.  “By making roads safer, we can increase access to health care and to education for women and girls, and we can reduce the risk that large vulnerable populations who are immuno-compromised will be injured in a crash,” continued Dinh-Zarr, “And just think how much public health we could achieve if we saved the 2% GDP that is spent on the costs of road traffic crashes every year in every country around the world.” 

 Also in attendance at AIDS 2012 was Kweku Mandela, grandson of Nelson Mandela who recently endorsed the Decade of Action for Road Safety on his 94th birthday in memory of his great granddaughter Zenani who was killed in a crash during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.  Kweku Mandela spoke on the eve of the opening of AIDS 2012 in a UNAIDS event calling for an “AIDS-free generation” and the following day, offered his support to the Decade of Action for Road Safety.

Friday, 20 July 2012

UPS-backed fleet safety project gains momentum

Truck drivers in Johannesburg, South Africa, display the CDs
Road safety training has begun for truck drivers in southern Africa through a network of HIV/AIDS wellness centres, in a pilot project co-managed by Fleet Forum and the North Star Alliance. The initiative, which is being funded by UPS, a Global Supporter of the Decade of Action, via the Road Safety Fund, got underway in early 2012 and is now delivering its first actions.

As a means of making learning fun, Fleet Forum has introduced a new programme of modular driver training delivered via music. Supplied on an audio CD, vital road safety training concepts are taught to truck drivers while on the road, complete with tracks of the latest songs.

The road safety training CD is a joint production of Fleet Forum and the North Star Alliance, an organisation that provide mobile workers and their communities with sustainable access to high quality health and safety services.

 Launched at the premises of transport company Transvaal Heavy Transport (THT) in Alberton, near Johannesburg, in South Africa on May 4, this new way of providing modular driver training received an enthusiastic reception from the driving team. They were able to sample the CD and its audio road safety training, as well as the music. The plan is for drivers to listen to the CD while driving and learn in their own time at their own pace. When drivers have learned the material they can then take an interactive assessment at a kiosk in one of North Star’s Wellness Centres that are located along the major transport corridors in Africa. This training module is part of a comprehensive drivers’ certification scheme currently in development.

THT drivers were impressed by the presentation of the programme by Simphiwe Rasmeni, Fleet Forum’s Project Manager for the Modular Driver Training Project. They welcomed training that keeps them and other road users safe on the road, as well as the contemporary DJ training style. THT is one of four pilot organisations that will test innovative training methods specifically aimed at long distance truck drivers.

The road safety training CD is the first training product that Fleet Forum and North Star have developed. In total, during the pilot programme, four modules will be developed and tested. In addition to the module on Road Safety there will be modules on Health, Defensive Driving, and Dangerous Goods

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Road safety is a human right - Zindzi Mandela

Zindzi Mandela
Two years ago in June, my beautiful granddaughter, Zenani, was killed in a road crash.
She had been a teenager for just two days when she was killed. My family suffered what no one should ever have to go through – the loss of a child. No parent should be put through this pain. It’s a pain, a suffering which is unimaginable. And when it happens, the feeling of helplessness you have is so crushing as to almost suffocate. Two years ago this month, my beautiful granddaughter Zenani was killed in a road crash. My family will never recover.
When she left that morning for the World Cup kick-off concert in Soweto, I had no idea that it would be the last time I’d see her. I can’t even remember if I said ‘I love you’ because we always used to say ‘love you lots like jelly tots’ to each other. I don’t remember what I said, I don’t even remember how long I hugged her for. You desperately try to reach for these memories and sometimes they start to fade away.
Yet there are reminders of Zenani every day. In sounds, smells, tastes.  In everything.  The opening of a school.  One less child to send out in the morning.  One less uniform to buy.  One less set of pencils. Sitting alone at the table is Zenani’s younger brother – I’d normally prepare breakfast for both of them there. And now he is alone. No one deserves his loss, no family should suffer our pain.
But on the same day that Zenani was killed 1,000 families around the world lost a child in a road crash, their darkest fears realised. And every single day this is repeated again and again – 1,000 more families who will never see their children grow up. What people don’t realise is that the terrible daily slaughter on our roads is largely preventable. Yet we stand back and just let it happen. The children who are being killed - and the many thousands more every day who are injured - could and should have been protected.
It’s when you consider this, that you become aware of the far greater tragedy - the tragedy of our failure. I must confess that until it struck at the heart of my family, I was one of those members of the public to whom road accidents were just that: accidents, a terrible fact of life, simply accepted. I didn’t think about it like an activist, to say – what are we doing about this?
My family has long been associated with struggle. Our fight was for basic rights – the right to vote, the right to self-determination. Many people suffered greatly to achieve freedom in South Africa. But it is through suffering that you find the strength to take action. 
So, we are taking action. And when you start looking for solutions to this particular human catastrophe, they are not hard to find. Road crashes don’t require a new vaccine, or years of research to design a remedy. The frameworks and practical policies to protect our children and prevent these tragedies are all already in existence, yet in many places they are simply not being put into practice. 
It may sound surprising but across most of the world the human rights of children are entirely disregarded on a daily basis. And it is happening right in front of us, on our roads.
Children have no direct political voice, and are therefore dependent on adults, on wider society to keep them safe. They have a right to this protection, and we have a duty to provide it. This principle underpins the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child. This framework for upholding children’s rights is clear, well established and universally recognised. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by nearly every country in the world and legally binding, is based on the understanding, as outlined in the text, that children need “special safeguards and care”. This includes the right to a ‘safe environment’.
Yet it is precisely at the point when children are most at risk, when they are closest to what is most likely to kill or disable them, that the Rights of the Child are most often neglected. It may come as a surprise to some that the greatest risk our children face as they grow out of infancy, the biggest killer, is road traffic injury. Worldwide, road injuries are the leading cause of death for children over the age of 10. More than 300,000 children and young people between the ages of 10 and 24 are killed on the world’s roads each year and a million more are permanently disabled. We are neglecting our children’s right to protection, indeed their very right to life, on a global scale.
So it is in Zenani’s name that my family is now campaigning and joining the Decade of Action for Road Safety to call for more to be done to protect children on the roads around the world. The solutions are right in front of us. It may be a safe crossing to school; a footpath to keep our little ones safe from speeding traffic; child helmet standards in those countries where the family transport is a motorbike; enforced legislation for child seats and seat-belts; or tougher action to prevent drink driving and speeding. 
And we are making a start. Under the banner of the Zenani Mandela Campaign more than a dozen organisations, including the Road Safety Fund, the UN Environment Programme and the World Resources Institute came together at the recent Rio+20 Conference in Brazil to pledge action and resources to protect children on the roads and improve urban road environments. But much more is needed, and I call on companies, donors and the public to support our campaign.
The Zenani Campaign is important part of Mandela Day, the day – and the ongoing global campaign - to encourage people around the world to honour my father’s birthday with actions to help others in society.
We have an opportunity to commit ourselves to this new struggle for basic human rights, on every road of the world, so that other families to not have to suffer the tragedy that has befallen mine.
For the sake of thousands of young lives, we can and we must do far more.
Versions of this op ed have appeared in The Guardian and The Times of South Africa.
Zindzi and her daughter Zoleka Mandela are leading the Zenani Campaign     

Bosch Decade message at fleet safety event

Bosch has highlighted its role as a Global Supporter of the Decade of Action for Road Safety during a recent fleet safety event for companies. Two thousand participants attended the Bosch 'Decade of Action' stand during the ten day event to learn about and experience active safety systems including electronic stability control and collision avoidance systems. Here you can see the Bosch team proudly displaying the Decade 'Tag' symbol.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Renault charts safety course

Renault, a Global Supporter of the Decade of Action, has launched a Drivers' Charter for its own employees. The aim of the charter is to educate and train all employees in road safety and eco-mobility, showing them how to adopt appropriate behaviour whatever the circumstances, and to involve managers in highlighting danger on the roads.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Ban backs bikes for Rio+20

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has highlighted the important role cycling can play in sustainable transport strategies, ahead of the Rio+20 conference.
“Bicycles are important, but they are just part of a bigger picture: our global efforts to achieve truly sustainable development. Our challenge is to get the world to use renewable energy to power our trains, planes, buses and boats. This is especially important for cities,” Mr Ban said.

About 40 UN ambassadors took part in the event at UN headquarters in New York. Other speakers included the Executive Coordinator of Rio+20, Brice Lalonde; Yamina Djacta, Deputy Secretary General of UN Habitat; and Janette Sadik-Khan, New York City Transport Commissioner.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Didier Drogba urges action on child road deaths in memory of Zenani

Didier Drogba, the Chelsea FC striker and Ivory Coast soccer international, has endorsed the Zenani Campaign and called for action to reduce child road deaths and injuries.

Drogba, who will be part of Chelsea's team for the UEFA Champions League final against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Stadium tomorrow, took time out of an important week to give his support to the campaign established in memory of Zenani Mandela. A friend of the Mandela family, Didier Drogba was close to Zenani, who died in a road crash in 2010. But the football star, a philanthropist in his native Ivory Coast, is also well aware of the wider dangers facing young people on the roads in Africa, and across the world, and urged greater efforts to make roads safe: “I support the Zenani Campaign because far too many children are being killed on the roads. This is a very important campaign. We need action now to save lives."

'Model schools' for child pedestrian safety go online

Photo courtesy of Safe Kids Worldwide
Safe Kids Worldwide has launched a new web resource demonstrating projects to improve pedestrian safety for children around schools. The website will track the development of 'Model School Zone' pilot projects in ten countries which aim to tackle infrastructure, enforcement and behavioural issues that impact child safety on routes to school and around school entrances. The project is being supported with a donation from FedEx via the Road Safety Fund. Urban child safety is rising up the policy agenda, with both the 2012 Unicef 'State of the World's Children' report and participants in the Rio+20 negotiations highlighting the need for action on providing safety for children and adolescents in the urban environment. This is also the key advocacy focus for the new Zenani Campaign ahead of next year's UN Global Road Safety week.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Jamaica's athletes team up for Zenani

l to r: Kaliese Spencer - Jamaican hurdles champion, Nesta Carter – Olympic relay gold medalist, Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce, Asafa Powell - Olympic relay gold medalist, and Carmelita Jeter.
World leading athletes have given their support to the Zenani Mandela Campaign to protect children on the roads at a high profile international track and field event in Kingston, Jamaica. At a Zenani Campaign event for the UN Decade of Action on 4 May, top Jamaican athletes including Olympic 100m champion Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce and Asafa Powell gave their support, together with US 100m world champion Carmelita Jeter, currently the fastest woman in the world. The athletes wore the black and white Zenani wristbands in support of the campaign. The Jamaican Prime Minister, Portia Simpson-Miller, also gave her support to the Zenani Campaign. For more see the Make Roads Safe campaign.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Liberty Seguros backs Decade

Spanish insurer Liberty Seguros has become a supporter of the Decade of Action for Road Safety with a donation to the Road Safety Fund.

Liberty Seguros is the first Spanish insurance company to back the global Decade of Action. The company's support for the UN's international campaign complements its road safety activity at the national level since 2006, including support for the Spanish Association for the Study of Spinal Cord Injuries (AESLEME) in a programme that aims to reduce road crashes and integrate disabled people. Liberty Seguros is also a signatory since 2007 to the European Commission's European Road Safety Charter.

Liberty Seguros Group CEO, Enrique Huerta, described the support for the Decade of Action as an extremely important project for the company which "will articulate all the elements of Liberty Seguros' Road Safety strategy".

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

For Every Life

Today we are proud to be joining the Mandela Family in launching a new campaign in the memory of Zenani Mandela, who died aged 13 in a car crash on the eve of the 2010 soccer World Cup. This global advocacy initiative, in partnership with the Make Roads Safe campaign, takes road safety for young people as its focus, and has been described by Zenani's grandmother, Zindzi Mandela (right), at the announcement in New York as a campaign "for public health, sustainable development and human rights". Mayor Mike Bloomberg of New York joined the Mandelas for the announcement, wearing the new campaign wristband and welcoming the Zenani Mandela campaign as "yet another positive step forward in efforts to address this leading cause of death and save more lives". See here for more.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Make roads safe for children, urges development NGO

Justin Forsyth at Save the Children's London headquarters
Justin Forsyth is Chief Executive of Save the Children, one of the world's leading development NGOs. He was previously the development adviser to UK Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown at 10 Downing Street and one of the architects of the Make Poverty History campaign. He recently spoke to us about road safety, Rio+20 and why the world needs to wake up to the scale of the road injury epidemic:

"At Save the Children we have thousands of children's groups, and I meet them when I travel around the world whether in Ethiopia or India or Liberia or recently even in Afghanistan. They are groups that sit down and talk about the challenges that they face in their community, and they often raise this issue about how unsafe it is to walk along the road to school, or to go and collect water. And this is an issue that they want to address. So we should listen to the children, and the world leaders meeting at the Rio+20 conference and at other big international meetings should take action.  Because the children know that this is a really dangerous issue for them and it really affects their well-being. It might mean that they get disabled or it might mean even that their lives are ended by some truck or car that is racing along a road when they are trying to get to school.

"We’ve made all of this progress in the last decade in cutting the number of children that die from things like pneumonia and diarrhoea and we’ve also had huge numbers of children going to school for the first time. But this will stall and we won’t continue to make progress unless we deal with this hidden problem, this hidden crisis, of children - often walking along roads to get to school or having to cross a busy road to go and fetch water, or just going to see their friends - being run over and disabled or even being killed. And the tragedy that so many children face because of this hidden crisis is just appalling.

 "I don’t think decision makers and politicians have really seen this as a problem because they haven’t seen the connection between roads being unsafe and achieving the big goals that they set. So you want to get all the world’s children into school but you also want them to get to school safely. Most children actually walk to school. Often they are in danger of being run over by a truck or their lives are going to be threatened by a drunk driver in a car. So we’ve got to make the route to school safe, and for children who go and collect water - and it’s mainly children and often girls, the poorest children, who go and collect the water from villages - we’ve got to make those journeys safe.

 "I think the Rio+20 Conference and other meetings coming up, whether it is G8 or G20, is an opportunity for world leaders to get to grips with this issue, this hidden problem, that has not really being addressed for many years, which will stall the progress that has been made to stop children from being killed from preventable illnesses, or get a chance to go to school. We set all of these goals in the world but this problem is really one that has been completely neglected.

"I think to get big change on any issue requires a combination of people organising at a grassroots level, at a national level and even at a global level. And I think the big push on this issue about making roads safe is so important that we need action at all of those different levels. We need to listen to the children themselves who want action on this issue. But we also then need politicians at a national level in the key countries where we do need to make roads safe, to listen and to take action. At the global level whether it is at the Rio+20 meeting or other big international meetings, we need to agree frameworks that then galvanise people at national level to take action. Save the Children and other organisations can play our part in helping push that along so that we get the action that is needed."

Justin Forsyth was interviewed by Richard Stanley on behalf of the Make Roads Safe campaign and the Road Safety Fund. This is an edited transcript.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Call for action at Rio+20

"Don't blow the chance to make mobility safer and more sustainable". That is the message to governments meeting in New York today ahead of June's Rio+20 UN Sustainable Development Conference. It is delivered in a powerful article and film by development campaigner Kevin Watkins on the Guardian's Global Development website.

The call for action on road safety at Rio+20 launches the Road Safety Fund's new partnership with the Guardian. Through a grant from the FIA Foundation we are enabling a new space within the Guardian's widely read Global Development site dedicated to examining road safety as a development issue. The site is managed solely by the Guardian and is entirely editorially independent, and we hope it will host a wide range of viewpoints and news on road safety and increase the media reporting and public awareness of this neglected issue.