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".