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.