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.