Monday, 16 December 2013

Save the Children leads Thai study

Save the Children is partnering with the FIA Foundation's Road Safety Fund to test new approaches to increasing child motorcycle helmet use in Thailand.
With co-funding from the FIA Foundation, Save the Children Thailand is working with AIP Foundation, CSR Asia and the Global Road Safety Partnership to gauge the efficacy of innovative measures to increase child helmet use in order to build an effective multi-partner campaign in Thailand.
Experimental trials are occurring throughout Bangkok from November 2013 to January 2014, including the launch by AIP Foundation of a trial "pop-up" helmet retail kiosk at a petrol station in Si Praya, Bangkok, that aims to increase accessibility of children's helmets. During the two week pilot, the kiosk will sell discounted children's helmets that have been donated by Vespiario (Thailand) Co., Ltd., and trained staff will interview customers about their response to selling children's helmets at petrol stations and the motivations behind their purchases.
The initiative has also included a roundtable bringing together business leaders to review effective fundraising strategies and to consult on concepts for awareness campaigns. It is hoped that this initial scoping work will lead to a large scale activity in 2014. The project is the first collaboration between Save the Children and the Road Safety Fund since the two organisations signed an MOU which aimed to assist the leading child development charity in its efforts to become more engaged with road traffic injury prevention, recognising that road crashes are a leading cause of child death and injury across the many countries where Save the Children operates.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

5 star success in latest Latin NCAP tests

The Volkswagen Jetta scored five stars in the frontal impact test
New crash test results released by Latin NCAP today show locally produced cars are starting to offer consumers good crash protection. Models built in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina by Ford and Volkswagen are the first built in the region to achieve a five-star adult safety rating. With more consumers checking the safety rating of new cars before buying, vehicle manufacturers have been updating their models to perform better in the Latin NCAP’s crash tests.

Latin NCAP President María Fernanda Rodríguez said: "Latin America’s vehicles are entering a new era in safety. The manufacturers of our region are reacting as in other regions when the first five-star cars were introduced. Brands with safe vehicles and those wishing to improve their safety are striving to demonstrate it. In five tests, three cars are five stars and two are four stars. This is a real change, a big change that benefits all of us: the people in cars, the health system, insurance, and government. It’s also great to see the example of Hyundai making an effort to improve child safety by repeating a test. All of Latin NCAP’s partners agree this is the best way to end the year and to begin 2014 with a positive outlook."
Latin NCAP is supported by the Road Safety Fund through a grant from the FIA Foundation to Global NCAP.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Ban Ki-Moon: Road safety 'vital' to post-2015 health

Photo copyright: UN
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has issued a strong endorsement of the campaign to include road safety within the post-2015 sustainable development goals, saying 'concerted action' is needed to achieve the objectives of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety and to build on these efforts in the post-2015 development framework. In his official statement issued to support the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, held last Sunday, Mr Ban said: "I call for more concerted action on road safety as part of the future development agenda.  This will be a vital component of efforts to improve health and save lives in the years ahead." Read his full press statement here.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

UNRSC meets in Abu Dhabi

The UN Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC), the informal group which coordinates activities of the UN Decade of Action, met in Abu Dhabi on 5-6 November. The UNRSC heard updates from the Russian Federation and WHO on preparations for a UN General Assembly debate on road safety in April 2014, and agreed to make children's safety on the roads the focus of the next UN Global Road Safety Week in 2015.

Several activities supported by the Road Safety Fund were highlighted: Gabriel Kardos of Johnson & Johnson presented on his company's support for the Decade of Action, through two years of grants to AIP Foundation's 'Helmets for Kids' programme. David Ward of Global NCAP reviewed the latest crash independent crash test results from Latin NCAP and previewed a major conference on vehicle safety to be organised in Delhi in January 2014. For iRAP, Global Operations Manager James Bradford explained how several G20 countries are targeting road casualties by working with iRAP to improve road infrastructure safety design. Floor Lieshout of youth NGO YOURS updated on his organisation's cadre-building in Africa; and Amend Executive Director Jeffrey Witte provided information on the latest 'SARSAI' safe schools work funded by Road Safety Fund donor Bosch.

The UNRSC was also briefed by Road Safety Fund director Saul Billingsley on the next stage of the 'Long Short Walk' post-2015 advocacy campaign to include road safety and sustainable transport in the UN's new Sustainable Development Goals. To coincide with the meeting a new short film was released by the campaign to show the breadth of activity and support during 2013, and the need to redouble efforts for the next phase, including Open Working Group hearings on sustainable transport in January 2014.

To join the Long Short Walk's latest advocacy efforts, targeting the member countries of the UN Open Working Group, see here.  

Monday, 4 November 2013

UN Secretary General warns of Decade funding gap

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. Photo Copyright: UN
Governments must do more to meet their commitment to the Decade of Action if it is to achieve its objectives, according to a new report issued by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

In his review of progress in the Decade of Action 'Improving Global Road Safety', issued to the UN General Assembly, the UN Secretary General calls for more attention to be given to financing the Decade of Action. He also urges the UN to recognise that in the context of planning the new Post-2015 Development Goals, the lack of road safety is an “important obstacle to sustainable development.”

In his report, Ban Ki-moon warns: “Financial support in the field of road safety continues to be a challenge to the attainment of the goal of the Decade of Action for Road Safety. More funding is needed to support road safety activities by United Nations organizations, Member States and civil society.” The report says that far more support is needed to achieve the goal of saving 5 million lives during the 2011-2020 period of the Decade of Action. UN Member States should develop “more sustainable financing mechanisms for road safety”, the report urges.

In stressing the need for further funding, the report echoes the recommendations of the Commission for Global Road Safety made earlier this year, in its key report ‘Safe Roads for All: A Post-2015 Agenda for Health and Development’. The UN Secretary General notes the Commission’s call to include a road safety target in the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals.

In his report Ban Ki-moon says that “in the context of the discussions on the post-2015 development agenda”, the UN General Assembly should “recognise the lack of road safety as an important obstacle to sustainable development.” This follows the UN Secretary General’s main report on the post-2015 development agenda, ‘A Life of Dignity for All’, where he includes road safety in a recommended post-2015 health goal.

The report also underscores the Long Short Walk as providing the “cornerstone” of advocacy events during UN Global Road Safety Week earlier in 2013. The Long Short Walk is the worldwide campaign organised by Make Roads Safe, the FIA Foundation's Road Safety Fund and the Zenani Mandela campaign to call for road safety to be included in the UN’s post-2015 development agenda.

The report notes vital donor and philanthropic support for the Decade which has already succeeded in assisting successful interventions proven to reduce road traffic fatalities and injuries in low and middle income countries. Key support includes donor funding and grants via the Bloomberg ‘Road Safety in 10 Countries’ programme, the World Bank's Global Road Safety Facility, the FIA Foundation and the Road Safety Fund. The UN Secretary General's review also highlights the contribution of a number of the Fund's partners, including iRAP, Global NCAP, AIP Foundation and Amend, and notes that "with support from the Road Safety Fund, and specifically donors Allianz and Bosch, as part of the Global Road Safety Week 2013, small grants were made to 40 NGOs through a competitive application process. These NGOs promoted and advocated for pedestrian safety worldwide via public walks, media campaigns and other activities".

Thursday, 31 October 2013

In Vietnam, UPS Foundation delivers again


AIP Foundation CEO Mirjam Sidik with Jeff Mclean of UPS
UPS Foundation, a Global Supporter of the Decade of Action, has launched another round of helmet donations in Vietnam, partnering with AIP Foundation. 4000 school children and teachers in Ho Chi Minh City were provided with motorcycle helmets at the kick-off event. The AIP Foundation is combining its 'Helmets for Kids' distribution with a campaign to increase the use of helmets by children who ride on the family motorbike and to promote better helmet quality - counterfeit helmets are a major problem.

"With thousands of drivers throughout Vietnam and the world, road traffic safety is one of our highest priorities," said Jeff Mclean, General Manager of UPS Vietnam. "We are extremely proud to take part in Helmets for Kids by donating helmets and sending out our employees to teach students how to wear their helmets correctly and to be safe on the road."

The NGO, which is also supported by other Road Safety Fund partners including the FIA Foundation and Johnson & Johnson, also recently distributed helmets to children in Bangkok with the support of the UK Embassy to Thailand.

UK Ambassador to Thailand, Mark Kent,
with AIP Foundation President Greig Craft
"We are so pleased to have this opportunity to help try and improve road safety in our surrounding community," said British Ambassador Mark Kent. "In Thailand, there are some 50,000 British residents and over 870,000 British visitors per year. In 2011 alone, there were 68,582 road traffic incidents in Thailand that resulted in 14,033 deaths. These affect Thai nationals, expatriates, and visitors so we all must work together to make Thailand’s roads safer."



Wednesday, 9 October 2013

A safe place to walk

Today is International Walk to School Day and this video, featuring children from across the world, explains why it is so important for every child to have a safe place to walk, and a safe route to school. The film has been produced by our partner Safe Kids Worldwide, which is running pilot projects for 'Safe School Zones' in ten countries with the support of FedEx. By the time you finish watching this short video, another young person will have been killed on a road somewhere in the world...

Thursday, 3 October 2013

CLEAR get helmets on heads

More than 500 children and their mothers have received motorcycle crash helmets and road safety training in Vietnam through a donation to the Road Safety Fund by CLEAR, a Unilever brand.

Following fundraising activities in support of the Road Safety Fund by the company at Formula One Grand Prix events in Singapore, Malaysia and Abu Dhabi, a 'Helmets on Heads' initiative has been launched in partnership with the AIP Foundation.

CLEAR and AIP Foundation held a helmet handover celebration for the initiative's pilot project in Tu Ky district of Hai Duong province on 1st October. At the ceremony, 1,065 helmets were donated to 505 elementary students, 505 mothers, and 55 teachers from Ky Son and Tai Son primary schools.
These schools were selected for this donation as they are both located on major highway 391. Between 70 and 80 per cent of students travel to and from these school on motorcycles. Traffic in this area is made even more dangerous by proximity to industrial zones; these schools have experienced 12 non-fatal traffic incidents in the past three years. Many parents in this area make less than the average provincial income and cannot afford to buy helmets for themselves and their children.

The helmet handover ceremony included performances by students, parents, and teachers as well as helmet training games, and remarks by the Department of Education and Training. In addition to the provision of quality helmets, the 'Helmets for Heads' initiative held a workshop on September 28 to educate parents and teachers about road traffic laws, child helmet laws, and correct helmet use. Letters asking parents to pledge to always wear helmets and to help their children do the same were sent out to 550 parents of students from both schools. Every letter sent out brought in an agreement from a parent to join the project, to act as a role model and always wear a helmet, to make sure their child always wears a helmet as well. Other awareness raising activities will be conducted throughout the school year to ensure that children, parents, and teachers continue to wear helmets.

Road Safety at UN's MY World

A road safety film featuring a Road Safety Fund-supported project in Tanzania has been selected for the MY World exhibition at UNICEF headquarters in New York. MY World is the UN's global survey of public priorities for the post-2015 development agenda. More than one million people have taken part in the survey so far, with education the top priority for respondents. The film (above) will be shown as part of the exhibition, in UNICEF's Danny Kaye Exhibition Center, from September 30th  - November 28th.

Through the Long Short Walk campaign the Road Safety Fund has been promoting the MY World survey, encouraging people to vote for 'better roads and transport' and to write-in 'safer roads' as an additional option. The campaign, in partnership with Make Roads Safe and members of the Mandela family, is highlighted in the film, as is a project supported by the Road Safety Fund and managed by Amend to provide safe routes to school for children living in a district of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. In the film Kevin Watkins, Executive Director of the Overseas Development Institute, makes the connection between access to education and the need to provide safe routes to school for all children.

Paul Ladd, Senior Adviser on Post-2015 at UNDP,
explains the exhibition to Queen Rania and Gordon Brown
photo copyright: MY World/UNDP
The exhibition at UN headquarters was opened by UNICEF ambassador HM Queen Rania of Jordan and Gordon Brown, UN Special Representative for Education. An awards ceremony for MY World campaigners was later hosted by Zoleka Mandela, a Road Safety Ambassador for the Zenani Mandela Campaign and Make Roads Safe.

Participants at the event included Amina Mohammed, Special Adviser on Post-2015 to the UN Secretary General, Mohammed Yunus, Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever and a member of the UN's High Level Panel on post-2015 and Corinne Wood, Director of the UN Millennium Campaign.

In her speech Zoleka Mandela said: “In memory of my daughter, Zenani Mandela, we campaigned with MY World and spoke with one voice. Across many countries people joined our Long Short Walk campaign and took to the streets. We said, no more young lives taken that can be saved. We can and must confront the biggest killer of young people worldwide: road traffic injury.”  

See below for more photos from the MY World event.

Zoleka Mandela with Mohammed Yunus at UNICEF
Angelique Kidjo, UNICEF Ambassador,
supports the Long Short Walk

Paul Polman, Unilever CEO and post-2015 panellist

Road Safety Fund director Saul Billingsley chats
with UNDP's Paul Ladd at the MY World exhibition

Monday, 23 September 2013

Snap2Live at Social Good

Dedicated follower of fashion? Then you may be interested in the latest version of the belt that EVERYONE should be wearing: a seat belt! To raise awareness of the life-saving qualities of the seat belt - and to raise funds for the Decade of Action for Road Safety - social entrepreneur Ernesto Arguello has launched a colourful seat belt-style belt, the 'Snap2Live' belt.

Launched in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) the Snap2Live initiative was announced by Arguello at the Social Good Summit in New York. He was recently named an IDB Youth Champion for Road Safety and is also an MTV 'Agent of Change'.

Ernesto Arguello announces his 'Snap2Live' initiative
The Snap2Live belts, which come in 10 colours, feature the Decade symbol. Seventy per cent of profits from sales of the belts will come to the Road Safety Fund for use in road safety projects identified in partnership with IDB. For example, the Road Safety Fund, IDB and Sesame Street are currently working together to develop a Safe Schools road safety toolkit in Costa Rica.

"We need more road safety advocates like Ernesto", says Elena Suarez, Chief of the Youth Unit at the IDB. "We are losing too many young people to a preventable cause".

"For me road safety is very personal", says Ernesto Arguello. "Not only did my own grandfather die in a road crash, but car crashes are the number one cause of death for young people around the world. I am honoured to be a Road Safety Champion and I hope my Snap2Live belts will be a highly visible reminder of the importance of safe roads for everyone."

"Ernesto is bringing much needed attention to the fact that over a million people are dying on the world's roads every year and that together we can do something about it", says Bella Dinh-Zarr, Director of Road Safety at the FIA Foundation.

Ernesto Arguello's presentation marked the first time road safety has been addressed as an issue at the Social Good Summit, organised by the UN Foundation and Mashable, which brings together leading policymakers with philanthropists, NGOs and business entrepreneurs to seek new ways to collaborate for sustainable development. Speakers this year include World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, Melinda Gates and Al Gore. Simultaneous meetings are held at 15 other locations around the world, as Social Good tries to be the first policy event of its kind to be fully integrated with social media.

Snap2Live belts are available at and other stockists will be announced.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Anatomy of a donation

Ever wondered how donations are spent? This pictogram from the AIP Foundation shows how the first year of a three-year UPS contribution to their 'Helmets for Kid's programme made a difference in South East Asia.

Friday, 20 September 2013

'Safe Systems' students at TU Delft

A lecturer at TU Delft's international road safety course
The Road Safety Fund has supported Delft University's 2013 International Road Safety Course, which provides intensive two week training for road safety practitioners and government officials from low and middle-income countries. This year nineteen people participated from Azerbaijan, Colombia, Georgia, Ghana, India, Iraq, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia and Turkey. The aim is to provide students with a strategic overview of the 'Safe Systems' approach to road safety management, with the objective of enabling them to return to their countries equipped to contribute effectively to developing national road safety plans.

Friday, 23 August 2013

CDC award for helmet vaccine work

Movie actor Michelle Yeoh visits a GHVI program in Cambodia
The Global Injury Prevention team at the US Centers for Disease Control and Injury Prevention have been awarded the 2012 International Excellence in Program Delivery Award by the agency. The award, which recognised the team's work on the Global Helmet Vaccine Initiative (GHVI) in Cambodia, Uganda and Vietnam, was presented to Injury Prevention Director Dr Grant Baldwin by CDC Director Thomas Frieden on 20th August 2013. CDC has been a key part of GHVI's team, providing monitoring and evaluation components to GHVI's work promoting motorcycle helmet legislation, awareness campaigns and helmet provision. The GHVI is supported by the Road Safety Fund through a grant from the FIA Foundation.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

A 'life of dignity for all' includes safer roads

In an important advance for the international campaign for road safety, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has called for road traffic injuries to be recognised as a health priority in the post-2015 development goals. In his report to the UN General Assembly, "A life of dignity for all: accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and advancing the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015", Mr Ban outlines the “emerging  vision” for the global development agenda beyond 2015 that will replace the Millennium Development Goals when they expire. The report highlights a number of “transformative and mutually reinforcing actions” applicable to all countries. Improving health is one such action area, and the report includes reducing the burden of road traffic injury among the priorities. Other key public health priorities include addressing universal health-care coverage; eradicating malaria and realising a future free from AIDS and tuberculosis; and combating non-communicable diseases. Progress on the MDGs and next steps for the post-2015 debate will be on the agenda at a special summit at the UN in September.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

UL donation pledged to Global NCAP

We are delighted to announce that Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a US-based global independent safety science company, is supporting the Decade of Action for Road Safety with a US $70,000 donation to the Road Safety Fund.

With more than 100 years experience in product safety testing and certification, and a strong CSR community programme also devoted to improving safety, UL is an ideal partner for Global NCAP, the charity which promotes safer vehicles by supporting independent consumer car safety crash testing programmes including Latin NCAP and ASEAN NCAP, and advocating for compliance with UN vehicle safety standards. UL has therefore decided to direct its donation to Global NCAP, to enable the organisation's important work in support of the vehicle pillar of the Global Plan of the Decade of Action.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Road safety a priority in UPS Sustainability Report

Scott Davis, Chairman & CEO of UPS: "solutions are as close as
the limitless creativity and drive of the human spirit"
UPS has highlighted its support for the Decade of Action in its latest Sustainability Report, published this week. In his Executive Statement UPS Chairman and CEO, Scott Davis, gave a strong profile to UPS's investment in Decade of Action programmes including its US$ 450,000 support for AIP Foundation's 'Helmets for Kids' initiative in South East Asia and US $300,000 investment in Fleet Forum's NSEWA driver training programme in southern Africa. Read the full report here.

The NSEWA driver training programme, launched by Fleet Forum and North Star Alliance in 2012, connects road safety training to North Star Alliance's network of Wellness Centres, to provide long distance truck drivers with modular driver safety training. So far five Wellness Centres have been equipped with NSEWA kiosks providing interactive training (see map) and ten more are in the pipeline.

The NSWEA Learning Network has been accredited with the South African Transport Education and Training Authority, enabling companies that agree to participate in the programme to be eligible for grants from the South African Skills Education Training Authority. New participants in the programme include Transvaal Heavy Transport and Oxfam Zimbabwe, which has included a NSEWA training kiosk in its Oxfam GB Harare office. See more about the initiative in this NSEWA promotional video .

IVECO supports Decade project

We are pleased to announce that IVECO, the Italian truck manufacturer, is supporting the Decade of Action in 2013 with a US $15,000 donation to the Road Safety Fund. IVECO's donation will shortly be deployed to support a ‘Safe Schools’ project in South Africa, which aims to increase pedestrian safety for children on their journey to and from school, through infrastructure safety assessment and improvement, road safety education and training, and local community outreach.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

New crash test heroes...and zeros

The SEAT New Leon, Latin NCAP's first 5 star car
Latin NCAP has awarded its first ever five-star safety rating for adult occupant protection to the SEAT New Leon, in independent consumer crash tests published today with support from the Road Safety Fund. Latin NCAP also welcomed the four-star rating for the Suzuki Celerio city car’s adult occupant protection. The results show that manufacturers can produce small cars for the region with stable structures and good protection.
In contrast to these positive results Latin NCAP’s latest tests also reveal that some of the best-selling models produced by global brands are offering zero-star levels of protection which would fail to meet even basic global safety standards. The worst performing cars in the recent round of crash tests from Latin NCAP were the Nissan Tsuru (Sentra B13), Renault Clio Mio, Suzuki Alto K10 and Chevrolet Agile. All scored zero stars. Sold with no airbags, and body structures that collapse onto the people inside, the crash tests of these popular entry-level models make for disturbing viewing.
This is very disappointing and partly due to the lack of airbags as standard, but the real problem is the substandard safety of their body structures," said Global NCAP's Technical Director Alejandro Furas. "Body structures that collapse onto the people inside can have fatal or life-threatening consequences in real-world crashes. These zero rated cars are built by companies that produce good, safe five star cars and at affordable prices for buyers in other parts of the world. Now is the time for car buyers in Latin America to be able to choose five star models that exceed global safety standards".
The Renault Clio Mio was one of four cars to score zero stars for occupant protection
In response to these results, Global NCAP chairman Max Mosley has written to the CEOs of Renault-Nissan, General Motors and Suzuki, urging them to apply the UN’s minimum crash safety standards to their global passenger car production. “Global NCAP is concerned weak sales and deteriorating profits in traditional markets are encouraging car companies to take unnecessary risks on safety in emerging markets,” said Mosley. “Unregulated emerging markets make it too easy for car companies to produce products that short change customers on safety. If CEOs know their products do not meet global safety standards, they should take responsibility and act now. The lives of customers in Latin America are no less valuable than those in Europe, Japan and North America.”
Car production exceeds 60 million units annually due to growth in emerging markets where road traffic injury has become a major public health concern. A key recommendation of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 is for manufacturers to apply global crash test standards more widely. Global NCAP estimates as many as 20 million vehicles a year fail to meet the UN standards and has asked industry leaders to consider a voluntary commitment on safety.
The organization is asking manufacturers to ensure that by 2015 all vehicles meet international standards for seatbelts (R16 and R14) and for front and side impacts (R94 and R95). By 2020, it would like Electronic Stability Control and pedestrian protection measures made standard.
For the full results of these latest tests see here. The Latin NCAP is supported by the Road Safety Fund through an FIA Foundation grant directed to Global NCAP.

See coverage of the story on the Guardian's Sustainable Business website here


Friday, 28 June 2013

Will road deaths be a development priority?

Writing today for Guardian Global Development, Oxfam policy adviser and development blogger Duncan Green asks why road traffic injuries are still being ignored by the development community. Duncan writes:

Duncan Green: "road safety will
become ever more prominent"
"Road traffic kills as many people as malaria, but getting Nairobi's bus drivers to slow down is much easier than tackling malaria. So if we know what to do, and the remedies are cheap, why isn't road safety much higher up the development agenda?"

..."My theory is that the collective development gaze skips over road deaths and others like tobacco or alcohol because they are too familiar. The world of aid and development prefers the exotic, the "other". But if you think roads, booze and fags are tricky issues for the aid industry to tackle, try obesity – increasingly present among poor communities in poor countries, as a recent visit to South Africa brought home to me, often side by side with malnutrition. Can you imagine an aid organisation launching a fundraising appeal to tackle obesity?"

Of course a programme to tackle obesity would need to include road safety - the perception (and often in a low and middle income country context the reality) of a lack of safety on the streets being a major motivation for those people who can to give up walking and cycling, or to prevent their children from walking to school, and take to their cars, leaving the danger to the poor. This inter-connection of road safety with other health and environmental agendas holds out the best hope for mainstreaming road injury prevention into development policies and programmes. But, as Duncan Green argues, we first need to surmount the indifference of development policy leaders in the West. He may be correct that they seek the exotic, the quintessentially tropical diseases. They have perhaps become inured to road traffic injuries, lulled by the steady march of improvement and reduced casualties in the UK, Australia, Sweden or the US and the way the media in these countries overwhelmingly portrays road safety as something boring and unsexy, even amusing, preserve of the finger-wagging tendency. Despite considering themselves to be in touch with what is happening in the 'developing' world, and despite being endowed with sophisticated analysis of myriad social issues, these experts seem to ignore the evidence of dysfunction and inequality on the very roads they travel through to visit their health, governance or economic development projects. What, after all, is the real difference between the collapse of a poorly built Bangladeshi garment factory and the cumulative effect of a daily death toll exacted by a poorly designed Bangladeshi road?  

Yet coincidentally, this week also saw the publication of a report by the Overseas Development Institute, the UK's leading development think tank, which argues that if the post-2015 goals are to deliver universal access to infrastructure, road safety must be addressed:

“Investment in transport infrastructure and services is likely to have a significant impact on poverty and more generally on economic growth, productivity and employment. Transport's importance goes beyond a question of mobility, by providing connectivity and social benefits. By one estimate, 900 million people have inadequate access to road transport (Roberts et al., 2006), but data on access to transport are limited. The poorest are often neglected by service providers, and in urban areas access is affected by affordability. With road traffic causing 1.3 million deaths a year, the majority in developing countries, road safety is a major concern for future transport sector development. The transport sector is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions and particulate air pollution, especially in urban areas...A sustainable transport goal would contribute to reduction of global greenhouse gases and particulate air pollution. This would help mitigate climate change and have a significant positive impact on health. Road safety measures would also improve overall health status."
Could this be part of a shift in awareness and attitudes towards road traffic injury within the development community? Kevin Watkins, now Director of the ODI, has been an early adopter of road safety amongst development experts, arguing the case for integrating road traffic injury prevention into wider development objectives. The Global Burden of Disease 2010 study, published last year by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation and the Lancet again confirmed that road traffic injury is a leading contributor to death, disability and injury amongst young people in every part of the world. There have been flashes of recognition from UNICEF, which addressed the impact of road traffic injury in two of its recent State of the World's Children reports, and UNICEF's executive director Anthony Lake recently described the impact road crashes have on the young, but these perceptive diagnoses of the problem are yet to be followed up with any organised policy advocacy or programme implementation. There are strong advocates for action on road safety in the World Bank and some of the other development banks, but in none of these organisations has there yet emerged someone in a senior leadership role who is prepared to make road safety a major priority.
So the post-2015 'Sustainable Development Goals' debate provides a real opportunity for road safety advocates to make the case for integration with wider public health, sustainable transport and environmental issues, to build a broad coalition supporting road injury prevention as a way to tackle a problem which is itself a major global killer, but also a symptom of wider inequality and poverty, and a contributor to the growing crisis of non-communicable diseases. And it is an opportunity to challenge those who, through fatalism or ignorance, see road traffic injury as simply a national transport problem, an unpleasant side-effect of mobility,  rather than an international epidemic which we all have a stake in preventing.   

Friday, 21 June 2013

Life-saving lessons for Ugandan first responders

Participants in the ICCU training course for first responders
According to the World Health Organization's Global Status Report on Road Safety, Uganda loses more than 9000 people a year in road crashes. Despite - or contributing to - such a high death toll, Uganda has no formal pre-hospital emergency system. According to Ugandan trauma staff, the emergency services are insufficient and there is limited capacity to manage the injured. Many casualties arrive at health facilities by any means of transport possible such as motorcycle (boda boda), police trucks and private cars. Fewer than 5% of patients arrive by ambulances because few exist and those that do are privately owned and prohibitively expensive for most Ugandans.
Many patients arrive after the “golden hour” – the critical first hour after the injury has occurred, during which medical intervention is vitally important. Currently, pre-hospital care is given on a voluntary basis by police, drivers, community people and bystanders near crash scenes. The majority of trauma victims who die do so during the pre-hospital stage. The WHO has recommended training of lay persons as first responders, especially in settings where formal emergency systems are absent. Pre-hospital care can be improved by training lay persons such as local leaders, community volunteers, teachers, and police officers, in simple but vital life-saving skills, such as clearing the airway, arresting bleeding, immobilizing fractures and so on. The knowledge attained by laypersons in pre-hospital training and coupled with locally available supplies may form a useful first step towards formalizing Emergency Medical Services in Uganda.

With funding from the Road Safety Fund’s small grants programme, the Injury Control Center- Uganda (ICCU) is undertaking first aid training in local communities to strengthen the front-line response to road traffic injuries. Six training sessions are planned under the Road Safety Fund/ICCU First Responder Training Programme. The first session, held in a community living alongside the Masaka Highway, was a three day workshop for 46 participants including community and religious leaders; village health workers; teachers and pupils; and local community forces. Two sessions will be directed to police officers, two further sessions for local communities and one for ‘train the trainers’. The courses include both theory and hands-on practice, accompanied by a handbook prepared by ICCU for the project.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Our Rio+20 Commitment, one year on

A survey of progress in delivering sustainable transport-related Voluntary Commitments made at Rio+20  has been published by the Partnership for Sustainable Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT) exactly one year after the summit in Rio de Janeiro. The Commitments include one coordinated by the Road Safety Fund on behalf of the Zenani Mandela Campaign which focused on 'Protecting Children from road traffic injuries and improving their urban environment'. Bringing together 12 organisations and campaigns, including UNEP, Embarq, AIP Foundation and Safe Kids Worldwide, the Voluntary Commitment has resulted in achievements including a new cycle-way for a city in Costa Rica, a pilot of 'star rating for schools' in Mexico City, delivery of a safe schools road injury prevention programme in Tanzania, and advocacy campaigns aimed at improving child safety legislation in Vietnam.
In a preface to the report, Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General, said: "In both urban and rural areas, better planning for land-use and transport systems makes a great difference in facilitating access to jobs, goods and services for men and women alike. It also helps improve road safety and reduce traffic accidents and fatalities".
As well as reporting on the Rio+20 commitments, the report, 'Creating Universal Access to Safe, Clean & Affordable Transport' also calls for a Goal on Sustainable Transport to be included in the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, arguing that transport affects so many areas of development and environment policy, delivery of services and access to employment that it needs to be properly addressed in the post-2015 framework. In his foreword, Ban Ki-moon also highlights this debate, telling the transport community:
"I welcome your ideas and suggestions as the United Nations seeks to define a transformative post-2015 development agenda. Global consultations are underway among Governments, civil society, the private sector and others, and I encourage you to make your voice heard."

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Decade funding strategies reviewed

'Friends of the Decade' Governments meeting at the Swedish Cabinet Office
The Road Safety Fund has briefed governments on possible fundraising strategies for the Decade of Action at a meeting of the governmental 'Friends of the Decade of Action'.

Hosted by Sweden’s Minister for Infrastructure, Catharina Elmsäter-Svärd, at Sweden’s Government Offices on June 3rd, the meeting brought together officials from countries including Brazil, France, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Russian Federation, Spain, Thailand and the USA. Agencies present included the UN Regional Commission for Europe, the World Health Organization and the World Bank. The Commission for Global Road Safety, FIA Foundation, FIA and the Global Road Safety Partnership also participated.

The meeting reviewed the progress of the Decade of Action at the two-year point, focusing particularly on the impact on national policy with reports from the countries present. A strategy session included a presentation on the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals process from David Ward, representing the Commission for Global Road Safety; a discussion on setting targets and indicators for road traffic injury prevention led by Etienne Krug, Director of Injury Prevention at WHO; and a discussion on the potential for innovative financing schemes to support international catalytic efforts for the Decade, with a presentation from Saul Billingsley of the FIA Foundation/Road Safety Fund. The meeting was also briefed by Alexander Alimov, Deputy Director of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on a forthcoming UN General Assembly Resolution on global road safety, expected to be agreed by consensus in UN member states in Spring 2014.

Friday, 7 June 2013

How safe are India's roads?

Aftermath of a crash in India. Photo Copyright: iRAP
The answer: not very. But road fatalities and serious injuries on high risk roads could be reduced by up to 50% if safety 'star rating' recommendations are implemented on road infrastructure. This is the message of a new report from the International Road Assessment Programme which highlights the charity's work in India - the frontline of global road traffic deaths and injuries. The report details road assessments in seven Indian states, including Karnataka, where minimum '3 star' safety ratings to protect all road users - vehicle, cyclist and pedestrian - is being implemented on major roads. The report, produced with the support of iRAP's leading funding partners: Bloomberg Philanthropies, the FIA Foundation, the Global Road Safety Facility and the Road Safety Fund; can be downloaded here.

Your Life is Your Wealth

'Your Life is your wealth' - so protect yourself and stay safe - is the message to Uganda's 'boda boda' motorcycle taxi operators in a helmet safety awareness campaign led by the Uganda Helmet Vaccine Initiative. The latest phase of the campaign has included a train-the-trainer workshop from March 14-15 and boda boda workshops in the Rubaga (March 19), Kampala Central (April 10), Lubaga (April 16), Makindye (April 23), and Kawempe (May 28) divisions of Kampala. Radio advertisements promoting boda boda helmet use began airing throughout the capital on May 6. Billboards with the campaign's message are being posted throughout Kampala, and UHVI will also host the remaining five boda boda operator workshops. The campaign is being conducted as part of the Global Helmet Vaccine Initiative (GHVI), promoting helmet wearing in the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety. The work of GHVI is supported by the FIA Foundation, including through a grant via the Road Safety Fund. Monitoring and evaluation has been undertaken by the US Centers for Disease Control and Injury Prevention, and the World Bank Global Road Safety Facility has also contributed by enabling international expert mentoring for Uganda's traffic police.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Road Safety GB & TRL talk a safer walk

The UK Transport Research Laboratory and Road Safety GB combined a seminar on pedestrian safety with a fundraiser for the Road Safety Fund at their event to mark UN Global Road Safety Week. Bringing together road safety officers, police and other transport professionals, the fully subscribed seminar was a practical session on pedestrian death and injury and how to prevent it. The event raised more than £2000 for the Road Safety Fund.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Russian Federation wins Decade Award

The Russian Federation has recieved the 2013 Decade of Action Award from HRH Prince Michael of Kent. The award was presented by the Prince at the Decade of Action Policy Forum in St Petersburg, and was accepted on behalf of the Russian Federation by Anna Popova, Vice President of Sperbank, Russia's largest commercial - and State-owned - bank, which has played an important role in financing road safety reforms and supporting the 2009 Moscow Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety. In his speech, Prince Michael said:

"Russia had the vision and courage to put her authority and prestige behind an issue that was on the margins of international policy. The Russian Federation’s offer to host the first Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, and her sponsorship of successive UN General Assembly Resolutions in 2008, 2010 and 2012, have provide much-needed leadership. And last year, at the ‘Rio plus twenty’ summit, Russia ensured that road safety was recognized and included in the summit communique.

At home, the Russian Federation has had the perception – which many countries still lack – to recognize the scale of road traffic deaths and injuries, and to take action. With support at every level, from the President down, you have worked to implement a road safety strategy to protect your citizens. The results are impressive. Between 2006 – 2011 the total number of road fatalities fell by 14.5 percent. The number of Russian children killed on the roads fell by a quarter. This statistic alone is deserving of an award.

According to the World Health organization’s recent Status Report, between 2007 and 2010 Russia record the biggest improvement in road safety performance of any of the Group of Twenty countries, so international leadership on global road safety is firmly reinforced by a strong domestic record."

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Retrospective Award

Michelle Yeoh presents Grand Prix certificate
to AIP Foundation CEO Mirjam Sidik
'In Retrospect', a film about the impact of child death and injury, won the Grand Prix at the Global Road Safety Film Festival hosted by UNESCO in Paris. The film, produced by the AIP Foundation with support from the FIA Foundation, is currently being broadcast nationwide in Vietnam - in its original Vietnamese - as part of the 'Children also need a helmet' campaign to increase the use of motorcycle helmets by children who ride as passengers on the family motorbike. The Grand Prix certificate was presented to the AIP Foundation by Michelle Yeoh, Global Road Safety Ambassador and international movie actor during the recent Decade of Action Policy Forum in St Petersburg. The film festival was organised by Laser International with support from donors including Fondation Vinci, a supporter of the Decade of Action for Road Safety.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

FedEx & Safe Kids on the streets!

Pedestrian safety advocacy and awareness has been the theme of this UN Global Road Safety Week, and Safe Kids Worldwide have been at the forefront of marches and activities in many countries. With donor support from FedEx, via the Road Safety Fund, Safe Kids' NGOs partners have been out on the streets engaging with the public, teaching children, urging media attention for pedestrian safety, and supporting the call of the Long Short Walk campaign for 'Safe Roads for All'. Check out these photos showing just a few of the activities, see more at Safe Kids' Facebook page, and see how their Model School Zones, with FedEx support, are helping to make the concept of the 'Safe School' a reality.

Safe Kids Vietnam (a 1000-strong march through Ho Chi Minh City)
Safe Kids Jordan
Safe Kids Mexico (plus Super Heroes)

Safe Kids Uganda
Safe Kids South Africa

Safe Kids Philippines


Thursday, 9 May 2013

Our Decade Supporters take a Walk

Many of our Global Supporters of the Decade of Action - donor companies contributing to the Road Safety Fund to support catalytic and innovative road traffic injury prevention programmes - are also taking part in the advocacy activities around the Long Short Walk and UN Global Road Safety Week. Check out the photos below to see how some of our Supporters are getting involved. We're delighted to have their active involvement and partnership. More to follow...

Johnson & Johnson 'Safe Fleet' team support the Long Short Walk
at their annual meeting in Budapest

Catalina Luna, Johnson & Johnson's Safe Fleet coordinator in Latin America

Dr Joe Van Houten, J&J Senior Director for Health & Safety and Environment
& Sandra Lee, Worldwide Fleet Safety Director

Malathy Ramakrishnan, Allianz4Good, Malaysia
David Fulker, UK Head of Marketing at Robert Bosch,
speaking at our pedestrian safety forum


Thursday, 21 March 2013

Safety stars for school in Mexico pilot

Launch of the school star rating pilot in Mexico City
A pilot project to provide safety star ratings of routes to school is underway in Mexico City, led by the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP).

iRAP estimates that, each day, 6 children die on their journey to or from school in Mexico. The pilot project, in partnership with Safe Kids Mexico, will test the methodology of a new tool developed by iRAP and the University of North Carolina. The star rating tool will eventually enable communities around the world to Star Rate roads around their schools and generate safety countermeasure plans that will equip parents, teachers and children with the evidence to demand action from local authorities. For example, the Mexico City pilot is being implemented at a school which has experienced a number of serious road crashes in its neighbouring streets.

The pilot is being supported by the Road Safety Fund through a generous donation from FedEx, a Global Supporter of the Decade of Action.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

GBD country data published

New data for the Global Burden of Disease 2010 has been published by the Institute for Health Metrics & Evaluation at an event hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. New online tools enable interrogation of country-level data, allowing for a detailed picture of health issues - including road traffic injuries. Speaking at the launch alongside Bill Gates, IHME Director Prof. Christopher Murray described road injury as a 'major contributor' to the global burden of disease. His data finds that road crashes are now the leading cause of death for boys and young men aged 10-29 and the second leading cause, after HIV/AIDS, for men aged 30-40. Responding for the World Bank, Nicole Klingen, Acting Director of Health, highlighted the road injury data and said the GBD study "will require a multi-sectoral lense, and we will look at reassessing policy and funding discussions across the development spectrum". Watch the webcast here . The Road Safety Fund was represented at the launch by our US Director, Dr Bella Dinh Zarr, who said: "It is clear that for young men of school and working age, road injury is now the leading burden of disease. Policymakers and donors need to follow the evidence and take urgent action to stem this avoidable epidemic on the world's roads".

Bella Dinh Zarr, US Director of the Road Safety Fund, (right) with David Sleet of the US Centers for Disease Control - one of the contributors to the GBD study - at the launch at the Gates Foundation