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".