Spending of $125 million is earmarked for the programme to reduce fatalities and injuries from road traffic crashes. Work will progress at a national level to strengthen road safety legislation, and city level to implement interventions. Five countries selected to receive tech support to strengthen road safety legislation include China, India, Philippines, Thailand and Tanzania. In India, the focus will be on Mumbai.
Dedicated staff will work within city governments on initiatives for up to 5 years. Assistance will be forthcoming from road safety organisations. Training will be offered for police officers and other chosen city staff, in addition to using mass media campaigns.
Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term mayor of New York City says millions of road traffic fatalities and injuries can be prevented through stronger laws, effective enforcement and better infrastructure. The ten selected cities have demonstrated a commitment to this work. Road traffic deaths will continue to grow unless decisive action is taken to prevent them.
The foundation’s Global Road Safety initiative was announced in September 2014 to invite cities to apply for grants. Cities submitted proposals detailing how they plan to address road safety by tackling multiple issues including pedestrian and cyclist safety improvement, increased awareness through graphic media campaigns, police enforcement to combat drinking and driving and speeding, and encouraging use of motorcycle helmets, seat-belts and child restraints. Infrastructure solutions suggested include widened sidewalks and improved pedestrian crossings.
Bloomberg Philanthropies’ investments since 2010 drives momentum for UN’s Decade of Action on Road Safety says Saul Billingsley, Director General of FIA Foundation and Co-Chair of the Road Safety Fund. Each year, upward of 1.2 million people die and 20-50 million people are injured from road traffic crashes globally. Bloomberg Philanthropies work on road safety since in 2007 has resulted in about 2 billion people having benefited from strengthened laws. 65 million people have taken note of hard-hitting media campaigns. 30,000 professionals have been trained on road safety tactics. Local governments have committed $225 million towards infrastructure improvements for safer roads.
In 2010, $125 million was committed to 10 countries representing half of road traffic-related deaths globally (Brazil, Cambodia, China, Egypt, India, Kenya, Mexico, Russia, Turkey and Vietnam). Barring Egypt, and India, all approved life-saving road safety legislation, calling for stricter penalties for drinking and driving, and applied speed reduction laws. India Road Transport and Safety Bill 2014/15 proposals and drafts are being worked on to improve road safety laws to act as deterrents to offenders. This will introduce higher fines and penalties for repeat offenders.
China called forstronger penalties for drinking and driving in 2011. In 2013, Vietnam established penalties for motorcyclists wearing helmets that failed to meet safety standards. Cambodia passed a strong bill in January 2015, so, now all motorcyclists, including riders and pillions must wear a helmet. In Ivanovo, Russia, in 2014, 88 pct of car drivers wore seat-belts. In 2011, less than half wore seat-belts.