Globally, more than 1.25 million people die as a result of road crashes each year, with an additional 50 million seriously injured. Road traffic injuries and deaths have a significant impact on individuals under the age of 18, who account for more than 186,000 road traffic deaths annually. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989 states that every child should be afforded protection and care as necessary for his or her well-being. One important way to do this is to address the epidemic of children killed on the world’s roads.
The World Health Organization recently released a package, Save LIVES, which provides an evidence-based inventory of priority interventions to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries. These interventions are critically important at both a national and local level. They include:
- Reducing speeding;
- Enforcing evidence-based road traffic laws;
- Providing leadership on road safety;
- Improving and managing post-crash care;
- Improving infrastructure design; and,
- Establishing vehicle safety standards.
Fondation Botnar funds the challenge, and it is managed by the Global Road Safety Partnership, a hosted programme of the International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies and based in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Challenge seeks to build on growing global recognition of population shifts to urban areas and the impact of urbanization on public health. The Challenge also sees cities – particularly secondary cities – as great potential agents of change and incubators for innovation.
It supports projects from consortiums representing partners from government, civil society and the private sector to address road safety problems which impact children in India, Mexico, Romania, South Africa, Tunisia and Vietnam.