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October 5, 2017

New Road Safety Campaign in Bogotá, Colombia aims to reduce number of preventable deaths caused by speeding

(New York, USA) – Vital Strategies today congratulated city leaders in Bogotá, Colombia, on the launch of a new mass media campaign to combat speeding, a key risk factor contributing to the death of more than 1.25 million on the world’s roads each year. Secretary of Mobility, Juan Pablo Bocarejo, announced the campaign at a press conference at the Botanic Garden of Bogota on Thursday, October 5, 2017.

In partnership with Vital Strategies and the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS), Bogotá’s campaign will focus on the reduction of speeding – particularly in school zones. The Public Service Announcement (PSA) addresses the false assumption by speeding drivers that they are skilled enough to exceed the limit, and that others are the problem. The campaign will be coupled with increased enforcement efforts to support behavior change in the city.

 

Road crashes are the leading cause of death globally for those 15-29 years of age. In Bogotá, 585 people lost their lives on the roads in 2016. The six-week PSA campaign will be shown on television and social media to implore road users to adhere to city speed limits to reduce crashes and save lives.

This is the third mass media campaign the city of Bogotá has put into effect as part of its participation in BIGRS, following drink driving campaigns in 2015 and 2016. An evaluation of the latest drink driving campaign found that 65 percent of respondents reported an intention to stop drink driving as a result of the campaign.

“We congratulate Bogotá and Secretary Bocarejo on their continued commitment to saving lives on city roads. Speeding is a leading cause of road crashes worldwide, and this hard-hitting media campaign coupled with strong police enforcement will help change driver behavior and save lives,” said Rebecca Bavinger of Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Bavinger joined Secretary Bocarejo at the press conference, along with General Castrillón of the Bogota police force, Irina Morozova of Vital Strategies and Darío Hidalgo of the World Resource Institute (WRI).

“Over 1.25 million people are killed in road traffic crashes annually worldwide – and that number is getting worse. By 2030, road traffic crashes are projected to become the world’s fifth leading cause of death, and is already the primary killer among young adults. Our international experience has shown the lasting impact that the combination of mass media campaigns and enforcement can have on behavior change,” said José Luis Castro, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vital Strategies. “This tactic has had great success in Bogotá, and we are thrilled to support the city in its relentless efforts to prevent avoidable death and injury on city streets.”

At the press conference, Secretary Bocarejo also announced a new traffic calming redesign of Bogotá’s Alquería intersection in partnership with WRI to reduce speeding through proven, life-saving interventions.

The campaign and redesign activities are part of a global, 10-city program spearheaded by BIGRS and coordinated by Vital Strategies to reduce road crashes and deaths in major cities around the world.

About Vital Strategies

Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. Our team combines evidence-based strategies with innovation to help develop and implement sound public health policies, manage programs efficiently, strengthen data systems, conduct research, and design strategic communication campaigns for policy and behavior change. To find out more, please visit www.vitalstrategies.org or Twitter @VitalStrat.

For further information or to arrange an interview with a Vital Strategies public health expert, please contact press@vitalstrategies.org.

 

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