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CEO Perspective

Improving Road Safety is Protecting the Next Generation

José Luis Castro President & CEO of Vital Strategies

Statement from José Luis Castro, President and Chief Executive Officer at Vital Strategies, on World Remembrance Day for Road Traffic Victims, November 17:

“This year, 1.35 million people will die as a result of road traffic crashes – the leading cause of death for children and adults aged 5-29 years. Each death is a preventable tragedy. 

“On World Remembrance Day for Road Traffic Victims we recognize the urgent need to improve road safety globally to save the lives of millions from needless injuries and deaths every year. These deaths are entirely preventable, but progress varies significantly between the different regions and countries of the world.

“A proven public health approach points the way forward: enacting and enforcing legislation on key risk factors including speed, drink driving; supporting the proper use of motorcycle helmets, seat-belts and child restraints; embracing smart urban design; changing road user behavior through pairing impactful media campaigns with increased enforcement. 

“We have shown this approach can work across the world. Working in 10 global cities through the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS), Vital Strategies has helped governments turn evidence into action. Speeding rates in Bogotá, Colombia have fallen from 39% in 2015 to 18% in 2018. Drink driving rates in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia have fallen from 9.7% in 2015 to 2.4% in 2018. We commend the effort of a number of cities that have seen success in reducing road traffic deaths over the last few years. 

“No death on the road is acceptable. This World Remembrance Day for Road Traffic Victims, we honor the lives of those lost, and in their memory, we affirm our commitment to ensure that every person around the world has access to the safe streets they deserve.”

About Vital Strategies’ Road Safety Program: Vital Strategies is an implementing partner of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS), a consortium carrying out proven road safety interventions in 10 cities and five countries around the world. We use our expertise to strengthen road crash surveillance systems, and then we use outcome data to inform policy and action. We guide the creation of strategic communication and mass media campaigns to change road user behavior. Finally, we serve as the main liaison between the initiative’s multiple global partners, governments, and city agencies to align efforts in infrastructure, enforcement, communication and surveillance.