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“Safer streets for all is an attainable goal in this Second Decade of Action for Road Safety”

Statement from José Luis Castro, President and CEO of Vital Strategies, on the Second Decade of Action for Road Safety and the accompanying Global Plan, released by WHO and the UN Regional Commissions 

Oct. 28, 2021 (New York) — “Every year approximately 1.3 million people are killed on the world’s roads, with at least another 50 million injured. Over the next decade, deaths and injuries will increase tenfold if no urgent action is taken.  

The United Nations General Assembly today launched the 2021-2030 Second Decade of Action for Road Safety, which aims to reduce global road traffic deaths and injuries by 50%, and Vital Strategies is proud to support this agenda. Road safety is a complex system with a wide array of stakeholders, with human safety at its core. The inclusion of speed management is a key feature of this plan, as speed influences both the likelihood of a crash and the severity of the consequences.  

No death on the road is acceptable. Governments must take action to build systems that prioritize all road users—not only vehicles. The Second Decade of Action emphasizes the need for data-driven, strategic communication paired with enforcement efforts to change risky behaviors such as speeding, drink-driving, and the non-use of seat-belts and helmets. Vital Strategies, through our partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies since 2010, has supported more than 50 road safety campaigns around the world that have contributed to saving lives.  

Progress against road injury and death is possible in every country and context. Cities like Fortaleza, Brazil, where the first decade’s goal of halving traffic deaths from 2010 to 2020 was met, serve as examples for how collaboration and evidence-driven solutions can reduce the tragic toll of road crashes.  

Safer streets for all is an attainable goal. The U.N. has given all countries a second chance to prioritize road safety as a public health issue. With renewed urgency, Vital Strategies will continue to support governments in their efforts to make sure everyone, everywhere 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), supporting governments in carrying out proven road safety interventions around the world. We use our expertise to help cities strengthen road crash data systems, and then use that 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 among the initiative’s multiple global partners, governments, and city agencies to align efforts in implementing policy, infrastructure, enforcement, communication and surveillance programs. 

For more information on Vital Strategies’ work in road safety, please visit: https://www.vitalstrategies.org/programs/road-safety/  

About Vital Strategies 

Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. We work with governments and civil society in 73 countries to design and implement evidence-based strategies that tackle their most pressing public health problems. Our goal is to see governments adopt promising interventions at scale as rapidly as possible. To find out more, please visit www.vitalstrategies.org or Twitter @VitalStrat.