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May 8, 2017

How speed interventions are helping improve road safety

Speeding is the focus for the fourth United Nations Global Road Safety Week, with a goal of highlighting the dangers of speed and the impact of interventions that can help reduce speed and save lives.

Speed is a factor in half of all fatal road traffic crashes in low- and middle-income countries. But only 47 countries have policy in line with recommended best practice in one of the key speed management measures: urban speed limits below 50 km/h and policies empowering local authorities to impose stricter limits around schools, homes and businesses.

And while establishing, posting and enforcing safe speed limits is the most well-known anti-speeding measures, other effective strategies include road designs that help slow down traffic, in-vehicle technologies such as speed limiters, and communication campaigns that address the devastating consequences of road traffic crashes.

Vital Strategies has partnered with leading global road safety partners to help 10 cities around the world improve road safety and save lives, as part of the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety.

In Bangkok, Thailand the initiative has helped the city implement 30 km/h per hour speed limits on local roads to make them safer for drivers and pedestrians.

In Bogotá, Colombia, speed limit enforcement along the Avenida Boyacá highway reduced traffic fatalities to zero over three months.

Meanwhile, traffic calming intersections in Bogotá are also helping slow drivers down, making streets safer for pedestrians.

New pedestrian crossings and larger sidewalks are making major intersections safer in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

And in Fortaleza, Brazil, highly visible pedestrian crossings are helping to slow down drivers and fixed speed cameras are being used to enforce speed limits.

But road safety isn’t just about speed. As part of the initiative, Vital Strategies is also helping cities to address risky behavior with strategic mass media and social media communication campaigns focused on four key behaviors: speeding, drink driving, proper helmet use and proper wearing of seatbelts.

So far we’ve create 14 public service announcements for use on TV and social media targeting drink driving and helmet use, and planning is now underway to address speeding and seat belts, with campaigns to begin later this year.

Learn more about our role in the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety here.

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