The Vital Strategies team attended the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) Partner Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand on July 27-29 to share best practices and come around common goals for addressing road safety issues around the world.
Joining officials from partner organizations including Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, World Resources Institute, Global Road Safety Partnership, International Road Assessment Program, Johns Hopkins University, National Association of City Transport Officials, World Bank and World Health Organization as well as representatives from the 10 BIGRS cities, Vital Strategies spent three days discussing challenges on global road safety issues and how various groups are working to overcome them.
Vital Strategies hosted in-depth conversations around the leading causes of road crashes and injuries (speeding, drink driving, lack of helmet and seat belt wearing, and low child restraint use), showing that while the prevalence of these causes varies by city, tactics used to prevent the risk factors such as targeted mass media campaigns and strong police enforcement can be harnessed by all.
Sessions from global experts on various aspects of road safety – such as road design, data collection and monitoring, and vehicle standards – provided unique insights into the complexity surrounding the epidemic of road crashes that kills roughly 1.25 people around the world annually. Panels included discussions on earned and paid media campaigns, police enforcement, safer streets and mobility, and strengthening legislation.
Vital Strategies provided expertise to assist technical leads and others on how to overcome common obstacles, such as motorist hesitancy to abide by road safety laws and enforcement challenges, at the local level. The partner meeting also gave embedded staff the opportunity to share lessons learned and best practices with each other, since the event was the first time many had met each other in person.
Prior to the start of the partner meeting, Vital Strategies joined others at City Hall in Bangkok for a press conference announcing the launch of a new PSA as part of a new mass media campaign to encourage greater and proper helmet use. Vital Strategies Senior Vice President for Policy, Advocacy and Communication Sandra Mullin stressed the importance of coupling hard-hitting mass media campaigns with strong enforcement to ensure motorcyclists abide by helmet laws and protect themselves from preventable death and injury. The campaign will run through September 2016 with a robust commitment from Bangkok city leaders and police officials.