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Bloomberg Philanthropies Announces Inaugural Winners of Excellence in Road Safety Awards

Government agencies in Argentina, Colombia, Tunisia and Viet Nam recognized at award ceremony in New York City for their outstanding road safety efforts that are saving lives 

 Road traffic crashes are the 12th leading cause of death globally and claim nearly 1.2 million lives and injure as many as 50 million people every year 

New York – Today Bloomberg Philanthropies recognized the National Road Safety Agency of Argentina; Secretariat of Mobility in Bogotá, Colombia; National Road Safety Observatory in Tunisia; and Pleiku City, Viet Nam as the inaugural winners of the Awards for Excellence in Road Safety for their work to identify and promote exemplary road safety efforts. The awards program was launched as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety, which works in partnership with international and local organizations and governments to improve road safety and save lives by focusing on five key areas: strengthening national legislation; enhancing data collection and surveillance; changing road user behavior; improving road infrastructure; and upgrading vehicle safety.

Representatives from government agencies joined leaders of road safety organizations and advocates from around the world in New York City for a global showcase of the award winners’ interventions and results. The award winners were selected from nominations across 18 countries submitted by global road safety experts, with priority given to large-scale, evidence-based interventions in low- and middle-income countries.

“Millions of road fatalities and injuries each year could be prevented with stronger laws, better infrastructure, and more efficient enforcement,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies, 108th mayor of New York City, and WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries. “Bloomberg Philanthropies works closely with international partners who are leading the way in implementing these policies, and to shine a spotlight on their progress and the need for more of it, we’re hosting the first-ever Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards for Excellence in Road Safety. The awards will highlight the policies and political courage that can help governments make more of the world’s roads safer.”

According to the 2023 WHO Global Status Report on Road Safety, road traffic crashes are the 12th leading cause of death globally and the leading cause of death for ages 5-29 across all countries. Further, road traffic crashes claim nearly 1.2 million lives around the world each year and injure as many as 50 million people. The report also shows that 90% of road traffic related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.

“Road safety remains an urgent global issue that requires the utmost attention from governments,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general. “We commend the incredible achievements of all the award winners, as well as those nominated, to make our roads safer. Through these tireless efforts, many countries are on a path to not only achieve safe and sustainable mobility, but also a healthier and better future.”

The four winners of the 2024 Bloomberg Philanthropies Excellence in Road Safety Awards are:

  • National Road Safety Agency in Argentina for its landmark law saving lives and preventing injuries caused by drinking and driving. In April 2023, the new national law changed the legal blood alcohol limit while driving to zero, which applies to every national road in the country. The Jujuy Province passed a similar zero tolerance law in 2018 and saw a 37% reduction in road deaths in the year following its adoption.
  • Secretariat of Mobility in Bogotá, Colombia for its bold actions to design streets that protect the most vulnerable road users: bicyclists and pedestrians. The Livable Neighborhoods Program has transformed neighborhoods through tactical interventions like safe intersections, pedestrian space and loading zones that promote sustainable mobility and improve public spaces, reducing total crashes and average speed.
  • National Road Safety Observatory in Tunisia for its transformative digital crash database that enables better decision-making and investments in road safety interventions based on geo-located crash data. By connecting the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Health data with the National Road Safety Observatory (ONSR) through this new collection tool, recording and analyzing crash details is easier and the data are more accurate. First piloted in the northeast region, the joint government database has since been scaled to cover the entire country.
  • Pleiku City, Viet Nam for its groundbreaking work to manage speeds around schools. The Slow Zones, Safe Zones program reduces the school zone speed limit to 30 kph as part of a comprehensive approach, which has gained national traction. In addition to covering 31 primary schools in Pleiku City, officials will implement infrastructure modifications at 13 schools across other regions of the country to demonstrate the effectiveness of their approach to local leaders.

Despite promising progress in many regions, road safety remains an urgent public health issue. In 2010, the UN General Assembly adopted the Decade of Action for Road Safety with the target of reducing road traffic deaths and injuries by 50% by 2020. While the goal was not met, the UN declared a second Decade of Action through 2030 and the efforts and investments of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Excellence in Road Safety Award winners are proof of the kind of action needed to meet these global goals over the next decade.

Since 2007, Bloomberg Philanthropies has invested $500 million in global road safety, saving an estimated 312,000 lives and preventing up to 11.5 million injuries.

Partners in the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety include the World Health Organization, Global Designing Cities Initiative, Global Road Safety Partnership, Global Health Advocacy Incubator, World Resources Institute, Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit, World Bank’s Global Road Safety Facility, Global New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP), Vital Strategies, and International Association of Chiefs of Police.


About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 700 cities and 150 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on creating lasting change in five key areas: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a philanthropic consultancy that advises cities around the world. In 2023, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $3 billion. For more information, please visit, sign up for our newsletter, or follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Threads, Facebook, and X.

Media Contact:
Steven Chlapecka, Bloomberg Philanthropies,