Press & Media

Bloomberg Philanthropies Road Safety Meeting Concludes with a Renewed Sense of Urgency

Road Safety

Advocacy Toolkit, Research Reports & Data on Impacts Shared Over Course of Three Day Gathering

During a three-day road safety partner meeting and training in Bangkok, Thailand, the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) convened nearly 125 participants including road safety experts, government officials, law enforcement professionals and others to address one of the world’s leading causes of preventable death. The event included training sessions for law enforcement, panels on strategic communication campaigns, presentations on data collection and monitoring, and sessions to show how countries have implemented successful strategies to reduce road crashes, improve mobility and design safer streets.

Highlights from the meeting include:

  • A call by the World Health Organization (WHO) for setting a target of reducing road crashes from 1.25 million to 600,000 per year in the next five years as part of the global Sustainable Development Goals.
  • The release of a report by Johns Hopkins University about the on-the-ground observational research it led that provides city-specific data on risky behaviors like the lack of helmet use and proper helmet wearing by motorcyclists and their passengers, the significant lack of child restraints, the incidence of driving after drinking, and insufficient seat-belt use.
  • A presentation by Vital Strategies on the increasing role and power of social media for road safety advocacy campaigns and for delivering strong behavior change messages in places like Bandung, Indonesia and China.
  • The launch of a new Media Advocacy Toolkit from Global Road Safety Partnership to support organizations to conduct innovative media campaigns with a specific focus on road safety.

Key outcomes since 2015 shared at the meeting about the foundation’s road safety initiative included: 

  • $1.58 million has been committed by governments to run mass media campaigns.
  • 5,026 professionals have been trained on road safety interventions and advocacy.
  • 1,343 miles of high-risk road assessments conducted and improvements suggested
  • 414 journalists have been briefed and trained on understanding road safety data.
  • 465 lawyers in five countries have been through the Legal Development program design to assess road safety policies and make recommendations for strengthening them.
  • 35 grants in 10 countries created to enhance advocacy.
  • 19 vehicles were tested in three regions and safety results were released to the public.

“This was the largest road safety gathering Bloomberg Philanthropies has ever hosted, and we are very impressed with the high quality discussions about strategy, progress and challenges,” said Kelly Larson, who spearheads Bloomberg Philanthropies work on road safety. “By facilitating these types of face-to-face gatherings, we enable cities and countries to learn from each other. Our aim is also to catalyze best practice approaches to address this critically important public health issue.”

Bloomberg Philanthropies has committed more than $259 million to work in low-and middle-income cities and countries with a high burden of road-related fatalities. BIGRS focuses on implementing key interventions proven to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries. Since Bloomberg Philanthropies began working on road safety in 2007, nearly 2 billion people have been covered by strengthened road safety laws, 65 million people have been exposed to hard-hitting media campaigns promoting road safety, close to 30,000 professionals have been trained on road safety tactics and governments have committed $225 million towards infrastructure improvements that will make roads safer. Approximately 125,000 lives will be saved through Bloomberg-supported road safety activities.

As part of the initiative, five countries are working to review and strengthen road safety legislation. They include China, India, Philippines, Thailand and Tanzania. Additionally, the 10 cities implementing evidence-based road safety strategies include Accra, Ghana; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Bandung, Indonesia; Bangkok, Thailand; Bogotá, Colombia; Fortaleza, Brazil; Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam; Mumbai, India; São Paulo, Brazil; and Shanghai, China.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies:
Bloomberg Philanthropies works in over 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2015, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed over half a billion dollars. For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, InstagramSnapchat, and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.

Contact: Bloomberg Philanthropies, Rebecca Carriero, 212-205-0182, rebeccac@bloomberg.org