Many of the world’s roads lack important safety regulations that could help prevent traffic injuries and deaths. To fill this void, The Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety focuses on improving road safety laws in 5 countries and on and implementing evidence-based interventions in 10 cities.

From 2007 to 2009, Bloomberg Philanthropies funded a pilot program in Cambodia, Mexico, and Vietnam to see if proven road safety interventions could be adapted and used on a global scale. This effort was expanded in 2010 to support the implementation of these interventions and successfully reduce road traffic fatalities and injuries in ten low- and middle- countries that account for half of the global road crash fatalities –  Brazil, Cambodia, China, Egypt, India, Kenya, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, and Vietnam.

In 2015, Bloomberg Philanthropies launched phase two of the Initiative for Global Road Safety which will address road traffic safety in ten cities (Accra, Addis Ababa, Bandung, Bangkok, Bogota, Fortaleza, Ho Chi Minh City, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, and Shanghai), five countries (China, India, Philippines, Tanzania, and Thailand), and four vehicle market regions (Africa, Latin America, India, and Southeast Asia) with the primary goal of reducing road traffic fatalities and injuries.





    Motorcycle helmets are a proven way to decrease deaths and disabilities. Helmet usage decreases the risk of injuries by 69% and deaths by 42%.

    The simple act of buckling a seat-belt is one of the most-effective ways to save lives. Seat-belt use reduces serious and fatal injuries by 40% to 65%.

    Drinking and driving can put everyone on the road in danger. Drinking and driving increases both the risk of a crash and the likelihood that a death or a serious injury will occur.

    An increase in average speed is directly related to the likelihood of a crash occurring and to the severity of its consequences. A pedestrian struck by a car going 40 mph has a 70% chance of dying, while a pedestrian struck by a car going 30 mph has a 20% chance of dying – or an 80% chance of surviving.


    Road Safety improvements such as shoulder widening, installation of a median or barrier, controlled crosswalks, lane marking and separation, intersection improvement, and other measures reduce the risk of road traffic fatalities and injuries for all road users, including car occupants, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians by 25% to 40%.


    Roads are made safer by reducing car travel and designing secure modes of transit, including mass transportation systems, walking infrastructure, and bike routes. One example of mass transport is the bus rapid transit system, which can reduce fatalities and crashes by 40% to 50%.


    Many low- and middle-income countries have little or no regulatory standards for vehicles. For example, in the United States all cars must have seat-belts and airbags, which together reduce the risk of death by 61%. But in many countries where we work, car manufacturers are not required to install seat-belts or airbags, leaving the passengers at higher risk for death and injury.


    The World Health Organization works with the Ministry of Health in 5 countries to review national road safety legislation and propose recommendations for strengthening it, such as mandating that all vehicle occupants wear a seat-belt or age appropriate child restraint. Additionally, the Global Road Safety Partnership manages a grants program that enables civil society organizations in eligible cities and countries to apply for funding and advocate for evidence-based road safety policies.