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Public HealthImproving Road Safety

Improving Road Safety

Road safety is a pressing global public health challenge that receives limited attention and insufficient resources to address the problem. Road traffic crashes are the 12th leading cause of death globally, and the leading cause of death for ages 5-29. Every year, road traffic crashes claim over 1 million lives and injure as many as 50 million people.

Cities and countries, particularly low- and middle-income countries where over 90% of road traffic crashes and deaths occur, often lack the expertise and support they need to tackle key road safety threats: weak and inadequate road safety laws; limited police enforcement of existing laws; minimal or nonexistent vehicle safety standards; and streets designed solely for vehicle use that fail to consider other road users like pedestrians. In response to this challenge, Bloomberg Philanthropies has committed $500 million since 2007 to support road safety interventions in low- and middle-income countries and cities around the world. 

Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety 2020-2025

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 15 countries and on and implementing evidence-based interventions in 27 cities. 

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A redesigned intersection in Quito increases pedestrian safety.

Awards for Excellence in Road Safety

In June 2024, Bloomberg Philanthropies hosted in the inaugural Excellence in Road Safety Awards, recognizing the National Road Safety Agency of Argentina, the Secretary of Mobility in Bogota, Colombia, the National Road Safety Observatory in Tunisia, and Pleiku City, Viet Nam for their work to identify and promote exemplary road safety efforts. 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.

The awards program was launched as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety, with representatives from government agencies joining 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.

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Top photo: A busy intersection in Mumbai, India was redesigned with colorful barriers and crosswalks making pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers safer. Photo credit: WRI India