Road Safety News

UK to support Global Road Safety Week

Thursday 22nd January 2015

A consortium of leading UK road safety stakeholders*, led by Road Safety GB, has unveiled ambitious plans to support Global Road Safety Week 2015.

Using the slogan #SaveKidsLives, the third Global Road Safety Week (4-10 May 2015) will highlight the plight of children on the world’s roads in a bid to generate action to better ensure their safety.

The centrepiece of the #SaveKidsLives campaign, which was launched in November 2014, is a child declaration, developed with input from children around the world. Road safety policy-makers and advocates across the globe are being encouraged to “sign it”, “show it”, and “deliver it” to those in charge of road safety during the Week.

Activities planned for the UK to support Global Road Safety Week include production of a series of simple guides to help schools and other organisations implement low or no cost activities to enhance pupils’ road safety skills and awareness. The Week will also see a series of online forums and discussion sessions where road safety professionals around the world will be able to interact with each other and share experiences and ideas to help improve child road safety.

Honor Byford, chair of Road Safety GB, the lead organisation for the UK campaign, said: “Every day more than 500 children across the globe lose their lives in traffic collisions, and thousands are injured. Global Road Safety Week will highlight these appalling statistics and raise awareness of the need for action on this crucial road safety issue.

“The United Kingdom is recognised around the globe as having particular expertise with regard to road safety – we have one of the world’s best road safety records.

“We intend to use Global Road Safety Week to share our expertise with colleagues in other parts of the world, and to hear about the challenges they face and methods they deploy – often in very difficult circumstances – to deliver road safety education and ultimately reduce child casualties.”

The road safety stakeholders involved in the UK collaboration in support of Global Road Safety Week are: Road Safety GB (lead organisation), ACPO, AIRSO, Brake, CFOA, CIHT, DfT, DoENI, Highways Agency, PACTS, RoadSafe, Road Safety Support, Road Safety Wales, RoSPA and Transport Scotland.





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...apart of course, from those collisions which do actually only involve one party Duncan!
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (6) | Disagree (1)

All collisions require a precipitating error from one party to be matched by a completing error by the other. It therefore follows that an individual cannot 'cause' an accident.

Having said that however, a child (or anybody else for that matter) cannot know about any error modes that they have not learnt or been taught. It also follows therefore that the responsibility for any lack of retained knowledge in these matters falls on the shoulders of the educators.
Duncan MacKillop. No surprise - No accident.

Agree (2) | Disagree (8)

Yes but more adults cause road accidents than children so to me, logically they should be the recipients of a global road safety education campaign. As Rod says "..the adults who manage our roads and use our roads need to change their behaviour, laws and infrastructure" Quite right.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (5) | Disagree (5)

I didn't say that "education victimises" and it is innacurate to respond with your first sentence. I said that the children were the victims of our road infrastructure, laws and behaviour.

I am not against road use being integrated into every child's education. But the focus of the UN Road Safety Week is on adults and not children. In my opinion you can, by all means, educate children for the other 51 weeks of the year but should not undermine the adult focus of the UN declaration and week by diverting attention to the education of children.
Rod King, 20's Plenty for Us

Agree (5) | Disagree (7)

Education provides empowerment not victimisation. Education also applies to adults and policy makers but not to the exclusion of educating children, we should be doing both and we are, the focus of this particular week is on children.

In our view road user education should be an integrated part of every child's education - the road and transport network is complicated and it is extraordinary that learning how to use it (e.g. what road signs mean, judging speed and distance; effects of weather on traction) whether walking, scooting, cycling, as a passenger or, eventually, driving is not already part of every child’s education.
Honor Byford, Chair, Road Safety GB

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It may seem so from the above description but actually its the reverse. This call is not for the education of children, but a declaration that the adults who manage our roads and use our roads need to change their behaviour, laws and infrastructure.

The element of distribution of the message around schools is to say loud and clear that adults need to get their act together because their behaviour, laws and infrastructure is killing children.

The declaration may be seen at:

It would certainly be ironic if those in authority took this declaration as an excuse to focus on the education of the child victims rather than the education of the adult and establishment victimisers.
Rod King, 20's Plenty for Us

Agree (4) | Disagree (3)

Ah, I get it now...harnessing global road safety expertise to concentrate on children as the potential victims, not on the potential offenders i.e the grown-ups 'in charge' of their motor vehicles.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (2) | Disagree (5)

I somehow feel that "#savekidslives" lacks the bite and call to action that so successfully catalysed the complete change of attitude to child road deaths in the Netherlands when the "Stop de Kindermoord" (Stop the child murder") campaign was launched in the 1970s.

Certainly looking at so much infrastructure and road laws in both UK and abroad these combine to create an establishment prejudice against the safety of not only the children but so many other non-motorised sectors of our communities as well.

Maybe it's time to stop being mealy-mouthed about the issue and recognise that children are indeed being murdered on our roads through institutional prejudice and complacency.
Rod King, 20's Plenty for Us

Agree (3) | Disagree (12)

This is considerably over the usual 150 word limit but I think it is important to provide a bit of background history:

The United Nations Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC) was set up in 2004 to act as the coordinator of global road safety issues. They launched the first Global Road Safety Week in 2007. It was instrumental in the adoption of the first ever Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011–2020). The Decade was called for by a UN General Assembly resolution in 2010. World Health Organisation (WHO) and the UN regional commissions, with assistance from the UNRSC, developed a global Plan of Action for the Decade as a guiding document to Member States and organisations around the world wishing to contribute to actions to reduce road traffic crashes, deaths and injuries. Members of the UNRSC are working towards the goal of the Decade which is to save millions of lives by promoting and implementing good practices in five main areas: road safety management, safer roads and mobility, safer vehicles, SAFER ROAD USERS and the post-crash response.

Much of this work has been at a strategic level to support governments and policy makes to introduce infrastructure, policies and laws that support safer road use. I have highlighted the safe road users element (above) as that is clearly a key area for Road Safety GB but we are working with other disciplines, professions and individuals to bring together all sorts of people with knowledge and expertise to help each other achieve all of the five aims.

The UN sets the theme for Global Road Safety Week. These events do not happen every year: as mentioned earlier the first road safety week was held in 2007. The UN then decided that a greater focus was needed to support developing countries and to reduce road casualties throughout the world, which led to the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety being declared in 2010. The second Global Road Safety Week took place in 2013 when the theme was pedestrians (of all ages).

For 2015 the focus is on children. I think this is logical for two main reasons:
1. If you educate children you educate them for life influencing their own road use and also their future careers and, through them, a country's decision making.

2. Injuries to children are the most costly in emotional terms, and in practical terms of the lifetime of care they may need and their loss or reduced contribution, but most importantly the loss to the country of its most valuable resource – its children.

Our first step started with last week’s announcement to raise awareness of the importance of this week with its focus on children. We are asking everyone to visit the SaveKidsLives website to find out more and to sign up to the Declaration as a public commitment to support making road safer for children to use.

Our next steps, having raised awareness of the issues and the need for practical action, will be to garner support and action through all sorts of sectors including professional road safety educators and engineers, police and fire officers, charities and volunteers and commercial companies. The most important contributions will come from schools, children and their families helping each other and linking with schools and children around the world. We will be helping this to happen so that children in the UK can share their road safety knowledge and learn from children around the world. We will be using the internet to do this – clearly it won’t reach every child or every school but it is a start and a wonderful tool to share knowledge and link communities.

We have achieved a great deal in reducing casualties in the UK and we should be sharing how we achieved this – and what didn’t work - with people facing these same issues and also learning from them as they develop different solutions that may be useful for us too.

Paraphrased from the UN General Assembly sessions, 02 April 2014:

"Road traffic injuries are a major public health and development problem that has a broad range of social and economic consequences which, if unaddressed, may affect the sustainable development of countries and hinder progress…..

"The number of road traffic deaths still remains unacceptably high, with an estimated 1.24 million lives lost in 2010……. only 7% of the world’s population is covered by adequate laws that address all behavioural risk factors, including the non-use of helmets, safety belts and child restraints, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, inappropriate and excessive speed and the inappropriate use of cellular telephones, including texting, while driving.

"Half of all road traffic deaths worldwide involve pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists, and some developing countries have inadequate infrastructure and insufficient policies in place to protect these vulnerable road users.

"The role of the first Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, held in Moscow on 19 and 20 November 2009 culminated in a declaration inviting the General Assembly to declare a decade of action for road safety.

"Targeted steps to reduce road traffic injuries undertaken by the United Nations, including in the framework of the Decade of Action for Road Safety, have yielded positive results, and more than 100 Member States, United Nations organisations, non-governmental organisations and civil society representatives organised pedestrian safety activities during the second United Nations Global Road Safety Week, held from 6 to 12 May 2013."
Honor Byford, Chair, Road Safety GB

Agree (11) | Disagree (2)

Why the separation of chld casualties from other casualties out of interest?
'Global Road Safety' week sounds impressive and from the list above involves just about everyone and it's an opportunity to share expertise from around the 'globe', so why waste the opportunity by make the aim so limiting? Why not have the obvious emphasis be on reducing road accidents per se? Regardless of the age of casualties, the causation factors don't change wherever you are, so addressing that should be the aim I would have thought. Notwithsatnding this, if the emphasis is to be on child casualties, does it mean as pedestrians or as occupants of vehicles involved in a crash?
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

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Rod you might find NYC's Vision Zero initiative on pedestrian deaths/injuries interesting:

Agree (0) | Disagree (2)

Whilst we may well (if in-advisedly) be congratulatory regarding to overall road deaths per head of population this certainly does not extend to specific road users such as child pedestrians.

Before looking at the UK then 3rd world countries may well prefer to consider the policies of Norway, Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Germany, France and Finland, all of whom have lower child pedestrian deaths per million children (5-year average 2008-2012). The rate in Netherlands at 1.4 deaths per million children is half the UK's record of 2.9.

In the UK we have the highest ratio of child pedestrian fatalities to overall child fatalities at 47.7% out of Western European countries.

For all pedestrians we also top the table with 23% of all road fatalities being pedestrians.

Actual figures and data may be seen at
Rod King, 20's Plenty for Us

Agree (9) | Disagree (4)

An article in the Spectator last year
drew a distinction between charities/organisations who "raise awareness" and those who actually do things.

I would like to think that this initiative will improve road safety but the quote from Honor uses those words "raise awareness of the need for action". Surely it is action that is required.

I look forward to a future report on what was achieved during the first week of May.
Disagreeing with this comment is a vote for hand-waving rather than action.
Eric Bridgstock, Independent Road Safety Researcher, St Albans

Agree (12) | Disagree (6)