Bloomberg Philanthropies Hosts International Road Safety Experts

Bloomberg Philanthropies Hosts International Road Safety Experts

Image credit: WHO Global status report on road safety 2015

India (June 8, 2017): Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety convened 150 road safety experts from 17 countries in Mumbai, India, from June 7 to 9 to address one of the world’s leading causes of preventable death. Government officials, non-governmental stakeholders, law enforcement and other partners got together in Mumbai to share best practices and learnings since last year’s meeting in Bangkok, Thailand. Nearly 85 percent of the world’s countries lack adequate laws to counter the growing rates of traffic-related deaths and injuries. As a result, an estimated 1.3 million deaths and 20 to 50 million injuries occur every year, with 90 percent of these fatalities occurring in low- and middle-income countries. 

“The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai has been a great partner in tackling road safety challenges, an urgent issue in India and across the world,” said Dr. Kelly Henning, director of the public health program at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “Without action, road traffic crashes will become the seventh leading cause of death globally by 2030. We look forward to gathering this week to learn about initiatives that have been effectively implemented here and to help achieve progress on road safety globally.”

This year’s meeting included workshops designed to share lessons learned and the most effective prevention strategies. Sessions will focus on law enforcement, communications to inform the public on safer road use and change their behavior, new technology and innovation in road safety, and new case studies on cities and countries that have implemented successful strategies. Participants included representatives of Mumbai city government, the World Bank, World Health Organization and Bloomberg Philanthropies, among others.

Along with its partners, Bloomberg Philanthropies has been working towards developing and helping implement interventions to prevent traffic crash deaths, including increased seat-belt and helmet use, speed reduction, drinking and driving reduction, safe sustainable urban transport, and improved road infrastructure. Bloomberg Philanthropies Founder Michael R. Bloomberg currently serves as World Health Organization Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs), working to raise awareness about NCDs and injuries and get more governments to take stronger action to combat them.

In 2015, Bloomberg Philanthropies launched phase two of the Initiative for Global Road Safety to address road traffic safety in 10 cities, including Mumbai, as well as Accra, Addis Ababa, Bandung, Bangkok, Bogota, Fortaleza, Ho Chi Minh City, Sao Paulo, and Shanghai; five countries, including India, China, Philippines, Tanzania, and Thailand; and three vehicle market regions, including India, Latin America, and Southeast Asia, with the primary goal of reducing road traffic fatalities and injuries.

Bloomberg Philanthropies has invested $259 million since 2007 to implement interventions that have been helping to reduce road traffic fatalities and injuries in low- and middle-income cities and countries.