Within the context of the Second High Level Conference on Road Safety, a number of side-event took place, which focused on a range of key thematic road safety topics. In the evening of the first day of the conference, a side-event of Road Safety for Children and youth brought much needed critical focus to the plight of children and youth on the world's roads. The side-event proved to be a big success and offered a positive experience with participants.
On the 18th November, the 2nd High Level Conference on Road Safety convened with the world's road safety leaders, including government ministerial delegations, academia, civil society, and the private sector and beyond. A ‘full-house’ of delegates attended the event to learn about how and why children and young people should given the opportunity to participate in the road safety crisis they face, as well as highlighting some key good practise examples from around the world.
Prevention Alliance (CIPA) along with a collaboration of partners hosted a side-event. FedEx sponsored the event.
Collaborating Partners included:
The side-event opened with the inspiring words by Mr. Mansour Elimane KANE - Minister of Infrastructures and Ground Transportation, Government of Senegal
Globally, 1000 young people under the age of 25 die every day on the roads. Road traffic injuries are the biggest killer for young people aged 10-24 years.
A broad coalition of organizations proposed a side event with a focus on road safety for children and youth. The side event had the aim of offering delegates to the conference the opportunity to delve deeper into the road safety crisis facing children and youth. It’s aims were to explore the actionable steps that Ministers, civil society, foundations and the private sector could and should take to create a future generation of road safety conscious young people to ultimately save lives.
By the end of the side-event participants will be able to:
1. Identify key road safety problems facing children and youth globally
2. Understand good practices for preventing road traffic injuries among children and youth
3. Explain the benefits of involving children and youth in road safety
4. Kick-start their own children and youth road safety initiatives
The side event kicked off at 18:15 with an overwhelming response; a full-house with delegates representing an array of sectors.
His Excellency Mr. Mansour Elimane Kane made opening remarks: Minister of Infrastructures and Ground Transportation, Government of Senegal. Subsequent presentations offered participants an insight into the global perspective on road safety for children and youth.
Avi Silverman - Director of Advocacy and Communications, Fia Foundation presented: Children Campaigning for Road Safety - #SaveKidsLives. This presentation focused on the power of children to take the reigns on road safety campaigning as well as mobilizing their peers for effective youth messaging.
Dr. Olive Kobusingye - Board Vice-Chair, Road Traffic Injuries Research Network subsequently focused on: Importance of Supporting the Next Generation of Researchers.
Manpreet Darroch - Director of Communications, YOURS closed the global perspectives with a presentation on Youth for Road Safety Youth as Road Safety Advocates and Peer Educators. This presentation built the case for youth involvement in road safety as decision makers as well as activators of creativity, strong peer-to-peer education and advocacy for road safety initiatives spearheaded from the ground up.
Collaborating Partners pose for a #Safie
From a global perspective, the side-event then shifted its focus to a regional perspective in the form of the continental carousel. This interactive session offered participants a chance to hear good practices taking place on different continents of the world. The premise of this activity was to enable participants to hear ‘real life’ case studies of evidence-based activities, projects and initiatives taking place around the world with a view to kick-start ideas, meet the stakeholders involved in such activities as well as offer a networking opportunity.
The carousel worked to promote movement in the room whereby six ‘stations’ located on the periphery of the room were set up by collaborating partners and participants were given time to visit each station for a ten minute presentation from road safety organizations. After ten minutes, the participants moved to another station of their choice and witnessed another presentation.
Latin American Station by Vida Urgente focused on Youth Engagement with Diza Gonzaga, President
North American station by Safe Kids Worldwide focused on Child Restraints with Lorrie Walker, Technical Advisor
Asian station by AIP Foundation focused on Children Helmets with Kim Pagna, Country Director Cambodia
Latin American Station by the Mapfre Foundation focused on Education in Schools with Jesus Monclús, Road Safety Director
European station as Michelin focused on Young Drivers with Rodrigo Santiago, Public Relations.
African station by Amend focused on Walking to School with Jeffrey Witte, Director
This was undertaken a total of three times and each presentation offered gave an insight into road safety action taking place with children and youth as well opening the opportunity to ask questions, give feedback and reflect on potential ‘importation’ of such activity in the participant’s countries of operation.
Following on from the regional perspective, ways forward were discussed and Dr. Gary A. Smith - President, Child Injury Prevention Alliance (CIPA) presented the work of CIPA as a network of professionals from different sectors working on road safety for children and wider. Dr Smith invited participants to join the network as a means to continue the conversations as well as offer support in ‘incubating’ ideas via mentorships and matching with experienced road safety actors who can help bring ideas and initiatives to life.
The closing remarks were made by The Honorable T. Bella Dinh-Zarr, PhD, MPH - Vice Chairman, United States National Transportation Safety Board who gave passionate remarks about the involvement of young people as active and invested members of society. Her comments invited participants to build on the collaborations and conversations had in the side-event as well as believing in the power youth to unleash their power as active road safety change agents.
Overall, participants expressed the value of having the chance to meet stakeholders in the field of child and youth road safety in an informal and interactive setting. Participants also expressed that overall, they were able to ‘learn something new’ and network with key road safety actors with a view to kick-start their own road safety initiatives.