Foreword to Annual Report 2018
I am proud to report that in 2018 we ramped up our advocacy efforts. We have been part of multiple high-level panels promoting our key-messages on youth and road safety issues. For example, together with the European Office of the World Health Organization, YOURS organized and chaired a session on meaningful youth participation in road safety in Malta; we were part of the Safety Conference in Thailand and joined multiple strategic initiatives around the world such as the Commonwealth Road Safety Initiative.
In 2018 the World Health Organization launched the latest Global Status Report on Road Safety. It stated that road traffic injuries are now the leading killer of people aged 5-29 years. In the past decade there has been success in providing safe mobility for young people in some parts of the world but it is clear that much more needs to be done.
When my children make a mess, I ask them to clean it up. However, this #1 global health threat to children and young people is not their mess, nor their fault. Let us please stop blaming young people for dying on our roads.
YOURS asks for a paradigm shift in thinking. Youth pay a heavy toll for a broken mobility system and they have a right to be at a very minimum, informed about it. Besides being informed, they need to be consulted and included in developing a safer system.
With the UN Global Road Safety Week mind, I ask our road safety youth champions to #SpeakUp for #RoadSafety and start being loud. Let your voices be heard and demand a safe journey. And while you urge decision makers to do so, claim a seat at the decision-making table. You deserve to be part of the solution and ensure that your needs are being heard.
The other side of the coin is for young people to act as role models. And although I understand that especially in LMCIs you often have no safe choice to travel, there are many things that are in the control of your own hands. You can speak up when your public service vehicle is speeding, or the driver is distracted.
You can make your friends aware of the risk of not wearing a seatbelt and ensure you always wear one yourself, you can promote being visible while walking at night and never drink or drug driving.
In conclusion I thank all of our partners, collaborators and donors for your support; further details are highlighted in this report. I look forward to further expand our impact in the years to come.