Long Short Walk: step up and call for action 

Lord Robertson, Chair of the Commission and Etienne Krug, Director Violence and Injury Prevention WHO announcing The Long Short Walk
Make Roads Safe global ambassador Michelle Yeoh with her Long Short Walk call to action
Schools and NGOs in Kenya and Tanzania have held the first Long Short Walks
Zindzi Mandela

As part of the Zenani Mandela campaign, the family of Nelson Mandela together with the Make Roads Safe campaign and Road Safety Fund have announced the ‘Long Short Walk’ calling for protection for pedestrians on the roads around the world.

The Long Short Walk was announced during a key meeting of the Commission for Global Road Safety in London on 22 November. It will highlight the need to prioritise safe walking in support of UN Global Road Safety Week taking place next year.

Communities, schools, NGOs and activists around the world are all invited to join the Long Short Walk, in a common call for global action to save lives. Schools and NGOs have taken part in the first Long Short Walks in Kenya and Tanzania.

People can share and upload photos and short videos of a daily walk, a favourite walk or highlight a road that needs better safety. Short walks from around the world will then be combined into one ‘Long Walk’ that will take place during UN Global Road Safety Week in May 2013. The campaign will be urging governments around the world to include road safety in the new Sustainable Development Goals.

On behalf of the Zenani campaign, Zindzi Mandela said:

“We are not doing enough to protect the most vulnerable. All around the world every single day, pedestrians are being killed and injured on the roads. Many of them are children who are simply trying to get to school. We are calling for action to save lives. Leading up to UN Global Road Safety Week, let’s all join the Long Short Walk. Together let’s help reach the goal of safer roads for all.”

Joining the Zenani campaign were the first groups to take part in the Long Short Walk. They included children from the Nesco School in Kibera, Nairobi many of whom have tragically suffered following road traffic injuries near their school. The children were joined by local Kenya Red Cross volunteers. Meanwhile in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania the Amend.org road safety NGO and children from the local schools it works with held a Long Short Walk calling for action.

Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, Chair of the Commission for Global Road Safety and Make Roads Safe said:

“Together with the Mandela family, we’re inviting people from around the world to join us, take part in the Long Short Walk and vote with their feet. We can no longer ignore the need to protect the vulnerable on the world’s roads. Our campaign will support UN Global Road Safety Week and its emphasis on pedestrian safety. And we’re calling for a global response, a Sustainable Development Goal to save lives on our roads.” 

Michelle Yeoh, Make Roads Safe Global Ambassador said: “Far too many children are becoming casualties just trying to walk to school. This is simply not acceptable. Safe walking should be a right for all. Let’s join the UN in making pedestrian safety a priority for Global Road Safety Week. We can and we must do far more. With the Long Short Walk we’re urging global action, calling for a Sustainable Development Goal to make our roads safer for everyone.” 

The Commission for Global Road Safety announced the Long Short Walk as it focused on the advocacy agenda for a Sustainable Development Goal targeting safe and sustainable transport at its meeting held at the EBRD in London on 22 November.
UN Global Road Safety week will be held from 6-12 May 2013 worldwide. It aims to campaign on and draw attention to the need for pedestrian safety, to generate action on life saving measures needed to protect pedestrians and to help achieve the goal of the

UN Decade of Action for Road Safety to save 5 million lives by 2020.

Long Short Walk photos and video can be uploaded to the campaign website here >