New child safety interventions unveiled at Latin American ‘FISEVI’ forum
New ideas and initiatives to protect children on the road have been announced at the FISEVI International Forum on Child Road Safety 2016, a Latin American event organised by the Fundacion Gonzalo Rodriguez (FGR) in Santiago de Chile.
The FISEVI conference, supported by donors including the FIA Foundation, brought together more than 200 road safety practitioners from across the region. The event, on 16-17 June 2016, was opened by Andrés Gómez-Lobo, Minister of Transport and Telecommunications of Chile. Mr Gómez-Lobo told delegates that more than 1,200 children had died and more than 80,000 had been injured on Chile’s roads in the past decade. He announced a new road safety action plan for children, including automated speed cameras and tougher rules on child restraints.
Several international partnerships, initiatives and tools were announced at the FISEVI forum:
A new online child seat safety toolkit designed to provide advocacy and technical information for countries at every stage of development was presented by Alberto Escobar of the Automobile Club of Chile. The new toolkit was designed by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), Fundacion Gonzalo Rodriguez and the Royal Automobile Club of Catalunya (RACC) with financial support from the FIA Foundation. The campaign portal can be accessed here. A video explaining the new FIA child safety seat toolkit can be viewed here.
Global courier company FedEx announced new support for the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) to develop a mobile application for star rating the safety for children of school routes. The new funding builds on a pilot project supported by FedEx in Mexico City in 2013 and pilot research currently being undertaken by the FIA Foundation and iRAP with backing from Johnson & Johnson at 13 schools in South Africa. The aim is to provide a low cost way of assessing safety – particularly for child pedestrians – which can empower local communities to demand safety improvements from their local authorities.
A new report on ‘Transportation of Children’ which rates cities for their child road safety regulations was also released by Fundacion Gonzalo Rodriguez. The research, produced with the support of FedEx and Safe Kids Worldwide, focused on cities in eight Latin American countries, as well as Spain and the USA, and reviewed safety regulations for school bus transport, including seat belts, driver training, vehicle safety and the local school environment into which children embark and disembark on their school journey. See the report here.
Panels at the forum brought together global and regional experts to exchange information on child traffic injury prevention programmes related to each of the five pillars of the UN Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety. The FIA Foundation’s director Saul Billingsley moderated the session on road user interventions, and said: “This forum has been useful for convening road safety practitioners from across Latin America to share ideas and launch new initiatives. With road safety included in the Global Goals everyone now knows the scale of the problem and the emphasis needs to be on government action, designing practical solutions and supporting civil society as a stronger voice in the region. Through the new Global Initiative for Child Health & Mobility we hope to work with partners, including regional partners like Fundacion Gonzalo Rodriguez, to support stronger and urgent implementation.”