Foundation begins 2017 with renewed road safety grant partnerships for the Global Goals
The FIA Foundation has renewed multi-year grant agreements with major road safety partners in a concerted push towards the 2020 Sustainable Development Goals target to halve global road traffic deaths and injuries.
The new agreements provide funding to 2020 totalling more than €18 million for key Foundation partners including the International Road Assessment Programme(iRAP); the Global New Car Assessment Programme (Global NCAP), which conducts independent crash tests of cars in Latin America and Asia; the FIA and its global network of automobile clubs; and regional road traffic injury NGOs Amend (Sub-Saharan Africa); AIP Foundation (SE Asia); the Eastern Alliance for Safe & Sustainable Transport (Eastern Europe & Central Asia); and the Fundacion Gonzalo Rodriguez (Latin America). The agreements will enable these organisations to maintain momentum in the efforts to reach the SDG Health target 3.6 for road safety. For many of these NGOs, the FIA Foundation provides vital core funding.
The FIA Foundation’s Chairman, Lord Robertson, said: “We cannot accept the road carnage which every day robs more than 3000 families of a loved one. We must challenge governments, cities and international institutions to do more. So between now and 2020 the FIA Foundation is determined to focus on supporting programmes and advocacy initiatives that can make a real difference and save lives. I am pleased that our Board has approved this new round of grants for our strategic road safety partners. All have demonstrated effectiveness and value for money; all are making a real contribution to achieving the Global Goals targets for road traffic injury reduction.”
The progress made by many of the partners is impressive. iRAP has seen its assessments of road infrastructure safety influencing policy change and operational practice in countries from the UK to Mexico to China, and in major institutions like the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. As the charity’s star ratings and recommended safety countermeasures are transformed into real improvements on real roads, and the casualty toll pre- and post- is evaluated, so iRAP is now able to calculate the real lives being saved as a result. In 2016, a reduction of at least 16,000 deaths and serious injuries was provisionally estimated to be directly attributable to iRAP’s work.
Safer speeds and safer infrastructure will be key to achieving the SDG targets. Maximizing travel on 3-star and better roads for all road users will help save many lives. This is simply ensuring no brand new one or two star roads are built and high volume strategic roads are four and five-star for pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and vehicle occupants. Existing high risk roads can be targeted for upgrades to provide footpaths, cycle paths and motorcycle lanes, median separation, safe roadsides and intersections. A one-off investment to create 3-star or better roads will save lives and money for years to come. The FIA Foundation support enables iRAP to provide the evidence based tools and systems for the world to use for free.
"Thanks to the support from the FIA Foundation, iRAP partners around the world are helping to make roads safe. Auto-clubs, development banks and government agencies are embracing the 3-star or better targets and sharing their success. Together we can apply the proven and cost effective Vaccines for Roads on a grand scale and save many lives", said iRAP CEO Rob McInerney.
Global NCAP has also had a major impact, its role recognised with the 2016 Premier Award from the Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards. In Latin America, Latin NCAP’s independent crash tests have dramatically changed the political and media conversation on vehicle safety, and sparked a trend to safer four and five star cars being produced on the continent. Outliers, like some of the General Motors models which still score zero stars, or the zero star Nissan Tsuru which was crash tested in October 2016 (and promptly withdrawn from production by the company) are named and shamed. In India, Global NCAP’s #SaferCarsForIndia campaign has aroused massive media attention and public outrage as the poor quality and stripped down safety equipment of many car models sold to Indian consumers has been exposed. The Government is now introducing its own crash test programme, Bharat NCAP, in 2017. Meanwhile in South East Asia ASEAN NCAP, hosted at MIROS in Malaysia, which is supported by the Foundation through Global NCAP, is maturing into a strong regional programme and seeing many four and five star cars, including lower cost ‘affordable’ models. Through its ‘Stop the Crash’ initiative, Global NCAP is also promoting proven active safety technologies including electronic stability control, ABS for motorcycles and autonomous emergency braking systems.
Global NCAP’s Secretary General, David Ward, said: “Global NCAP is delighted to continue our Decade of Action partnership with the FIA Foundation. Our aim is to ensure that new cars worldwide all pass the United Nation’s crash test standards and are fitted with the anti-skid system, electronic stability control by 2020 at the latest. If we succeed we will have eliminated ‘zero star’ cars from the world’s roads and made an important contribution to the UN’s goal to dramatically reduce road deaths and serious injuries.”
With a global network of automobile clubs, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) is well placed to advocate for road safety within countries and across borders. Since 2011 the FIA Foundation has supported more than 200 road safety initiatives run by automobile clubs in over 70 countries. These include awareness campaigns, educational programmes and training, vulnerable road users' protection, conferences, events and workshops, road infrastructure safety information and vehicle inspection programmes. These projects have helped to build internal club capacity and external partnerships, and raised awareness of road safety issues.
As well as supporting advocacy campaigns and demonstration projects in dozens of countries, the FIA Foundation’s funding is also enabling the FIA to establish new international partnerships and programmes. These include a new ‘Safer City Streets’ network led by the International Transport Forum and IRTAD, bringing together more than 20 cities on four continents to share good practice and data on designing safe and liveable cities; and a Child Seat Safety initiative, assisting automobile clubs in developing legislative advocacy campaigns, awareness and outreach programmes and CRS installation training sessions. The Foundation is also funding the FIA High Level Panel for Road Safety, which convenes business and institutional leaders to advocate for increased political commitment and funding, and the FIA Action for Road Safety campaign, which this year will launch a major advertising campaign on key road safety risk factors in partnership with advertising giant JC Decaux.
The Foundation’s regional strategic partners are also demonstrating significant results in programmes which will be developed and expanded over the next few years. In South East Asia, AIP Foundation is a leading partner in Vietnam’s Child Safety Action Plan, with a focus on motorcycle helmet safety for children. In Cambodia, a two year motorcycle safety project co-funded with USAID has prevented more than 650 deaths and injuries, while passenger helmet wearing rates rose from 11% to 36% in target provinces. AIP Foundation has a strong focus on schools, and in 18 project schools motorcycle helmet wearing amongst schoolchildren increased on average from 1% to 75% (compared to 1%-4% in control schools).
Safety on the journey to school is also a focus for the work of Amend, the FIA Foundation’s NGO partner in Sub-Saharan Africa (see main photo above). The new grant will support the establishment of ‘Safe & Healthy School Coalitions’ in target countries to advocate and deliver policy change to reduce speed limits and improve infrastructure on school routes, as well as continued research and demonstration projects to show the benefit of a focus on low cost local footpaths and speed management in reducing child injury.
For EASST, the objective is to encourage public authorities to adopt policies reduced speeds around schools in at least four countries in the region, and to advocate for governments to adopt or strengthen legislation requiring child restraints in cars or prohibiting small children as front seat passengers. The charity uses FIA Foundation funding to support a network of NGOs in the region, building capacity to tackle road safety issues including speeding, drink driving and non-use of seat belts, and to support institutional reforms to traffic policing and road engineering.
In Latin America, Fundacion Gonzalo Rodriguez, in addition to its vital work on child restraint systems and school bus seat belts, will work with iRAP to implement a new Star Rating in Schools app, which is being developed by iRAP with funding from FedEx, to assess road infrastructure around schools, and will undertake advocacy to put safe access to schools on the public agenda and raise awareness among decision-makers about the importance of safe road infrastructure and transport to avoid injuries and deaths among children.
Saul Billingsley, FIA Foundation Executive Director, said: “All of our strategic road safety partners have demonstrated innovation and effectiveness, and all of them are at a phase in their work where further funding is vital to maintain momentum. The FIA Foundation’s renewed commitment provides the certainty they need to concentrate on delivery. With road safety included in the SDGs we need unwavering focus on implementation and fundraising. New sources of financing can best be secured by demonstrating evidence-based, scalable, results, backed up with strong advocacy. So it is by encouraging further progress in measurable delivery by our partners, combined with pump-priming for the effort to establish a UN Road Safety Fund and attract funding to it, that our Foundation can best contribute to the wider international effort.”
These grants to multi-year partners do not represent the totality of FIA Foundation support for road safety. UNICEF is another major (€1 million a year) partner, and other current grant support includes funding for the World Bank Global Road Safety Facility; and UNECE (to fund the office of the UN Special Envoy for Road Safety). As part of support for the Global Initiative for Child Health & Mobility the Foundation has ongoing grants with Save the Children, UN Environment Programme, the World Resources Institute and the Overseas Development Institute, while other partners regularly supported include the World Health Organization, the Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety, the road safety youth NGO YOURS, the Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards, India’s Institute for Road Traffic Education, which is leading a push for coordinated action on motorcycle safety across southern Asia, and the Delft University International Road Safety Course which trains researchers and advocates from low and middle income countries.