Learning from Chile’s Child Restraint System policy success

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Gloria Hutt, Chilean Minister for Transport and Telecommunications was the keynote speaker.
Gloria Hutt, Chilean Minister for Transport and Telecommunications was the keynote speaker.
Saul Billingsley, Executive Director of the FIA Foundation, presented on ‘The importance of working on safe mobility for children and adolescents in the new Decade of Action for Road Safety’.
Saul Billingsley, Executive Director of the FIA Foundation, presented on ‘The importance of working on safe mobility for children and adolescents in the new Decade of Action for Road Safety’.

Chile has more than halved the number of children killed in road crashes in the past five years following the introduction of compulsory Child Restraint System legislation thanks to a prolonged campaign by FIA Foundation partner the Gonzalo Rodríguez Foundation (FGR).

The new report, 'Child Restraint Systems. A multidimensional approach to strengthen their use: The case of Chile' was launched at a special online event and set out the importance of the collaborative efforts between state and road safety leaders. It summarizes the four main lines of action taken in Chile to improve CRS use: diagnosis and adaptation of vehicle design and technology; control of laws and regulations; education and development of institutional capacities; and public communication campaigns.

The event, 'Safe Children - Everyone's Responsibility', was organized by FGR, the National Traffic Safety Commission (CONASET) and the Chilean Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications, and was supported by the FIA Foundation and ISA Intervial.

More than 200 participants from around the world joined the event with speakers including: Gloria Hutt, Chilean Minister of Transport and Telecommunications; Saul Billingsley, Executive Director of the FIA Foundation, who spoke on 'The importance of working on safe mobility for children and adolescents in the new Decade of Action for Road Safety'; Fred Wegman, Professor Emeritus of the University of Delft; and Dave Cliff, CEO of the Global Road Safety Partnership.

"The joint effort of the Government, civil society organizations, the private sector and the communities made it possible to implement a comprehensive plan developed jointly to increase the use of child restraint systems in Chile with surprising results. But there is still a percentage of accidents to be reduced, so we must multiply our efforts," said Executive Secretary of CONASET, Johanna Vollrath.

Saul Billingsley, Executive Director of the FIA Foundation, said: "As we embark on a new Decade of Action for Road Safety, with the goal of halving deaths and serious injuries by 2030, as part of the world’s commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals, this report provides important evidence and guidance for a successful strategy. Above all, it demonstrates what can be achieved when civil society and government walk forward together in lock-step, as pragmatic, but not uncritical, partners, and the change that can be achieved when an inspirational NGO decides to step up, challenge the status quo, and lead."

Executive Director of the Gonzalo Rodríguez Foundation, María José Pessano, added: "What we did in Chile was a sustained programme of activity to improve the whole system through this public policy. The report systematically charts all our work, with the aim that other countries can replicate it and thus achieve the objectives to which we committed ourselves with the Sustainable Development Goals."

The report is available here in Spanish.