New UNICEF road safety guidance supported by FIA foundation

New UNICEF road safety guidance supported by FIA foundation

New child road safety technical guidance from UNICEF, joint authored and supported by the FIA Foundation, has been launched to help UNICEF regional and country offices embed road safety into their activities.

The UNICEF Technical Guidance For Child And Adolescent Road Safety highlights the scale of the road safety challenge; 600 children and young people lose their lives on the world’s streets every day and road injury remains the leading cause of death from the ages of five to 29 worldwide.

UNICEF has committed to building road safety into its activities and has recently announced new indicators to specifically track child road death and injury for the first time. The guidance has been designed to raise awareness, highlight road traffic injury prevention, and share evidence-based and achievable interventions for UNICEF country and regional offices.

Globally there has been a reduction in the rate of child road traffic injury deaths over the last 20 years, but progress has varied by income group and region. The report highlights that 97% of child road traffic injury deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries and there is an eight-fold difference between UNICEF regions, with the highest road traffic injury death rates in sub-Saharan Africa.

The report emphasises that evidence-based interventions, designed and implemented in an integrated safe systems approach, should be supported by offices, combining engineering, enforcement of legislation and education interventions. It also highlights the need for collaborative action between UNICEF offices, government, civil society, funders, private sector and United Nations agencies. The guidance also emphasises the cross-cutting benefits for people, the planet and economies through effective implementation of road safety solutions as children’s safe mobility which promotes their physical activity, active travel, independence, well-being and development alongside sider social, economic and environmental benefits.

Where effective road safety interventions exist, the guidance recommends they should be adopted, implemented and widely enforced at the local, regional and national levels. The core road safety interventions, which can be implemented in most contexts, included: 30 km/h or lower speed zones; separated bike lanes; properly fitted and worn bicycle helmets; motorcycle helmet use; child passenger restraint; appropriate seatbelts use.

The guidance was co-authored by Natalie Draisin, FIA Foundation North America Director, UNICEF and the Karolinska institute, with funding support from the FIA Foundation.

The webinar heard from a range of UNICEF speakers working at a global, regional and national level, as well as NGOs and implementing partners. Speakers included: Lu Wei Pearson, Associate Director Health, Maternal Newborn Child Adolescent Health; Guidance author Joanne Vincenten, UNICEF Child Injury Prevention; Avi Silverman, FIA Foundation Deputy Director; Angelito Umali, UNICEF Philippines Country Office; Aminola Abaton, Philippine Department Of The Transportation; Maaike Arts, UNICEF Latin America And The Caribbean Regional Office;  Patrick Muchaka, Childsafe South Africa; Vinicius Gaby, UNICEF Voices For Youth; And Margie Peden, Head Of Global Injury Programme, The George Institute.

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