During a period when many of the world’s leading philanthropic organizations are continuing to invest in programmes to prevent and treat communicable diseases, Michael Bloomberg has dedicated US$ 260 million over 12 years to implement evidence-based road safety interventions that have been proven to save lives.
Today, the “Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety” focuses on strengthening road safety legislation in China, India, Philippines, Tanzania and Thailand; addressing risks such as speeding, drinking and driving and failing to use seat-belts and motorcycle helmets in 10 cities; and advocating for more stringent vehicle safety standards in Africa, Latin America and South-East Asia. In addition, a focus of the Initiative has been to support projects which aim to create more walkable, bikeable cities and guarantee safe and sustainable public transport. Because Michael Bloomberg believes in the power of data, Bloomberg Philanthropies also supports development of the periodic global status reports on road safety which serve as the key monitoring tool for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. The reports chart the progress that countries are making over time in promulgating new road safety legislation, assessing roads, adhering to UN vehicle safety standards, and bolstering emergency care systems.
Since the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety was launched, 11 countries or localities have passed new or improved road safety laws protecting more than 3.36 billion people, and more than 125,000 lives have been saved. As World Health Organization Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries, Michael Bloomberg works with national and local leaders around the globe to highlight the burden of noncommunicable diseases and injuries and mobilize their response to these health and development challenges. Michael Bloomberg is a leader for road safety because he has had the vision to invest in a previously neglected public health issue, which is among the world’s leading killers. Those investments have yielded results, and the approaches used to achieve those are being replicated in countries and cities around the world.