Rochelle Sobel is President of ASIRT, which she founded after her 25-year-old son Aron died in a bus crash in Turkey in 1995. Under Ms Sobel’s leadership, ASIRT works with governments, corporations, the education abroad community and NGOs to help reduce road traffic deaths and injuries and their associated impacts in countries worldwide. This is achieved by publishing reviews that detail road conditions in select countries, hosting conferences to draw attention to road travel risks, and partnering with local NGOs to develop sustainable road safety initiatives.
Thanks to her tireless efforts to warn the world about the risk of traveling on unsafe roadways, leading travel guides such as “Let’s Go” and “Lonely Planet” began acknowledging and focusing on this major cause of death abroad. Known for her powerful personal testimony, Ms Sobel has delivered keynote presentations on road safety in many countries. In 2009, she gave the final plenary presentation of the First Global Ministerial Conference in Moscow, on behalf of the international NGO community. Ms Sobel has served as a member of the UN Road Safety Collaboration and on the steering committee for the Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety for which she is a founding member.
In the United States Ms Sobel has spearheaded many initiatives. She helped launch the bi-partisan Congressional Caucus on Road Safety, which has held educational briefings for legislators and achieved passage of several concurrent resolutions by the House and the Senate. For example, in September 2009, the House of Representatives unanimously approved House Concurrent Resolution 74, which supports the goals and ideals of the Decade of Action.
Ms Sobel has also led efforts to encourage the Department of State to collect and disseminate data on citizens who died in road traffic crashes while abroad. ASIRT also provides traffic safety information to agencies such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In recognition of the Fifth UN Global Road Safety Week, ASIRT will hold its inaugural Road Safety Travel and Tourism Summit on 13 May 2019 on Capitol Hill to highlight the key role organizations can play in improving road safety for tourists and other travelers. As a passionate advocate for the cause, Ms Sobel is deeply appreciated by her colleagues and partners, and as a fourth grade teacher, she takes every opportunity to promote safe road travel to future generations.