From Slovenia to South Africa, Argentina to Iran, some incredible events took place around the world for the 4th UN Global Road Safety Week. Many of the events were coordinated by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in hundreds of countries. Thanks to the Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety, we highlight some of those events.
27 April 2017 was National Road Safety Day in Iran and Alliance member Road Safety Pioneers took advantage of this opportunity to start their #SlowDown activities early and gain some momentum.
Director Ali Zayerzadeh is a keen photographer as well as a road safety campaigner. It is therefore no surprise that the run up to Road Safety Pioneer’s #SlowDown campaign featured a national photo contest through social media and creation of three videos, one of which has been released through social media (see HERE) and the other two are being shown on large screen monitors throughout Mashhad and in metro stations. These videos are reaching passers-by with the #SlowDown message promoted by prominent celebrities including footballers, tennis players and cyclists. Ali says of the work involved in engaging celebrities for the campaign “it took a lot of time but it was worth it.”
To engage civil authorities, they sent a template mail about the week and expected activities for Transportation Dept. of the Ministry of Interior. The Ministry used this to send an official mail to all of the provinces. Within the province, the Province Governor sent a letter to all of the cities and small towns. They also engaged ecotourism and eco-friendly groups to support the campaign on their day tours and took signboard photos at an urban planning conference.
Now that UN Global Road Safety Week has begun, Road Safety Pioneers are focusing on awareness raising among motorists, children and policemen. On Monday they distributed stickers to taxi drivers with the #SlowDown slogan and “I respect the speed limit” (photos below), put information brochures inside city buses on selected crowded routes and started their series of road safety sessions with school children.
Their events don’t stop there. Among other activities this week, they are running a training session for police officers on speed management and will be working with the traffic police, municipality and Road Ministry to stop speeding drivers. Instead of issuing them with a speeding ticket, they are talking to them about speeding, giving them a brochure and asking for their commitment to slow down. At the end of the week, Ali has been invited to present all that Road Safety Pioneers have been doing for the campaign at the National Ceremony for the Fourth UN Global Road Safety Week.
Read more about Road Safety Pioneers HERE
There were impressive scenes outside the Cultural Center, Velenje, Slovenia, on Monday 8 May when Zavod VOZIM hosted their Slow Down event. Smoke poured out of the bonnet of a demonstration car as firemen demonstrated how they rescue victims from a car crash and rows of participants learnt CPR from paramedics. The police highlighted the importance of protective gear for cyclists using a cycle obstacle course that participants could try (using a helmet and with working brakes and lights, of course). Zavod VOZIM used weighing scales to demonstrate the weight of a person at the moment of impact in a crash at different speeds. There were many interactive activities including the opportunity for passers-by to test out “Drunk Buster Goggles”, which simulate the effects of alcohol impairment, and see how they fared on an obstacle course.
The event primarily targeted 9th Grade students but also attracted the attention of parents, teachers and children from younger classes and passers-by. In all, Zavod VOZIM estimate that around 350 participants attended.
The NGOs’ other activities included a preventative workshop: “I still drive — but I cannot walk” and a panel discussion, attended by Institute VOZIM, the Association of Paraplegic South Western Styrian, the Deputy Major of Velenje, the Council for Prevention and Safety in Road Traffic, representatives from the police, the Inspector of Traffic, President of Principals, a representative of the organization maintaining roads, and the President of the local Fire Brigade. The panel discussion concluded with signing an Action Plan, which summarizes defined key critical points regarding speeding and proposals for traffic slow down measures. It serves as a demonstration of good practice which will be transferred to other Municipalities in Slovenia.
It is wonderful to see NGOs working in partnership with authorities and the emergency services to promote one goal in UN Global Road Safety Week.
Read more about Zavod VOZIM HERE.
Kapan is a city in Southern Armenia. UN Global Road Safety Week was an opportunity for Alliance member National Road Safety Council (NRSC) to run the first event of this kind in the city. While often campaigns focus on the major cities in a country, speed is just as much of an issue in the provinces. Kapan was chosen because it has seen a high number of road injuries among young people and children.
NRSC’s campaign engaged the Kapan Traffic Police, and officials within the municipality. They gathered volunteers to hold 40 kilometers per hour posters near busy roads, distribute leaflets and talk to passers by. The event was well received by residents and officials and was featured on the local news channel.
“The campaign is very necessary for our city and recently we have had lots of accidents with kids. This is an unprecedented activity in Kapan and we would like similar campaigns to happen here as well,” commented Anna Gabrielyan, the Secretary of Kapan municipality. Comments from participants included “We are very pleased with this campaign, as our drivers need to pay attention to the speed in order to escape road accidents,” (Ani Sargsyan) and “I am very impressed with this campaign, I am sure it will have positive impact on drivers’ and pedestrians’ behaviour,” (Monika Tumanyan).
Running an event in a new city opened further opportunities for NRSC. Residents of Sevan city a nearby city in the Gegharkunik region were inspired and hope to run an event in their own city. The highway to Sevan is very dangerous and there are lots of accidents especially in summer time while tourists and locals head off to Sevan lake. Additionally, NRSC discovered an active youth community. They have already found a way for these young people to make a difference in Kapan – while distributing leaflets and talking with residents, NRSC discovered that road warning and information signs were missing in a number of locations. The youth are collecting the addresses where street signs are needed and NRSC will work with them to apply for the signs to be installed.
From small beginnings can come big impacts and we hope this is just the start for Kapan. Read more about NRSC HERE.