Every month between 700 and 800 people are injured in road crashes in El Salvador, In Central America. In 2010, Sgt. Carlos Antonio Bonilla was transferred to the Transit Division in the department of Cuscatlán. One afternoon he witnessed a fatal crash involving a pregnant woman; that experience changed his life.
The sergeant realized that it was necessary to work directly with the population to avoid more and preventable accidents on the roads. On his spare time he decided to launch and lead a project that very few people had faith in: creating road safety groups within communities. He began his mission in schools where he created ten brigades of children and he invited their parents and teachers to participate.
A few years later between 2015 and 2016, following his example, the National Road Safety Council, CONASEVI, decided to formally organize Education and Road Safety Committees in communities around 62 schools in the whole country. Sergeant Bonilla's approach was starting to change things and authorities moved from holding talks on road safety to improving the roads around the schools. Sergeant Bonilla currently runs five of these CONASEVI committees. This is his story.
Ricardo Gonzalez has a degree in communications and public relations at the Universidad Tecnológica de El Salvador. He has 12 years of experience in written and broadcast journalism. He currently hosts the morning news programme at Telecorporación Salvadoreña, a prominent television station in El Salvador.
He specializes in investigative journalism with a focus on health, road safety, and economy. His work also , includes international coverage in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Brazil. In 2013 he received an award from the Association of Journalists of El Salvador for the series "The human right to water" and in 2014 and 2015 received awards from World Vision for his coverage of children in El Salvador.
Ricardo participated in several road safety fellowship programmes for journalists organized by the World Health Organization.