When Floor Lieshout first came to the attention of the road safety team at WHO, he was several years into his career with TeamAlert, a road safety NGO in the Netherlands, where he was responsible for national road safety campaigns targeted at young people aged 15-25 years. Given his experience, he was the perfect candidate for his government’s nomination as its youth delegate to the first ever World Youth Assembly for Road Safety hosted by WHO in Geneva, Switzerland in 2007.
Because of the leadership skills he already demonstrated, Floor was elected as Vice-Chair of the Assembly, representing the WHO European Region, and also served as Co-chair of the working group which developed the Assembly’s outcome document, the “Youth Declaration for Road Safety.” In 2009 Mr Lieshout joined WHO in Geneva, to support its road safety efforts focused especially on young road users. During his one-year tenure, he methodically worked to put in place a global network of young road safety advocates, a Youth Taskforce. Upon leaving WHO, Mr Lieshout transformed this network into an independent global youth-led NGO for road safety named YOURS: Youth for Road Safety.
The organization was officially launched during the opening ceremony of the First Global Ministerial Conference for Road Safety held in Moscow, Russian Federation, in November 2009. Since January 2010 Mr Lieshout has effectively led YOURS, where he is responsible for the strategy and day-to-day operations of this unique organization. As a member of the UN Road Safety Collaboration, he advocates within this global platform for the specific interests and talents of young people, who he firmly believes need to be part of the solution.
Whether he is training youth champions in Belize or Tanzania, designing and managing a new road safety campaign or preparing the next world youth assembly, his enthusiasm and dedication to the cause are unmistakable. Mr Lieshout has often noted how lucky he feels to meet so many talented young people around the world who share the same passion for road safety. For these young people, the feelings are mutual!