About the stories

Since 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) has worked with thousands of journalists from around the world to change how road safety is reported in mass media. Fellowships, workshops and seminars are organized regularly by WHO and its media partners to ensure that journalists report about this topic with the urgency and accuracy it deserves.

The main idea behind WHO’s road safety journalisms fellowships is to give reporters tools, facts and new skills so that they can write confidently about the problem and its solutions. Following WHO’s journalism fellowships, new opportunities often arise for those who have participated in the programmes. Some become the topic expert in their newsrooms; others receive road safety reporting grants from other organizations; others are given prizes for their road safety stories; and still others are invited to speak at events, join a project or train other reporters.

On the occasion of the Fourth UN Global Road Safety Week, we have invited some of these reporters to write road safety stories about their communities. The stories reflected here aim to inspire and encourage more reporting in the media during the Week and expand the number of road safety champions committed to contributing to efforts to save lives on the roads.

Road safety stories

Road safety challenges in our outer ring road, Hyderabad

Road safety challenges in our outer ring road, Hyderabad

The Outer Ring Road or ORR as it is commonly referred to, is an eight lane expressway that runs around the city of Hyderabad in the state of Telangana, India. It was built to provide quick access to important nodes in the city, provide connectivity between the highways and city radial roads and also act as a bypass for the traffic passing through the city.

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Working Together to Reduce Speeding

Working Together to Reduce Speeding

On one of the most dangerous roads in El Salvador a school joined forces with a team of traffic cops with only one objective: to avoid tragedies due to high speed on one of the most dangerous roads in El Salvador. In 2014 and 2015 two students of the Simón Bolívar National Institute were killed trying to cross the Comalapa Highway.

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Mother saves lives after losing teen daughter in road crash

Mother saves lives after losing teen daughter in road crash

Victor Francis and his wife Dorris can’t forget the fateful morning of November 9 in 2009 when they were returning home in a three-wheeler with their sick 17-year-old daughter Nikki from a hospital. As they were taking a right turn from National Highway No-24 towards Khoda Colony in the outskirts of Delhi, a car hit them. Nikki received multiple injuries and died after a year-long suffering lying on the bed.

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People power make one spot safe, no voice of road users leave others deadly

People power make one spot safe, no voice of road users leave others deadly

It was a summer night in 2011 when 30-year-old Prakash Narayan was returning home after day-long work at a shop in central Delhi. He was hit and dragged by a speeding car as he was crossing National Highway No-1, which connects India’s capital with Chandigarh.

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The Lawyer

The Lawyer

“40 km/hour is a safe speed when driving through rural communities and small villages. We have put this speed into the new bill before Parliament. Until now, Ukrainian traffic law has contained no such provision. If the law passes, the main issue of speed will be addressed.” Vladimir Karavaev is explaining key points.

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A paradise for pedestrians

A paradise for pedestrians

Walking in Metro Manila is no walk in the park. The too-few sidewalks are dirty, cracked, and narrow. There is a dearth of shady trees to shield people from the hot sun or rain and to buffer them from cars and traffic. As vendors and motor vehicles encroach upon the sidewalks, people on foot often walk on the carriageway itself and risk getting hit by motor vehicles.

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Man vs Speed

Man vs Speed

"This is an electronic speed measurement device. It instantaneously records the speed of the vehicle and displays it on a board - the motorist can see it at once. The effect is psychological. The motorist is reminded that he is going too fast and immediately reduces speed".

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How do you build a city that is sweet to its cyclists?

How do you build a city that is sweet to its cyclists?

You work together and bike together, like the people of Iloilo City do. Elvie Razon-Gonzalez learned to ride a bicycle as a young girl in Metro Manila. But she didn’t dare move around on two wheels in the megacity. In Metro Manila, pedal pushers risk life and limb each time they get on their bikes.

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Meet Sergeant Bonilla

Meet Sergeant Bonilla

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. 

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Do you have a #SlowDown story to share?

Do you know about a #SlowDown project that is saving lives? Have you met a champion who is leading road safety changes in his or her community? Do you want to highlight a speed problem that needs urgent attention or share a story on how speed has affected the life of someone you know?

Submit your story to: Elena Altieri (Communications Officer at WHO):  altierie@who.int

An editorial committee will review the stories submitted for their possible publication. Only stories fulfilling the following criteria will be considered.

Submissions should:

  • not exceed 500 words
  • be written in English
  • be accompanied by professionally taken photos, with captions and credits
  • include a brief biography of the author (150 words), his or her photo and contact details

  • preference will be given to stories that focus on

    • 1) solutions
    • 2) description of a speed related problem or of direct consequences of speeding
    • 3) examples of leadership in the field of road safety with a focus on speed or stories about road safety champions

Please note that due to the high volume of entries, the editorial committee may not be able to respond to all applicants.