Launched in 2007, the initiative works to reduce road traffic fatalities and injuries in low- and middle-income countries and prevent traffic-related injuries and deaths. The commitment is expected to double the impact of the initiative and save an additional six hundred thousand lives and prevent up to twenty-two million injuries. According to Bloomberg Philanthropies, more than 1.35 million people die and up to fifty million a year are seriously injured in road traffic crashes, which are the number-one killer of people ages 5 to 29. A report recently released by the World Bank found that reducing road traffic deaths and injuries by 50 percent could add between 7 percent and 22 percent in per capita GDP in select low- and middle-income countries over the next twenty-four years.
The new funding will help expand efforts to strengthen national road safety laws in fifteen countries; support up to thirty cities in implementing best-practice road safety activities, including media campaigns; boost the number of governments regulating vehicle safety standards and raise consumer awareness so they demand safer cars; reduce deaths on high-mortality roads; and improve and enhance collection of road crash data. The foundation also will create the Awards for Outstanding Excellence in Road Safety to highlight countries that have already made exemplary progress in road safety, and will work to increase media and government attention to the high burden of road traffic fatalities and injuries.
Partners in the initiative include the World Health Organization, the National Association of City Transportation Officials – Global Designing Cities Initiative, the Global Road Safety Partnership, the Global Health Advocacy Incubator, World Resources Institute, Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit, the World Bank's Global Road Safety Facility, the Global New Car Assessment Programme, Vital Strategies, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
"As transport and health ministers from around the world gather in Sweden this week for the Third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, we should keep in mind that these deaths and injuries are completely preventable. After more than a decade of working with our international and in-country partners, we know which policies and interventions are saving lives," said Bloomberg Philanthropies director of public health Kelly Henning. "By increasing our commitment, we can double our impact by leveraging the many lessons we've learned and adopting new approaches that we believe will accelerate progress."