From smoking to child drownings, Bloomberg Philanthropies has been pretty dialed-in in terms of supporting efforts to prevent otherwise preventable deaths. Who else is giving $125 million worth of attention to traffic accidents besides Bloomberg?
The newest $125 million commitment to the Global Road Safety Initiative was announced late last year with the goals of improving pedestrian and cyclist safety, enhancing drunk driving and speeding laws, and advocating for the increased use of safety measures such as motorcycle helmets, seat belts, and child car seats. These are all relatively simple and proven measures to save millions of lives, which is definitely in Bloomberg’s wheelhouse.
Bloomberg began by inviting just 20 cities to participate in a road safety competition that involved each city’s detailed plan for addressing road safety challenges, including graphic media campaigns and infrastructure solutions. The cities with the winning proposals are:
- Accra, Ghana
- Addiis Ababa, Ethiopia
- Bandung, Indonesia
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Bogota, Columbia
- Fortaleza, Brazil
- Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
- Mumbai, India
- Sao Paulo, Brazil
- Shanghai, China
Each city will receive:
- A full time staff person that will work with city governments on road safety initiatives for up to five years
- Technical assistance for leading road safety organizations
- Help with police officer and relevant city staff training
- Help with mass media road safety campaigns
Bloomberg had already launched the exact same road safety program in Brazil, Cambodia, China, Egypt, India, Kenya, Mexico, Russian, Turkey, and Vietnam. Cambodia recently passed a tough road safety bill that requires all motorcyclists to wear helmets, and Ivanavo, Russia nearly doubled the number of car drivers and passengers wearing seatbelts.
Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Global Road Safety Initiative works in lockstep with the UN's Decade of Action on Road Safety, which is set to run from 2011 to 2020.
Road Safety—it’s not sexy, but considering that an estimated 1.3 million die from and 20 to 50 million people are injured and disabled by traffic accidents annually, cutting those numbers down is a pretty big deal.