Strengthening Road Safety in Latin America

Strengthening Road Safety in Latin America14 December 2016, Mexico City, Mexico – Road traffic injuries claim more than 1.2 million lives each year with a disproportionate impact on health and development. They are the ninth leading cause of death across all age groups globally and the leading cause among young people aged between 15 and 29 years.

With the objective of contributing to halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents by 2020 (SDG 3.6), UNITAR launched its Road Safety Initiative for Cities. The Initiative places priority in countries with highest road traffic death rates, with a special focus on low-income countries, Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

The Initiative has two major objectives: to improve road user behaviour though advocacy efforts and by increasing awareness of risk factors, and to enhance the capacity of government authorities to develop and implement road safety strategies and plans in line with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.6.

In this context, UNITAR, in close collaboration with the National Commission Against Addictions in Mexico (CONADIC), the City of Mexico (CDMX), and the Secretary of Public Safety of the City of Mexico (SSP CDMX), and the support of DIAGEO, hosted the International Conference titled “Strengthening Road Safety in Latin America: Reducing Drink Driving” taking place in Mexico City on 8 - 9 December 2016.

The Conference provided a platform for local and national level government officials to exchange best practices and solutions to reduce key risk factors such as drink driving, and to identify innovative strategies and programmes that enhance road safety.

The City of Mexico shared its experience with the programme “Alcoholimetro” that has been successfully implemented for 13 years in the City. Other experiences discussed were programmes implemented in other cities from Mexico, Argentina, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic. DIAGEO also shared about its programme “Actuando Mejor” which promotes responsible consumption among youth. An important discussion held was related to the role of academic institutions in conducting research related to road safety and in providing technical advise to governments to make informed decisions and plan cities mobility better.

Upcoming road safety conferences:

  • Road Safety and Sustainable Transport Systems, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria, 13 - 14 February 2017
  • Strengthening Road Safety in Cities, Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban, South Africa, 16 - 17 February 2017