UNITAR Brings Expertise to Montevideo to Make Uruguay’s Roads Safer

Participants of the Improving Road Safety in Cities Workshop in Montevideo10 May 2018, Montevideo, Uruguay - UNITAR in collaboration with the National Congress of Intendants of Uruguay hosted a two-day workshop titled “Improving Road Safety in Cities” in Montevideo, Uruguay on 15-16 May 2018. The event was inaugurated in the presence of 60 local government authorities. At the two-day workshop Uruguayan and international experts, local government officials, law enforcement, educators, business and corporate leaders deliberated on solutions and shared best practices and learnings that will help address the issues of road safety.

The conference included sessions where road safety experts shared insights on strengthening road safety legislations, a multi-stakeholder approach to reduce drunken driving, the need for infrastructure planning and urban design, and learnings through case studies from other cities and countries such as Argentina, Ecuador, Mexico, and Paraguay.

Through its “Road Safety Initiative for Cities”, UNITAR continues to build individual and institutional capacity of stakeholders to reduce traffic deaths and injuries. This initiative aims to train government officials, youth, and other relevant stakeholders with a focus on countries with the highest road traffic death rates. UNITAR is committed to act on the road safety front, and specifically on the issue of road users behavior. Ms. Estrella Merlos presented an overview of UNITAR’s training activities on road safety and a summary of the recently adopted 12 global road safety performance targets.

Participants of the Improving Road Safety in Cities Workshop in MontevideoThe President of the National Agency for Road Safety of Uruguay (UNASEV) Mr. Fernando Longo shared the progress achieved in Uruguay regarding setting up the legal framework to create a national unit responsible for road safety and for the implementation of the country’s road safety strategic plan.

Local governments best practices from cities like Quito in Ecuador and the Province of Canelones, Uruguay were also discussed. Mr. Paco Moncayo, Former Mayor of the Metropolitan District of Ecuador shared the city’s mobility plan 2009-2025 that provides a comprehensive approach to public safety, in which road safety has a special emphasis. From Uruguay, Mr. Marcelo Metediera, Director General of Transit of the Province of Canelones presented its road safety education and prevention programme.

The Fundación Gonzalo Rodríguez, a civil society organization based in Uruguay shared about its efforts to promote children and adolescents´ safety as road users.  Mrs. Maria Fernanda Rodriguez, President of the Foundation presented the programme "Children Safe in Traffic in Latin America” and the main outcomes of their recently launched report “Child transport to school, and safety in school zones”.

Mr. Gabriel Lopez, general manager of Diageo Uruguay presented the Don’t Drink & Drive” initiative that has impacted over 2 million people by raising awareness around the importance of a safe conduct on the roads and creating a culture of using taxis or a designated driver after celebrations.  

Photo 1 and 2: Participants of the Improving Road Safety in Cities Workshop in Montevideo