1-2 August 2017, Curitiba, Brazil - With the objective of contributing towards halving road traffic deaths and injuries by 2020, UNITAR and the International Training Centre for Authorities and Leaders in Curitiba (CIFAL Curitiba) with the support of Diageo hosted the international capacity building workshop “Strengthening Road Safety in Latin America”.
The workshop took place in Curitiba, Brazil during the 1st and 2nd of August, bringing together over 100 representatives from governments, the private sector and the international community to identify actions and policies that reduce the number of road traffic deaths in Brazil and Latin American countries.
During the two-day workshop, experiences and best practices from countries like Brazil, Argentina and Mexico were shared and key risk factors in Latin American countries were analyzed. Participating countries and cities presented effective road safety measures that work in practice and in their respective contexts.
The private sector is paying increasing attention to road safety policy and is providing not only financial support to road safety efforts but also facilitating expertise to address risk factors. The British multinational Diageo presented its initiatives aimed at reducing the incidence of drink driving crashes and fatalities. Ms. Alexsandra Machado, Senior Manager for Corporate Relations at Diageo also shared about its multi stakeholder approach aimed at supporting new legislation and education & enforcement campaigns.
The fleet of motor vehicles currently exceeds one billion and is likely to at least double by 2030. It is estimated that 440,000 deaths and serious injuries could be prevented if basic UN regulations were applied in Latin American countries. During the workshop, Volvo Latin America stressed the importance of ensuring that the design of vehicles adheres to recognized safety standards. Ms. Solange Fusco, Director of Corporative Communications shared about Volvo’s systematic work towards zero accidents through high quality and innovative products that reduce the frequency of accidents and their consequences.
Another successful intervention presented during the workshop was the road safety awareness campaigns implemented by TRAFPOL, a Spanish not-for-profit association that aims to save lives through education and campaigns. Mr. Antonio Vigial Escalera Pacheco and Mr. Jose Rabade from TRAFPOL, Spain presented the multimedia programme Road Show that was developed by psychologists and police officers with several years of experience in road safety and has been adapted for youngsters between the ages of 16 and 25.
Through the Road Show, TRAFPOL aims to help youngsters to identify the socioeconomic and health impact of traffic accidents, to recognize the risks and consequences of driving recklessly or with a lack of attention to traffic laws and rules, and to learn about preventive approaches and reactive paradigms.
The role of academia in promoting road safety research was also discussed by representatives from the National University of Rio Negro in Argentina, from the Federal University of Parana in Brazil, and from the Parana Technology University.
The linkages between road safety and sustainable cities was also explored by Ms. Marta Obelheiro, Road Safety Coordinator from WRI Brasil Cidades Sustentáveis and by Mr. Alexandre Lorenzetto from Soluções Ambientais com Inovação e Sustentabilidade (SACIS).
Since 2013, UNITAR’s affiliated training centre in Curitiba, CIFAL Curitiba, has been committed to provide training opportunities for government officials on road safety policy, and to implement awareness campaigns and educational programmes for youth in Brazil.
Photo 1: Road Safety Workshop Participants