Welcome to the
Global Road Safety Partnership newsletter
February 2015
Dear road safety colleagues,

We open this edition with a word from our new CEO before turning the spotlight on big news and updates on the second phase of the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety.

This month we also highlight the launch of round 7 of the Road Safety Grants Programme, remind you to register for the Asia Pacific Road Safety event in Manila and take a look at some of the work we are supporting around the globe through our advocacy programmes.

As always, your comments and feedback are welcome. Email us anytime, or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Safe travels,
The GRSP Team

Message from the CEO

As many of you would be aware, I have recently taken over the role of the CEO at GRSP from Dr Pieter Venter. At the outset, I’d like to pass on my sincere thanks to all those people who offered me their well wishes and words of encouragement, which has made the transition from Brisbane to Geneva so much easier. I’d also like to acknowledge the strong support I’ve received from the IFRC, GRSP staff and members, and my many colleagues within the global road safety community.

I join GRSP at an exciting time. In early February, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced its new US$125 million commitment to enhancing global road safety. As outlined later in this newsletter, the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) will focus on reducing road fatalities and injuries in 10 cities and five countries around the world. In the immediate wake of this announcement, I had the pleasure of spending my very first week in the CEO role in discussions with the project partners in New York, and I had the honour of meeting Mayor Bloomberg. On the subject of the Bloomberg Initiative, the bold scale of the programme is truly remarkable. The high level of cooperation and coordination between such an impressive line-up of globally recognized project partners is indeed a model to which the world will look. We at GRSP are prepared and eager to hit the ground running as projects kick off around the globe.

As I’ve been settling into my new role, I’ve been impressed with the breadth of GRSP’s global operations, our various programmes, member engagement and the close relationship we have with the IFRC. I very much look forward to consolidating and extending on these activities, and to working with the many other organizations involved in global road safety to achieve the goals of the Decade of Action.

Before I conclude, I would like to pass on a special thanks to my predecessor, Dr Pieter Venter. Pieter's contribution to GRSP and to road safety is well known, and his generosity with me in the current handover phase has been enormous. It’s certainly made my transition into the new role much easier to have Pieter around to provide me with his wisdom and guidance. While Pieter will be returning to his home and family in South Africa, he will not be lost to us; he has agreed to maintain a consultancy role with GRSP to assist with and oversee various projects and initiatives.

To close, allow me to say that I greatly look forward to engaging with so many of you in coming weeks and months. These are indeed exciting times, and I am proud to be part of such important work.

Dr Barry Watson
CEO, Global Road Safety Partnership


Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety 2015 - 2019

Building on the success of Phase 1 of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety, the year 2015 marks the beginning of the second five-year phase of the Bloomberg Philanthropies' programme aiming to reduce fatalities and injuries from road traffic crashes.

For the second phase, with a new commitment of US$125 million over five years, Bloomberg Philanthropies invited 20 low- and middle-income cities and countries to submit proposals to compete for funding and support. The new programme will work with countries at the national level to strengthen road safety legislation, and with cities at the municipal level to implement proven road safety interventions. Ten cities and five countries have been selected as official participants in the programme.

The Road Safety Grants Programme will also be expanded.

The five countries selected to receive technical support to review and strengthen road safety legislation are China, India, Philippines, Thailand and Tanzania.

The ten cities in which proven road safety interventions will be implemented are:

  • Accra, Ghana;
  • Addis Ababa, Ethiopia;
  • Bandung, Indonesia;
  • Bangkok, Thailand;
  • Bogota, Colombia;
  • Fortaleza, Brazil;
  • Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam;
  • Mumbai, India;
  • Sao Paolo, Brazil; and
  • Shanghai, China.

The selected cities will receive:

  • Senior-level, full-time staff to work within city governments on their road safety initiatives for up to 5 years
  • Comprehensive technical assistance from the world’s leading road safety organizations
  • Training for police officers and other relevant city staff
  • Support to create hard-hitting mass media campaigns

Speaking on the Initiative, Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term mayor of New York City stated: "We can prevent millions of road traffic fatalities and injuries through stronger laws, more effective enforcement and better infrastructure. The 10 cities selected to participate in our five-year road safety programme have demonstrated a commitment to this work, and we are excited to support them".

With assistance from the world’s leading experts in road safety, the chosen countries and cities will establish an elite network of visionary municipal leaders who commit to implementing bold, new efforts to save lives and protect their citizens from road traffic injuries.

Registration is now open for Asia Pacific Road Safety

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) and International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) are pleased to again be working in partnership to bring you Asia Pacific Road Safety 2015. This comprehensive capacity building event provides you with a range of stimulating workshops, keynote addresses and plenary sessions and will be held at the ADB headquarters in Manila, Philippines from 28-30 April 2015.

The event website is now open for registrations, though numbers are strictly limited, so be quick to express your interest in attending. 

Asia Pacific Road Safety 2015 will focus on some of the serious gaps in road safety in countries across the Asia Pacific region. There will also be a SaveKidsLives activity to reinforce the importance of child road safety, which was the theme at our event last year, in preparation for this year's Global Road Safety Week in early May.

The event’s key objectives are to:

  • provide capacity building opportunities to participants on evidence-based good practice in road safety
  • stimulate support for and action in the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020
  • develop networks to support information, good practice and knowledge sharing

Key representatives from Asian countries will attend the seminar, including:

  • senior government officials, from road safety, transport, health, police and education
  • road safety researchers and experts
  • representatives of NGO’s working in road safety in the region
  • business representatives with an interest in road safety.

On both Day One and Two of the event (28-29 April 2015) there will be half-day workshop programmes as well as keynote addresses and plenary sessions. On Day Three of the event (30 April 2015) iRAP will run a full day workshop and GRSP will run a half-day workshop. Further details can be found in the Programme area of the website.

Asia Pacific Road Safety 2015 is possible because of the generous support from the Global Road Safety Initiative (GRSI) programme and its partners (Michelin, Shell, Total and Toyota), and from the FIA Foundation. The organizers would also like to thank the Philippines Global Road Safety Partnership for their assistance in running this important event.

Turkish Red Crescent campaign to bring seat-belt legislation to the fore, ahead of national elections

Under the Advocacy & Grants Programme, funded through the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety, GRSP is partnering with the Turkish Red Crescent Society in an ongoing campaign to address gaps in Turkish seat-belt legislation. Currently, a number of exemptions exist in the legislation which contribute to more severe road crashes, related fatalities and injuries.

Whilst the campaign has been in progress for more than a year, it has not been without its setbacks. Political uncertainty has at times 'bumped the issue off of the political radar', however we are now in the period leading up to the June national parliamentary elections. Parties will be looking for community issues with which to align.

The focus now through a heightened activity programme within the Turkish Red Crescent Society is to keep the issue in the media and to make it a topic of discussion within the government, including the Ministry of Interior, the Turkish Grand National Assembly, and in national election party campaigns. This will not be an easy task, although a recent positive development was a press conference organized by the Turkish Red Crescent in February advocating for victims of road crashes whose injuries have left them paralyzed. The press conference reached out to the Turkish National Police and Parliament to advance the policy proposal and generated a number of national media stories in its support.

A number of advocacy avenues are being explored to promote the topic and identify media opportunities; we shall keep you informed as to the progress in the countdown to the elections.

New GRSP CEO meets Mayor Bloomberg

The last week of February saw the coming together in New York of all the partners involved in the new phase of the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety. The week also saw our new CEO, Dr Barry Watson, commence in his new role, and so presented an ideal opportunity for him to join the Bloomberg meetings, engage with the partners and meet the man behind the Initiative, Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term mayor of New York City.

The series of 'partner kick-off' meetings held during the week served to review and refine the in-country and in-city implementation models and collaborative structures that will underpin the projects soon to begin in target sites right around the globe. Partners drew upon the lessons learned from the first five year phase of the Initiative, discussed shared objectives, project planning and implementation methodologies and looked to the challenges posed by the scale of the new five year phase.

Speaking on the meetings and his first week with GRSP, Barry Watson said: 'I can think of no better introduction. There is no doubt that the Bloomberg Initiative is highly significant in global terms. Besides the sheer scale of the Initiative, the programme features a strong focus on evidence-based solutions to the key road safety risk factors facing each of the selected countries and cities. This combined with a commitment to monitoring and evaluation makes the Initiative both unique and historic. Moreover, the many lessons that will be learnt from the Initiative will ensure its long-term legacy beyond the specific countries and cities being targeted.'.

Planning meetings with city and country representatives will follow in coming weeks, and we will keep you updated as projects commence in the target locations.

(Pictured left to right: Dr Barry Watson, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg)

Russian Red Cross puts spotlight on child restraint policies in the Russian Federation

On 13 February, the Russian Red Cross, a grantee of the GRSP managed Road Safety Grants Progamme funded through the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety, hosted a press conference in Moscow to highlight the need for comprehensive child restraint policies in the Russian Federation. Russian Duma and Duma Transport Committee Member Alexander Starovoytov, Head of the Road Safety Department of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs Maxim Belugin, Deputy Director of the Federal Automotive Research Institute (NAMI) Denis Zagarin, Russian Red Cross President Raisa Lukutseva, and IFRC Regional Representative Davron Mukhamadiev all presented about the status of child restraint policies in Russia. 

This press conference generated significant coverage in national and regional news outlets and served to promote new technical regulations concerning child restraints coming into effect on January 1, 2015 under the Eurasian Customs Union, of which the Russian Federation is a member. The Russian Red Cross is supporting the government to formally adopt these new regulations.

In a sign of further community support for the adoption of the regulations, a recent public opinion poll conducted by the Russia Public Opinion Research Centre (VCIOM) revealed strong public support for robust child restraint policies which ensure that all children are fully protected on Russian roads.

The Government of the Russian Federation is an active role player in the promotion of road safety for children as sponsor of the April 2014 UN General Assembly adoption of the resolution on 'Improving global road safety', which, amongst other matters, requested WHO and the UN regional commissions to facilitate the organization of the Third UN Global Road Safety Week in 2015 (May 4-10) on the theme of improving road safety for children.

Managing speed in an urban context in Turkey

On 27 February, the Turkish Road Association (TRA), a grantee of the GRSP managed Road Safety Grants Progamme funded through the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety, hosted a workshop for civil society and government partners to investigate opportunities and challenges in addressing speed in urban environments in Turkey. 

Attendees from the General Directorate of Security, General Directorate of Highways, Ministry of Urbanization, Turkish Red Crescent Society and academia participated. The objective of the workshop was to identify where legislative change is needed, on both the national and municipal levels, in order to successfully manage speed within an urban context. This workshop was the second hosted by TRA and is part of an ongoing GRSP-funded project to develop a model for managing speed in Turkish cities. Following up from this workshop, TRA will continue to engage directly with the governments of Antalya and Gazantiep to develop local solutions to speed management challenges.

Road Safety Grants Programme - Round 7 Call for Concept Notes

The Global Road Safety Partnership is pleased to announce the launch of the Call for Concept Notes for Round 7 of the Road Safety Grants Programme.

Initiated in early 2012 with funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the primary objective of the Road Safety Grants Programme is to support civil society organizations in selected low- and middle-income countries to advocate for policy change to enhance road safety.  It also supports civil society organizations to promote the successful implementation of evidence-based policies. Since its inception the programme has awarded 36  grants to 27 civil society organizations in 8 countries.

In 2015, with continued funding under the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety, the grants programme is expanding to include new cities and countries.

Read more.

Global campaign for the Third UN Global Road Safety Week launched

The UN Road Safety Collaboration is pleased to announce the global campaign for the Third UN Global Road Safety Week, 4-10 May 2015, on the theme of 'children and road safety': #SaveKidsLives. The campaign seeks to highlight the plight of children on the world's roads, generate action to better ensure their safety and promote the inclusion of safe and sustainable transport in the post-2015 development agenda.

The centrepiece of the #SaveKidsLives campaign is a child declaration, developed with input from children around the world. The campaign invites all road safety policy-makers and advocates to "sign it", "show it", and "deliver it" to those in charge of road safety in countries and communities during the Week.

UN global road safety weeks are called upon by governments through UN General Assembly resolutions. As milestone events on the global road safety calendar, UN global road safety weeks serve as important platforms for concerted advocacy and give added impetus to the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 and its goal of saving 5 million lives.


#SaveKidsLives web site:

Third UN Global Road Safety Week web site:



The NETS’ Comprehensive Guide to ROAD SAFETY is now available, free of charge, in 21 languages at The Guide was initially launched in English last year as part of the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety’s (NETS) mission to assist employers in advancing global road safety. The document is designed to aid employers with fleets of any size at various stages of road safety programme development, including those who are preparing to initiate a program, in the early stages of policy and program development or managing more mature road safety management systems and interventions.

Events Calendar

There's always a lot happening in the world of road safety, so to keep up to date with all coming events and seminars from right around the world, take a look at our events calendar. Or if you have a road safety event you would like to see on our calendar, please contact us and we'll be only too happy to include it.


Save the Date

April 28-30, 2015: Asia Pacific Road Safety, Manila Philippines
Mark the date, the 9th GRSP Asia Pacific Road Safety event and iRAP workshop will be held in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank April 28-30, 2015. Link to registrations.

May 4-10, 2015: UN Road Safety Week, Children and Road Safety
The Week will draw attention to the urgent need to better protect children and generate action on the measures needed to do so. The time to start planning activities is now.


Join us on Social Media

Remember, our newsletter and web page are not the only places to help you keep up to date with road safety issues, or indeed make comment - our team of global contributors are active in the world of Social Media through Facebook and Twitter. So why not join us?

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