New report prescribes ‘speed vaccine’ to prevent child deaths on roads

By Beatrice Obwocha

Simple safety measures on streets can help prevent traffic deaths among children, a new report has stated.

The report, launched by FIA Foundation and Child Health Initiative on Monday, has prescribed ’speed vaccine’, as the key measure to reducing traffic deaths among children by 2030. 

The speed vaccine is a set of proven interventions for reducing traffic deaths and serious injury and includes 30km/h speed limit, pedestrian paths and cycle lanes.

Speed vaccine, according to the report, will not only ensure pedestrian-friendly streets and but also contribute to addressing issues of mental health, obesity, crime and violence, social exclusion and deprivation, all of which are among Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets.

The manifesto dubbed ‘These Are Our Streets’ was launched  in Stockholm, Sweden ahead of the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety.

Speaking at the launch  of the manifesto, FIA Foundation Chairman Lord Robertson of Port Ellen said over two million children have died in traffic crashes in the last 10 years and the trend needs to change by 2030.

“It is a devastating reality that two million young people have lost their lives and 100 million more have been injured since the first Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety and is unconscionable to let another

decade pass without leaders implementing the known solutions to prevent road death and injury,” he said.

Road Safety advocates cited political inaction and indifference towards safety of children on the streets  saying very few countries have taken serious steps to address the issue.

Ms. Zoleka Mandela, the Global Ambassador of the Child Health Initiative, said it is time for leaders to stop paying lip service and start investing energy and money in solutions that will make roads safer for children.

“Our children are crying out for action to protect them from the biggest threat to their lives – dangerous roads. Our manifesto sets out the simple, proven and universal measures – the ‘speed vaccine’ - that can make streets safe and liveable for everyone. There is no time to lose,” she said in a press statement.

Executive Director of the FIA Foundation Saul Billingsley also called for urgent and serious action to address traffic deaths among children.

CLICK HERE to download manifesto.