IRF Policy Statement: Children and Road Safety



On April 10, 2014, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly requested the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN regional commissions to facilitate organization of the Third UN Global Road Safety Week in 2015. The Week will be held May 4-10, 2015 under the theme “children and road safety”. The aim of the week will draw attention to the urgent need to better protect children and generate action on the measures needed to do so.

According to WHO, 186,300 children die each year from road traffic crashes around the world – equivalent to 500 children every day or one every three minutes. Many more are injured, often severely. In fact, road traffic injury ranks among the top four causes of death & serious injury for all children over the age of five years. These traumatic events cause immeasurable suffering and grief, and at times economic hardship for families and friends. In addition, they cost societies precious resources, diverting these from other pressing health and development challenges.

IRF Statement of Endorsement

The International Road Federation (IRF) fully associates itself to the aims and objectives of the 3rd UN Road Safety Week and, as a member of the UN Road Safety Collaboration, commends the leadership of the World Health Organization in drawing attention to this important issue. IRF considers that road-related traffic injuries are not an inevitable by-product of rising motorization and has recognized successful campaigns to tackle child deaths on our roads through holistic measures covering education, training, change in legislation, and infrastructure enhancements.

On the occasion of the 3rd UN Road Safety Week, IRF’s Driver Behavior, Education & Training Subcommittee (IRF-DBET) has endorsed a statement outlining good practices in the field of road safety education programs in the school curriculum:

An effective road safety education program involves teaching children and young people to be safer road users. It does so by developing:

  1. Knowledge and understanding of road traffic and the environment in which it is found;
  2. Behavioral skills necessary to survive in the presence of road traffic;
  3. An understanding of students’ own responsibilities for keeping themselves and others safe; and
  4. Knowledge of the causes and consequences of road accidents.

IRF-DEBT supports road safety education in schools that promote pre-learner driver education programs that are:

  • Designed to fit within the school curriculum, are developmentally appropriate and delivered at different time points through a student’s school life rather than one-off events, talks and forums;
  • Interactive and encourage students to develop social competence and resilience rather than purely information based programs;
  • Part of a whole school approach including road safety policies and teacher support and training;
  • Designed to engage with school parents and the local community given the vital role they play; and
  • Enhanced by measures to increase school connectedness among students and their parents.

For more information, please visit https://www.irf.global/road-safety/[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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