Philanthropic organization starts new phase of safety initiative

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A leading international charitable foundation has revealed the recipients of its latest round of donations to help reduce traffic deaths and injuries in low- and middle-income cities and countries worldwide. Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced the winning cities and countries selected to participate in a new phase of its Global Road Safety Initiative. With a new commitment of US$125m over five years, the program will work at both the national level to strengthen road safety legislation, and the city level to implement proven road safety interventions. A total of 20 invited cities participated in the competition, with 10 cities and five countries selected as official participants in the program. The five countries selected to receive technical support to review and strengthen road safety legislation are: China, India, Philippines, Thailand and Tanzania.

The 10 cities are: Accra (Ghana); Addis Ababa (Ethiopia); Bandung (Indonesia); Bangkok (Thailand); Bogota (Colombia); Fortaleza (Brazil); Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam); Mumbai (India); São Paulo (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 five years; comprehensive technical assistance from the world’s leading road safety organizations; training for police officers and other relevant city staff; and support to create hard-hitting mass media campaigns. The proposals that cities submitted, detailed how they plan to address road safety by applying solutions to a number of challenges, including improving pedestrian and cyclist safety, increasing awareness through graphic media campaigns, and increasing police enforcement to combat drinking and driving and speeding, as well as encouraging the use of motorcycle helmets, seat-belts and child restraints. Infrastructure solutions, such as widened sidewalks and improved pedestrian crossings are also included in the cities’ proposals.

“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 next five-year road safety program have demonstrated a commitment to this work, and we are excited to support them,” said Michael R Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies. “Road traffic deaths will become increasingly common in the years ahead, unless we take decisive action now to prevent them.” Saul Billingsley, director general of the FIA Foundation for the Automobile and Society, commented, “The investments in road safety by Bloomberg Philanthropies since 2010 have driven momentum for the UN’s Decade of Action on Road Safety, energized the NGO community worldwide and led to significant legislative advances in many countries. Bloomberg has shown great vision and leadership in supporting global road traffic injury prevention, and we hope other public health philanthropies will heed and follow their example.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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