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Thursday , 22 February 2024

Second UN Global Road Safety Week

The United Nations observed the Second UN Global Safety Week from May 6-12, 2013. The Safety Week was focussed on the urgent need to protect pedestrians worldwide in a better manner and contribute to achieving the goal of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 ? saving five million lives.

Dr. Etienne Krug, Director, Department of Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability, World Health Organization explained to TrafficInfraTech the importance of the Global Safety Week, ?While some governments around the world have an annual road safety week, this is only the second time that the international community has come together to celebrate a global road safety week marked by nearly every country of the world. The First UN Global Road Safety Week was held in 2007 when the focus was on youth and road safety, and now in 2013, the Second UN Global Road Safety Week highlights the challenges faced every day by those who walk on the world?s roads. These types of global advocacy events do much to raise the profile of road safety related-issues and share good practice of what works to address them. ?Pedestrian safety?, a road safety manual for decision-makers and practitioners, produced by WHO and partners and released in the context of the Global Safety Week, draws attention to many measures which are urgently needed to better protect pedestrians. Some of these are adopting and enforcing new and existing laws to reduce speeding and curb drink-driving; putting in place infrastructure such as sidewalks, raised crosswalks, refuge islands, speed bumps, rumble strips and roadway lighting and improving mass transit route design.?

Various activities were held throughout India as a part of the Global Safety Week.

In Mumbai, the traffic police and the Western India Automobile Association launched a campaign under which pedestrians who observe traffic rules and abstain from jaywalking were greeted by volunteers with a smile, a rose and a mineral water bottle. Pedestrians crossing the road only when the signal is red got an energy drink. The campaign?s mascot, a zebra, was visible at different locations and taught pedestrians traffic rules.

In Chandigarh, young volunteers from the NGO, ArriveSafe, stood in small groups with the message ?How Can I?? at the beginning points of specific roads of the city where the pedestrians are put to maximum risk while crossing and walking. In New Delhi, Trax Sports Society ran an FM radio campaign through the week to educate people about ?Right to Walk? and rules and guidelines for this. It also organised ?Direct Connect? public events at shopping malls and distributed small, handy cards bearing pedestrian safety messages, rules, guidelines and important helpline numbers on it. In Cuttack and Bhubaneswar in Orissa, the Forum for Prevention of Road Accidents (FPRA) organised several events like press meets, demonstration by Pappu Zebra (an original road safety mascot developed by OrgPEOPLE, Kerala) at traffic squares, distribution of safety materials for pedestrians and long & short walks. The programme was organised in collaboration with the Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety and Commissionerate of Police, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack. The Automobile Association of Upper India (AAUI) displayed banners with catchy messages focussed on pedestrians? safety at busy traffic intersections as a part of its campaign, ?Arrive Alive?. It also did a free distribution of the booklet ?ABC of Road Safety? in schools to pupils and teachers. In Thrissur, Kerala, under a campaign called ?Safe Walking – Safe Living?, groups of Student Police Cadets (SPCs) in uniform interacted with pedestrians and drivers at key intersections in and around the city. These high school students distributed materials on pedestrian safety awareness and also encouraged all road users to adopt safe practices while on public passageways. Pappu Zebra, the road safety mascot, joined SPCs in this activity.

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