Chairman’s Oxford Lecture sets road safety strategy

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Lucy Rackliff, AIRSO Chair and Tim Keown, FIA Foundation Chairman
Lucy Rackliff, AIRSO Chair and Tim Keown, FIA Foundation Chairman

The FIA Foundation’s Chairman, Tim Keown, has set out the charity’s road safety strategy for the ‘pivotal year’ of 2015 in a speech to a UK road safety conference held in Oxford.

Delivering the Annual Lecture of the UK Association of Industrial Road Safety Officers (AIRSO) at their 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting in Oxford on 15th January 2015, Tim Keown stressed the FIA Foundation’s focus on including a road safety target within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are being negotiated at the United Nations this year:

Mr Keown said: “If we are able to secure this objective, it will place road safety firmly at the heart of international policy. There could be a global target, endorsed by UN members, to reduce road deaths by fifty per cent by 2030. It should mean that there is massively more political attention, and increased financial and human resource, for road safety internationally.

So 2015 is an absolutely pivotal year. In November there will be a second Global Ministerial Conference on road safety, to be hosted by Brazil. It is our hope that by November we will have a clear new UN target so that we can bring together transport, health and policing ministers from across the world to discuss how best to implement measures to reduce road casualties.”

In a wide-ranging speech, Mr Keown, who chairs the FIA Foundation’s Board of Trustees, described the charity’s approach to road safety advocacy and programme implementation, and highlighted some recent achievements of the Foundation and its partners, including the International Road Assessment Programme, the Global New Car Assessment Programme and member auto clubs of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile.

To emphasise the importance of the UK road safety community joining international action for safer roads, Tim Keown was joined by Lucy Rackliff, Chair of AIRSO, in signing the ‘Child Declaration’ of the ‘Save Kids Lives’ campaign, the global advocacy movement to secure a road safety target in the SDGs. Mr Keown explained how the many British road safety organisations present at the Lecture could get involved:

“…In this defining year for global road safety, 2015, I would ask all of you to play your part in solidarity with other road safety organisations beyond our borders. There are specific contributions you can make.

Firstly, add your voice to the call for a global road safety target in the UN’s new Sustainable Development Goals. Write to the Transport Secretary, copying the International Development Secretary, and urge them to maintain their support for a 2030 target to halve road deaths. Secondly, encourage them to send a strong delegation to the Ministerial Conference in Brazil in November. Sharing the UK’s knowledge and experience is important and can do a lot to encourage other countries. Equally, for UK ministers and officials to be part of a global event, with the momentum and the peer pressure that that implies, can have positive feedback for road safety here at home as well.

Finally, add your support to the “Save Kids’ Lives” campaign, sign the Child Declaration, and help us to make this a genuine movement that changes attitudes and policies and prevents many deaths and injuries.”

Also on 15th January, on the other side of the Atlantic, the FIA Foundation was rallying US road safety organisations to support the Save Kids Lives campaign and the SDG effort. The Foundation’s US Director, Bella Dinh Zarr, and Board member, Marilena Amoni, addressed a ‘Make Roads Safe’ reception at the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board in Washington D.C. , while the Foundation’s Director General, Saul Billingsley, presented at a meeting of TRB’s Global Road Safety Sub-Committee to encourage US participation in the global efforts in 2015, including during the UN Global Road Safety Week (4-10th May 2015).