Secretary Foxx briefed on Brazil Ministerial

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US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has been briefed on the forthcoming Brasilia 2015 Global High Level Road Safety Conference, at a meeting facilitated by the FIA Foundation.

Ambassador Roman Macaya of Costa Rica (above, centre-right) met with US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx (above, centre-left) to discuss transportation safety, and upcoming meetings hosted by Latin American countries that aim to make strides towards reducing road traffic injuries in the region, and globally. The meeting was organised by the FIA Foundation’s new US Manager, Natalie Draisin (above, right), and was also attended by high-ranking representatives of the US Department of Transportation and National Transportation Safety Board, including NTSB Vice-Chairman Bella Dinh Zarr (above, left).

The ambassador encouraged Secretary Foxx to attend ‘Time for Results,’ the Second Global High Level Conference on Road Safety, in Brasilia from November 18-19. The conference will build on progress from the First Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety, and the anticipated agreement of new road safety targets at the UN Summit on Sustainable Development Goals in September 2015. It is an opportunity to focus on the implementation of post-2015 SDG target on road safety and injury.

Approximately 1.3 million people are lost to road crashes each year. Implications are not only severe for individuals and families, but also for a country’s economic growth. ‘These deaths cost individual countries at least 1-2% of their GDP,’ Ambassador Macaya noted during the meeting with Secretary Foxx.

With the proliferation of vehicles and growing populations these statistics are only expected to get worse – unless action is taken now. Secretary Foxx echoed the Ambassador’s concerns, citing the US pedestrian fatality rate that has also been increasing. By working together, these countries can establish achievable targets to reduce injuries and fatalities on the roads and support critical efforts to achieve these goals.

Secretary Foxx was also briefed by Ambassador Macaya on the Conference on Child Road Safety in the Americas from May 7-8 in Costa Rica, the major regional event for United Nations Global Road Safety Week. This event is one of many around the world during this Global Road Safety, highlighting the importance of protecting children as they use roads, often in transit to school.

The Ambassador and the Secretary also discussed President Obama’s request of $1 Billion from Congress to fund an assistance package to Central America to provide support to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, which are facing challenges because of the surge of minors crossing the Mexican border to the US. One aim of the funding is to end poverty, corruption, and insecurity in the region – issues that also overlap with transportation. Suggesting that the Secretary include transportation as one of the uses of the fund, the Ambassador proposed a holistic approach to the issues that affect the region.

Click here for the FIA Foundation’s policy briefing ‘2015 – Safe Roads for All’

Click here for a zero draft of the Brasilia Declaration for Time for Results,’ the Second Global High Level Conference on Road Safety