has announced a five-year, $125 million initiative to reduce fatalities and injuries from traffic accidents in low- and middle-income countries.
The second phase of Bloomberg’s Global Road Safety initiative will support efforts at the national level to strengthen road-safety legislation and implement proven road-safety interventions at the city level. Twenty cities with populations of at least two million residents will be invited to apply for grants in support of projects aimed at improving pedestrian and cyclist safety; enhancing laws to combat drinking and driving and speeding; and encouraging the use of motorcycle helmets, seat belts, and child restraints. With assistance from the foundation’s Road Safety Partner organizations, the initiative will work to create a network of municipal leaders committed to improving road infrastructure and street design, providing safer mobility options for all road users, and guaranteeing safer modes of public transportation.
Ten grantees, to be announced by January, will receive funding to deploy senior-level full-time staff to work on road-safety initiatives for up to five years, as well as comprehensive technical assistance from leading road-safety organizations, training for police officers and other city staff, and support for mass media campaigns. In 2010, Bloomberg Philanthropies committed $125 million to ten countries that account for half of road traffic-related deaths globally, six of which have since passed important road safety legislation.
"Every life lost because of unsafe roads is a tragedy — and most of those tragedies could be avoided with better rules, better enforcement, and smarter infrastructure," said Michael R. Bloomberg. "City governments can be especially effective at putting those measures in place, because they are often able to move faster and more efficiently than other levels of government. This new funding will be targeted to cities where we can make the biggest difference, that have shown the strongest commitment to taking action, and that have the best ideas for making roads safer. And we’ll help those cities work together to share effective strategies — so that even more lives can be saved."