May marks the 11th anniversary of Global Youth Traffic Safety Month, a campaign formed by National Organisations for Youth Safety and sponsored by Bentley Systems. Global Youth Traffic Safety Month is in support of the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety.
According to the World Health Organisation, road traffic injuries have been a leading cause of death and disability among ages five to 29 for more than a decade. Each day, 1,000 young people die on the world’s roads. Unfortunately, deaths and serious injuries will continue without actively engaging and working with young people to develop safe and sustainable mobility systems.
The campaign unites young people with a focus on those who are marginalised across the US to join a global movement as key stakeholders in reducing road traffic deaths and injuries by 50% by 2030. As part of the campaign, they will be called upon to engage with their local decision makers to advocate for a more safe and sustainable transportation system for all road users - pedestrians, transit users, cyclists and vehicle drivers.
“Vehicle-dominated environments and lack of people-centred infrastructure have resulted in our youth suffering from multiple health crises,” said Jacob Smith, executive director of the Global Youth campaign. “Global Youth Traffic Safety Month harnesses the power of young people to transform our transportation system. I know that young people are incredible living experts of our evolving transportation system.”
Global Youth has partnered with the campaign sponsor Bentley Systems - an infrastructure engineering software company based in the US - to develop a national advocacy action guide for young people across the US to be equipped to address mobility safety in their communities. As part of the campaign this month, 10 youth leaders will be named as National Mobility Safety Champions by National Organisations for Youth Safety for their outstanding contributions to advocating for safe and sustainable mobility systems.
Zeljko Djuretic, head of education with Bentley Systems, said supporting the campaign raises awareness about road safety. "Through our work, we know that one way to do this is through solutions that support predictive transportation technology, helping engineers design safe and sustainable mobility systems,” he said. “Our young people’s voices are powerful, and it’s incredible that [the campaign] is empowering our youth to raise their voices and involve them in the decision-making process to address mobility safety in their communities.”
The National Organisations for Youth Safety was founded by the US Department of Transportation 25 years ago. The group says that it has played an integral part in the traffic safety industry by supporting young people aged 15 to 29 to develop mobility safety programmes and campaigns. To learn more about the activities being put on by the group to support Global Youth Traffic Safety month, click here.