#CommitToAct Global Roundtable

On 1 December 2020, decision makers from Colombia, Vietnam, and the European Union, joined a roundtable organized by the Alliance to discuss progress on commitments that their governments had made as part of the 2019 #CommitToAct campaign and which are featured on the Alliance’s Commitment Tracker.

Commitment Progress

Colombia: Child Safety

Director Luis Felipe Lota and Ms. Maria Isobel Rodriguez, National Road Safety Agency (ANSV), Colombia

ANSV is working with several ministries including the Ministry of Education. Political will, including that of the President, exists making it easy to work together. Progress includes:

  • A diagnosis of school transport: which modes are used, their perception of risk, etc.
  • School mobility plans to integrate school journeys and profile the risks using experiential pedagogy
  • Ensuring that all children receive education on road safety
  • Virtual road safety training to educators and students (during the pandemic)
  • Low-cost infrastructure implementations to reduce speed around school zones
  • Safe vehicles regulations requiring manufacturers to provide information on how child restraint fittings are anchored to the vehicle eg. Isofix

Vietnam: Helmet Usage and Child Safety

Dr. Khuất Việt Hùng, Vietnam National Traffic Safety Committee

Vietnam expects to reach its target of 90% of adults and 80% of children wearing motorcycle helmets by the end of this year (the commitment target date wasn’t until 2030). Some of the actions it is taking toward the commitment are:

  • A large national helmet campaign: Protecting the Dream
  • Working with Honda, helmets are donated to every child on their first day of school, helping to move toward compulsory regulation
  • The government has conducted research on the quality of helmets and found that this is still a big problem. It is aiming for for 80% of helmets to reach national quality standards
  • The road traffic law is being updated and will include infrastructure improvements, enforcement, education, and restructuring of the transport sector. A draft revision has been submitted to the National Assembly last month
  • The draft legislation includes child restraint system, speed control, school bus system, mobile phone use. It is expected that the Assembly will have completed its review by October 2021 and that the updated law will be effective by July 2022.
  • The national traffic committee has been structured in three levels: national, city, commune. At each level, leaders from different departments are represented on the committees, including defence, police, education, finance, communication, health.

European Union: 50% reduction in road deaths and injuries by 2030

Mr. Matthew Baldwin, Directorate-General for Transport and Mobility, European Commission

The European Union will miss the 2020 target to reduce road deaths and injuries by 50% despite good progress in 2016-2017. It is now focusing on the 2030 target. Some actions include:

  • European-wide legislation for safe vehicles
  • Tackling road infrastructure on more roads across the region
  • Focusing on slower speeds
  • Attention to post-crash care
  • Focusing on governance  to make sure that efforts are put into the right areas to achieve the target
  • Funding to ensure that measures can be accomplished
  • At a recent meeting, the member states discussed how they were building the targets into their road safety plans, which will be reviewed every three years


NGOs’ Experiences

Kyrgyzstan: Child restraint legislation and enforcement

Ms. Chinara Kasmambetova, Road Safety NGO

Although legislation already existed that children under 12 should not be in the front seat without a child restraint, in reality it didn’t work and enforcement was weak.

Road Safety NGO ran an awareness campaign targeting child restraint usage supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and EASST.

In March 2019, the traffic police and government organized a conference with EBRD. Government representatives attended and committed to amend the law, enforce it, and introduce fines.

In Nov 2019, amendments were introduced that children in the front seat must have the correct restraints for their height and weight and prohibiting children traveling on the back of motorbikes and trucks.

Namibia: 30km/ph speed limits around schools

Mr. Horst Heimstadt, Private Sector Road Safety Forum (PSRSF)

In 2013, PSRSF decided to focus on road safety around schools. In 2017, as a result of the UN Global Road Safety Week theme “Slow Down”, it started to work on getting speed limits outside schools reduced from 40km/ph to 30 km/ph. It involved the national authorities, police, the motor vehicle accident fund and other stakeholders. At that level, it received no objections.

However, when it began to work with the local authorities, it found a battle between operations and council departments which prevented progress.

It submitted its request as a petition to the mayor who agreed and said that he would provide written confirmation. The confirmation did not materialize.

In the meantime, funding was received to mount signage at 10 schools but the work could not be carried out until the permissions documents had been received. Eventually, in November 2018, through persistence and ‘making a nuisance’, the written documentation was received and the project was launched.

Bureaucracy prevented the next step. PSRSF had created demand with the local authorities but were unable to deliver because of the political issues. It went public with another petition that was covered in the media, through a stand at a trade fair and demonstrations at 10 schools. This was a breakthrough, the authorities were hesitant to have more bad media coverage.