Fundación Gonzalo Rodriguez, Latin America

Fundación Gonzalo Rodriguez

Improving child road safety in Latin America

Fundación Gonzalo Rodriguez, Latin America - text

Improving child road safety in Latin America

(Programme concluded - the Foundation no longer supports this programme)

Road traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for 5 to 29 year olds, according to the World Health Organization. Developing economies record higher rates of road traffic injuries, with over 90% of fatalities coming from low- and middle- income countries. In the case of Colombia, El Salvador and Panama, road mortality rates (averaging 18%) are up to double the European rate (9%). 

Fundación Gonzalo Rodríguez (FGR) is currently the only NGO with expertise in child road safety working at a regional level in Latin America. It promotes children and youth’s safety on their journeys to and from school and works on policy and national campaigns to reduce road traffic accidents.

In 2020, the Puma Energy Foundation commissioned a feasibility study to assess the status of road safety in several Latin American countries and identify opportunities for FGR´s activities in the region. The findings of the study set the basis for a new three-year collaboration to improve child road safety in several key cities of Colombia, El Salvador and Panama. 

In partnership with local governments, FGR is developing and rolling out tailored road safety activities in cities and school zones where children and youth are at greatest risk. Their activities include engaging and training local authorities on child road safety issues, organising awareness campaigns for the public, conducting safety assessments around schools, and creating recommendations on infrastructural improvement around school areas. 

FGR’s intervention ultimately aims to encourage the adoption of safer legislation according to international standards, in the targeted countries. The programme also aims to foster better safety practices, such as the increased use of safety belts, child restraint systems and quality helmets. 

2021 Key Achievements

In 2021, the organisation worked with a local consultant in El Salvador to identify key government stakeholders and companies which could support and promote FGR’s road safety action. Building further upon an existing relationship with the National Road Safety Agency of Colombia, FGR provided advice on the national road safety plan for children and adolescents and worked towards improving the current legislation on child restraints and child mobility.

It has also initiated collaboration with some international organisations, coordinating efforts to strengthen the child road safety framework. In Panama, the organisation is working with law firms to establish a regional hub that will help monitor the programmes in the region and facilitate fundraising mechanisms.

As part of an international cooperation strategy, FGR presented its project to improve road safety policies to the Uruguayan International Cooperation Agency (AUCI) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who both pledged their support. With the expertise of the FGR, the Government of Uruguay is now including road safety as a topic in its cooperation agenda.

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