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IDB reaffirms commitment to improve road safety to protect the lives of children and youth

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) President Luis Alberto Moreno today reaffirmed the institution’s commitment to improve road traffic safety in Latin America and the Caribbean, one of the main public health issues affecting the region.

Moreno and International Automobile Federation (FIA) President Jean Todt participated in Mexico City in the fourth IDB-FIA Forum, called Children First. Other participants included the Public Security Secretariat’s Traffic Control Undersecretary for the Federal District Fernando Martínez Badillo; the Federal Government’s Transport Undersecretary Yuriria Mascott Pérez; FIA-Mexico President José Adeb; and Carso Group President Carlos Slim Domit. 

“In Latin America and the Caribbean 295 people are killed in road accidents every day, more than twice as many as in developed nations,” Moreno said. A recent study showed that the social impact in terms of years lost due to premature deaths in road traffic accidents is comparable to that caused every year by the aids virus, lung cancer, tuberculosis and malaria combined. “Besides, road accidents are the main cause of death for children between 5 and 14 years of age and the second cause of death for young people between 15 and 29,” he added. The IDB president stressed that if Latin America and the Caribbean were to implement the road safety measures prevalent in more developed nations, the number of children killed in road accidents could be cut by up to 75 percent, thus sparing the lives of 5,000 children every year. 

Morenosaid there are high-impact actions that are relatively easy to implement, such as the mandatory use of adequate and age specific child restraint systems. “It is crucial for countries to adopt and enforce policies and standards that regulate the correct use of safety restraints and support more and better public awareness campaigns to inform people on how to keep their children safe” he added.

Jean Todt, FIA President and UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, said “The current situation is unacceptable; 500 kids die every day at the global level and here, in Mexico, road related fatalities arethe leading cause of death for those aged five to nine. We know the remedy to this problem. It all starts with awareness raising and education and it’s only through collective action with solid partners such as the IDB that we can make things happen."

The report Infant Road Safety. Child Restraint Systems Use was presented at the event. The report was prepared by the IDB and the Mapfre Foundation, which presents data from 17 Latin American and Caribbean countries and issues recommendations to governments on ways to reduce road accidents, starting precisely with the use of child restraint systems. 

At the end of the forum, the winners of the second edition of the contest Proyecto Luz Amarilla (Project Yellow Light) were announced. The contest, established by the IDB, FIA, MTVLA and the Caribbean Development Bank, calls on young people from Latin America and the Caribbean to submit short videos promoting road traffic safety among their peers. Certificates were presented by Formula 1 drivers Felipe Massa and Esteban Manuel Gutiérrez. The youth who received the top awards were Juan Felipe Chaverra Ortiz (age 25, Cali, Colombia); Marisa Carinelli (age 28, Corzuela, Argentina) and Francisco Rojas (age 25, Salamanca, Mexico). 

The following is the complete list of contest winners

About us

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source oflong-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean.The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.

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