In 2010, the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU ) joined a consortium of six partners to form the Road Safety in 10 Countries Project (RS-10), a five-year initiative funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies that is dedicated to reducing the burden of road traffic injuries in ten low- and middle-income countries. The partners, including the World Health Organization (WHO), Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP), the Association for Safe International Travel (ASIRT), EMBARQ, and the World Bank aim to save lives by providing evidence for stronger road safety interventions around the world.
The project is now just over two years old and countries are at various stages of implementation. Recently, Margie Peden, coordinator, Unintentional Injury Prevention in the Department of Violence, Injury Prevention and Disability at the WHO and Gayle DiPietro, global manager, GRSP, along with JH-IIRU director Adnan Hyder, published an update in Injury Prevention titled, “Two Years into The Road Safety in 10 Countries Project: How are We Doing?”
The paper details enhanced implementation activities related to four of the five pillars described in the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety, including improving the safety of road users through the modification and enforcement of road safety laws combined with social marketing activities (pillar 4).
“Good laws are fundamental to improving road safety, but enhanced enforcement is a key ingredient to increasing compliance with laws,” said DiPietro.
In Kenya, for example, the project is beginning to see results. In the first observational study, conducted by JH-IIRU, 69.5% of vehicles along Thika highway were found to be traveling above the posted speed limit. One year later, after receiving training by GRSP and speed monitoring equipment by WHO, police officers are beginning to see results, with speeding rates dropping to 54.3%.
“We hope to see this trend continue in 2012,” said Peden. “We plan further social marketing campaigns to dovetail with existing enforcement enhancements.”
The team is hopeful that the encouraging results seen in the first two years will mean the project can expand and include additional implementation sites in the future. This, the team knows, will increase the populations reached and potential lives saved.
To access the paper, click here.
To find out more about the Road Safety in 10 Countries project, contact IIRU@jhsph.edu, or go online.
To read more about the first two years of the RS-10 Project, click here.