Fortunately, more progress is being made regarding road safety, but 500 children still die on the road every day according to data from the World Health Organization and there are thousands of children injured for the same reason. Aware that this situation must and can improve, the UN Road Safety Collaboration started, at the beginning of 2015, a campaign called #SaveKidsLives to gather signatures and present them to the governments during the Global High-Level Conference on Road Safety held in Brasilia from November 17 to 19. The goal: that they commit to act to prevent deaths and road accidents.
The campaign obtained one million signatures via the internet. Children handed them to those responsible for road safety in different countries during the opening ceremony of the conference. With this action, they were urged to take measures to reduce the number of deaths by half, following the principles of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 program.
As part of the campaign, and encouraged by FIA Foundation and the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile - International Automobile Federation), the film director Luc Besson shot a short film that shows how children in South Africa risk their lives to go to school and also how some lose it (in this case the images are real and shocking). The producer compares this situation to the route to school of some children in France where the road safety system protects children.
"We hope to raise awareness of the magnitude of the epidemic of traffic injuries, and specifically of the situation in developing countries where more than 90 percent of child deaths and injuries occur. They are preventable tragedies. For too long there has been the tendency to 'blame the victim' - the child crossing the street - more than the road design, uneven territorial planning, the lack of political action and other failures of the system such as the non-existence of speed controls which are the real causes of this unspeakable carnage," said Saul Billingsley, Director of the FIA Foundation, at the film screening.
All conference attendees agreed that the #SaveKidsLives campaign should continue. Thus they call on anyone, via the internet, who would like to contribute ideas on designing specific actions for the following stage.