Road safety: Nothing about youth, without youth

Road safety: Nothing about youth, without youth

Originally published by Transport Policy Matters 

The world today is home to the largest generation of young people in history, 1.8 billion. As we transition to a safe, sustainable transport system, it’s critical to ensure that policymaking is ‘future-proofed’. Youth For Road Safety (YOURS) reports on initiatives to empower young leaders to advocate for solutions to the leading cause of death for young people aged 15-29: road crash injuries.

By Leonie Gruber, Sana’ Khasawneh and Julie Smirnova

Youth engagement is an end in itself. It’s also a means to build a better world.  A recent ITF Report, Youth on the Move, emphasises the importance of bringing young voices into the planning and implementation of transport initiatives. Road traffic injuries are the eighth leading cause of death globally, and the leading cause of death for young people aged 15–29. Current trends suggest that by 2030 road traffic deaths will become the fifth leading cause of death unless urgent action is taken. To save lives, it is vital that countries take faster and more concerted action.

Young people are smart and creative. Including our voices not only brings the opportunity for fresh perspectives, but as youth often have a better understanding of the digital landscape, we are able to bring valuable insights into the integration of smart and efficient solutions.

Stop preaching; start reaching

YOURS envisions a world where not a single person dies or gets seriously injured due to a road traffic crash. In direct response to the impassioned appeals of youth delegates at the 2nd World Youth Assembly 2020, YOURS spearheaded the formation of the Global Youth Coalition for Road Safety. Today, the Youth Coalition brings together 2 200 members from 126 countries to fight for road safety and sustainable mobility. It offers youth aged 16 to 35 opportunities to learn from each other and lead local action programmes. In 2023, communities claimed their streets through programmes that addressed everything from tactical urbanism and road awareness to infrastructure interventions which resulted in the creation of school signs, enforcement of speed limits, and the maintenance of pedestrian crosswalks in ‘risky locations’.

YOURS also champions the adoption of the Policymakers Toolkit. The Toolkit equips governments to set up mechanisms to meaningfully engage youth in building a transport system that protects the people who use it. Through youth-led research, the Youth Coalition is building an evidence base to highlight that road safety is a cross-cutting issue with other topics such as health, inequality, climate action, sustainable cities and education.

The ITF 2024 Summit on “Greening Transport: Keeping Focus in Times of Crisis” is about moving forward, and that requires us to move in a different way. YOURS will take part in key plenary sessions to continue fostering meaningful youth participation. Besides that, we will showcase tools and artworks that reflect the demands and challenges faced by young people. We’ll show how these challenges can be overcome by including youth voices in policy-making processes. Political leaders must continue to understand youth needs, and youth choices in travel behaviour to plan inclusively.

YOURS warmly welcomes potential partners who share their commitment to amplifying youth voices in the ITF 2024 Summit exhibition space. If you’re passionate about collaborating to showcase the perspectives of young people, we invite you to reach out to YOURS Projects and Partnerships Director Molly Stoneman at

Youth Leaders meet with UN Special Envoy for Road Safety

Youth Leaders meet with UN Special Envoy for Road Safety

São Paulo, Brazil. Earlier this month, Youth leaders Eduardo Bohn and Ornella Ubatuba de Faria Fernandez met with UN Special Envoy for Road Safety Jean Todt this month during a Bilateral Meeting with the Thiago Gonzaga Foundation. During the meeting, Eduardo and Ornella talked about how young people are necessary for building a safer and ‘more humane’ traffic culture in policymaking and decision-making. They also shared their alarm because of the increased cases of the reckless use of motorcycles that result in more deaths and injuries on the roads of Brasil and around the world.

To address these road safety issues, Eduardo and Ornella shared youth’s commitment to promoting road safety through safer school zones, better access to road safety education, and integration of safe traffic behaviour within school curriculums. 

Eduardo and Ornella also shared some projects the Thiago Gonzaga Foundation has implemented to ensure safer roads in the city. These include the creation of the Youth Road Safety Parliament Front at the Federal State that will help them understand youth and children’s road traffic needs and the promotion of Bil 2789/2023 which will push for the reduction of speed limits according to the WHO – World Health Organization parameters. This has been presented to Congress and is supported by over 50 civil society organisations. 

 “Mr. Todt was very attentive to the projects developed by the Foundation, and we were pleased to understand that the special envoy was aligned with our road safety priorities and willing to help amplify our reach through his official support”. – Eduardo Bohn 

UN Special Envoy on Road Safety Jean Todt highlighted the importance of the Foundation’s work around promoting youth engagement and finding solutions to road safety risk factors such as speeding. He also shared his concerns for the safety of vulnerable road users. 

Following the meeting, Jean Todt committed to supporting the Foundation and its initiatives for speed limits, speed management enforcement, and efforts to elevate road safety needs through the Youth Road Safety Parliamentary Front.  

“The most impactful insight [during the meeting] was the understanding of how receptive the Special Envoy was to youth demands and how willing they were to actively support youth efforts.” 

Leveraging AI, iRAP’s SR4S and AiRAP partnerships to provide 3-star or better journeys

Leveraging AI, iRAP’s SR4S and AiRAP partnerships to provide 3-star or better journeys

United Kingdom, September 12, 2023 – The International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) is receiving USD$2 million in grant funding and additional support from Google’s philanthropic arm,, to provide children with a safer journey to school.

Road traffic crashes are the leading cause of death among children and young people worldwide. Over 100,000 people are killed or suffer life-changing injuries on the world’s roads every day. To address this issue the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3.6 strives to halve road deaths and injuries by 2030 and Member States have agreed on voluntary targets to improve road infrastructure safety to the iRAP 3-star or better global standard.

“The AI enabled Star Rating for Schools partnership with is a global game-changer that will support sustainable mobility for youth and contribute to at least eight of the UN Global Goals,” iRAP CEO, Rob McInerney said. “We know that children are approximately 20 times more likely to be killed or injured on a 1-star road compared to a 5-star road. By using artificial intelligence to identify high-risk 1- and 2-star roads that children use on their journey to school we can identify known hazards and mobilise evidence-based upgrades that will save children’s lives.”

Using AI, satellite imagery and Street-View images to detect road safety risks, iRAP, together with partners AIP FoundationAnditi and the University of Zagreb (FPZFER), will provide a country-wide star rating evaluation of road infrastructure around schools in Vietnam and support the upgrades at the highest-risk schools. The YEA Youth Engagement App will also be used to capture student perceptions of the risks they face to inform decision- making.

“Road safety is not only an under-represented public health crisis, it also impacts peoples’ ability to access education, health, well-being and job opportunities,” says James Bradford, iRAP’s Global Technical Director. “With AI and big data, we maximise the effectiveness and efficiency of the Star Rating process to allow governments to save time and resources.”

As a charity, iRAP’s vision is for a world free of high-risk roads for all road users. Through iRAP’s global Star Rating for Schools and AiRAP partnerships the project has the potential to scale to other countries and inform new policies and investment in pedestrian-friendly roads that will minimize preventable harm.

“Our ultimate dream is to Star Rate every road on earth and ensure every journey is safer. Achieving the UN target for more than 75% of travel on 3-star or better roads will help save over 100 million deaths and injuries over the life of the upgrades. The partnership is a big safe step in that direction,” Mr McInerney said.’s AI for the Global Goals Impact Challenge is part of Google’s company-wide commitment to help accelerate progress towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. iRAP is one of 15 organizations receiving support through the $25 million philanthropy challenge for projects that use artificial intelligence (AI) to accelerate progress towards these goals. Out of many submitted proposals, 15 were selected for funding. Importantly, all of the projects will be open-sourced, so other organizations can build upon the work.

“Each of the 15 selected organizations share our vision for using AI to accelerate progress on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and each organization brings their own expertise to help move the needle,” said James Manyika, Google’s SVP of Research, Technology and Society. “We are inspired by the possibilities they see for how AI can be harnessed to help people solve societal problems, and are excited about the collective impact they will have over the next three years.”

To stay abreast of progress in this exciting project, subscribe for news here.

For more information:

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Media enquiries:
For iRAP Project:
James Bradford, Global Technical Director (based UK)
Mob: +44 7823 322 931 Email:

Rob McInerney, CEO (based Brisbane, Australia)
Mob: +61 405 493 030 Email:

Phong Le, Country Manager, AIP Foundation (based Vietnam)
Mob: +84 98 997 36 89 Email:

Shanna Lucchesi, Project Manager (Portuguese and Spanish speaking)
Mob: +351 911 569 543 Email:

For Google specific enquiries:
Katherine Williams, Communications and Public Affairs Manager

About Google AI for the Global Goals
In 2015, the UN set the Sustainable Development Goals, ambitious targets for a better and more sustainable future by 2030. As we near the halfway point of the goals, it’s clear that the global community has made great strides. But the COVID-19 pandemic set back progress in many ways, and we still have a long way to go. In our work with nonprofits, universities, governments and others, we’ve seen that AI can reduce the time and resources needed to make progress against some of the world’s toughest challenges.To advance these Global Goals, is committing to bring the best of its research, advanced technology, and $25M in funding to accelerate progress. opened a call for funding applications that meet the criteria of impact. Scalability and sustainability, feasibility, data and responsibility. Successful applicants were announced on 12 September and based on the type of project, will provide support through a combination of funding, product donations and technical expertise.

About the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP)
iRAP is a registered charity with a vision for a world free of high-risk roads, influencing road infrastructure safety in more than 170 countries. iRAP and its partners work with governments, development banks, mobility clubs, industry, research organisations, road safety NGOs, the United Nations and research organisations to provide evidence-based tools, training and support to help them make their roads safe. iRAP’s road safety Star Rating Methodology is free to use and provides a simple and objective measure of the level of safety which is ‘built-in’ to the road for vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians. A 1-star road is the least safe and a 5-star road is the safest. iRAP works with partners to: inspect high-risk roads and develop Star Ratings, Risk Maps and Safer Roads Investment Plans; provide training, tools, and support that will build and sustain national, regional, and local capability; and track road safety performance so that funding agencies can assess the life-saving and economic benefits of their investments. iRAP and its partners have Star Rated nearly 1.5 million kilometres of roads and designs, and 1,229 schools, influencing the safety of USD$100 billion of infrastructure investment.

Nearly 1.8 million km have been risk mapped and over 63,350 people have been trained globally. iRAP Safety Insights Explorer ( sheds a light on the human and economic impact of road crashes, how safe our roads are, and the Business Case for Safer Roads in countries and the world.

Young Leaders Come Together in Spain for Youth Leadership Retreat

Young Leaders Come Together in Spain for Youth Leadership Retreat

Madrid, Spain – YOURS – Youth for Road Safety through the Global Youth Coalition for Road Safety gathered members from its youth leadership structures to participate in the first-ever Youth Leadership Retreat on Road Safety from the 29th of August to the 1st of September. A total of 23 leaders from 18 countries were present during the Retreat.

Through its activities, the Retreat was able to improve and develop the capabilities of our leaders as facilitators of change in road safety. Each participant was also able to successfully link the Leadership Structure Plan with the Youth Coalition’s Strategy through hands-on activities and reflective sessions.

The Retreat also focused on the improvement of communication and advocacy skills that would best spotlight road safety, sustainable mobility, and meaningful youth participation. The discussions were guided by the YOURS Capacity Development Team, Manpreet Darroch and Laura Daniela Gomez.

The Team walked participants through a bespoke, specially designed educational curriculum using the multi-award-winning YOURS Capacity Development methodology.

The participants were also treated to different messages from road safety leaders such as Dr. Etienne Krug, World Health Organization – WHO Director for the Department of the Social Determinants of Health and Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Special Envoy on Youth.

María Seguí-Gómez, International Consultant on Road Safety and Injury Prevention, was also able to join the face-to-face discussion to share her experiences in decision-making around matters related to road safety and sustainable mobility.

She encouraged the young leaders to focus on ensuring the safety of all road users, especially the most vulnerable ones like young people. “Dismantle the mobility system and rebuild it with safety at heart” 

Our young leaders shared their enthusiasm for the opportunity to come together and learn more about ways they can energize the youth and road safety movement. 

“Super thankful and grateful to join the first-ever Youth Leadership Retreat on Road Safety by YOURS. It is an exciting and engaging retreat to be able to connect with the exceptional young leaders fighting to make our environment safe and sustainable! Together, we’ll drive a positive and impactful change in the world” – Estiara Ellizar 



WE ARE HIRING: YOURS Projects & Partnerships Director

WE ARE HIRING: YOURS Projects & Partnerships Director

We are looking for a Projects & Partnerships Director. They will have the overall responsibility to lead the projects’ portfolio and the fundraising cycle at YOURSThis person will work closely with the Executive Director, and together, they will ensure the projects are in line with the YOURS strategic plan, follow the highest standards in terms of accountability, and are well-resourced. 

YOURS plays a vital role in preventing road traffic injuries among young people. It is a unique organization that unites and supports youth leaders worldwide to demand and deliver road safety. YOURS is recognized as a leader in assisting government
investment in youth leadership in the road safety field. We add value to the broader development agenda by contributing to a healthier planet, liveable cities, gender equality, safe school zones, and equal access to safe and sustainable mobility.

The Projects and Partnerships Director will be responsible for managing and overseeing the entire cycle of the organization’s projects portfolio and the design and implementation of the fundraising funnel. In collaboration with the YOURS team, the Projects & Partnerships Director will ensure the projects are in line with the YOURS strategic plan, the mission and vision, and its accountability and resourcing.

On the one hand, the P&P Director will ensure the correct creation and implementation of the organization’s projects, following YOURS strategic focus areas: (1)Advocacy – Influencing decision-makers on the need for road safety with youth leadership (2)
Capacity Development – Informing and skilling leaders of today and tomorrow (3) Synergy – Energising a Youth Movement. This person assumes a leadership role of monitoring and supervising the projects’ dashboards and overview, with the mission of ensuring a strategic direction and accountability of YOURS activities worldwide.

Some of their key roles and responsibilities include; 

  • Oversee the strategic direction and health of all projects at the organization, including completion, budget controls, projects’ workload, and any major constraints that the project may encounter;

  • Design, implement, and monitor the YOURS fundraising strategy, ensuring diverse and sustainable sources of income to enhance YOURS’ operations;

  • Set the global standards for projects by continuing with the implementation of user-friendly planning, controlling and reporting templates that are aligned with donors’ and organizational needs;

  • Support the expansion of YOURS’ network and partnerships by researching & establishing first contact and/or resuming relationships with private companies, private foundations, non-governmental organizations and multilateral institutions. 

Access the full terms of reference and submit your CV and motivation letter to Raquel Barrios: by September 22, at 5:00 pm CET.

“Empowering Global Youth Leaders: Madrid Retreat Unites Visionaries to Build Skills and Combat the Global Road Safety Crisis”

“Empowering Global Youth Leaders: Madrid Retreat Unites Visionaries to Build Skills and Combat the Global Road Safety Crisis”

August 29th, 2023. Madrid. YOURS – Youth for Road Safety and the Global Youth Coalition for Road Safety will host the first Youth Leadership Retreat on Road Safety from 29th August – 1st September in Madrid, Spain, to build new skills in tackling the biggest killer of young people globally; road traffic crashes. The Retreat is supported by Spain’s Fundación MAPFRE, who will host the training at their Madrid headquarters, and counts on the financial support of YOURS long-lasting partners, TotalEnergies Foundation and MICHELIN Corporate Foundation.

23 exceptional young leaders from 18 countries representing all sectors of society have been selected to participate in the retreat to build on their outstanding leadership qualities and level of local community influence. This 4-day intensive training experience aims to maximize participants’ leadership and practical advocacy skills to demand and deliver road safety and sustainable mobility globally and locally.

The Global Youth Coalition, which consists of over 1700 young leaders from around the world, was set up in 2020 by YOURS to unify a global youth movement for road safety. It takes a unique approach to place young leaders at the centre of organizational decision-making via various youth leadership structures who will undergo a specially-curated learning curriculum using the multi-award-winning YOURS Capacity Development approach. 


Executive Director of YOURS, Raquel Barrios, said. “We are excited to bring together 23 talented young leaders dedicated to changing the road safety reality they have inherited and that is affecting their lives. At YOURS, we assert that meaningful youth participation is essential if we want to address the global road safety crisis and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); therefore, we are investing in young leaders, so they can continue acquiring new skills, expanding their networks, and creating stronger connections that will enable them to lead with renewed vigour and passion.” 

The retreat not only aims to be a transformative experience for the participants but will also be a key contribution to their understanding, dedication, and passion for creating safer roads and sustainable communities globally. The legacy of this retreat will be seen through the initiatives, projects, and innovations that these young leaders will lead long after the retreat is over.


“We are excited to witness the transformational impact that this retreat will have on the lives of these young leaders and the world at large. It is an honor to welcome such an important initiative in our country and our organisation. At Fundación Mapfre, we promote change through education, particularly targeting children and young individuals. Safe Mobility requires an active participation of young leaders in order to reverse current negative trends, achieve a less vulnerable, safer, and more sustainable world,” said Jesus Monclus Gonzalez, Prevention and Road Safety Director at Mapfre Foundation.

YOURS’ mission to amplify the collective voice of young people to lead and deliver road safety and meaningful participation is supported by esteemed stakeholders such as TotalEnergies Foundation, Michelin Corporate Foundation, the World Health Organisation, MAPFRE Foundation, and other notable global and local organisations. Together, they are creating a future where youth voices are at the forefront of shaping the narrative of our communities.

“There is no more deadly threat to young people than a road traffic crash; as such, it is only fitting that young people are at the heart of rethinking mobility and creating safe and sustainable mobility, ” notes Etienne Krug, WHO Director of the Department of Social Determinants of Health. “This first Youth Leadership Retreat on Road Safety will be an excellent occasion for youth leaders from 18 countries to enhance skills, build networks and chart ways to contribute that fully engage them in all aspects of the decision-making process.”

For more information about the Retreat and how to join the Global Youth Coalition for Road Safety,  visit 


About the Participants
Young leaders from 18 countries will be represented at the Retreat, including Argentina, Cameroon, Colombia, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, the Philippines, Spain, Tajikistan, Uganda, the United States, and Zimbabwe. All young leaders are active community leaders leading road safety actions, interventions and advocacy. Most have significant experience in presenting road safety in national and international arenas.

Context on road safety
Annually, road crashes claim the lives of 1.35 million across the globe, making it the biggest killer of young people aged 15 to 29, above HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, or homicide.  The Global Goals have  two targets closely related to road safety:

  • Target 3.6 – To halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents by 2030

  • Target 11.2 – By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible, and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons.

Youth For Road Safety-YOURS
YOURS is a global youth organisation that facilitates and supports young people to demand and deliver road safety and sustainable mobility. It envisions a world where not a single person dies or gets seriously injured due to a road traffic crash.  YOURS is working to advocate for safe and sustainable mobility systems that are accessible and affordable for everyone in all parts of the world, and that these mobility systems have been co-created with and by young people in a meaningful way at all levels and stages of decision making. In 2010, YOURS became an official member of the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC), the body for road safety issues through the UN system. In 2020, YOURS was granted special consultative status at the UN Economic and Social Council, allowing it to actively engage with ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies. As a special consultant, YOURS is able to push the road safety movement forward and engage formally in the ECOSOC Youth Forum. More info:

Global Youth Coalition For Road Safety
The Global Youth Coalition for Road Safety, initiated by YOURS in 2020, has been bringing together young leaders and organizations from around the world to promote safer roads and act as role models, educators, mobilizers, and advocates. More than 1700 young people from 100+ countries are working together to raise their voices to be seen and heard as assets in sustainable mobility policies. 

More info:

The YOURS Academy
Leverages YOURS’ multi-award-winning training methodology and extensive experience in capacity development to prepare the next generation of young leaders with the necessary skills and expertise to both advocate for and implement road safety measures and systems. More info: 

Fundación MAPFRE
Fundación MAPFRE is dedicated to improving people’s quality of life through various programs. Their activities are based on five key areas – Social Action, Culture, Health Promotion, Injury Prevention and Road Safety, Insurance and Social Protection.


For media inquiries:
Kenneth Mulinde
Senior Communications Manager
YOURS – Youth for Road Safety
Mobile: +256708313219