Young pedestrians, ‘Look don’t Like’ when crossing roads

Young pedestrians, ‘Look don’t Like’ when crossing roads

A new initiative has been launched to address the problem of distraction among young pedestrians who use mobiles phones while crossing the road in the UK.

‘Look don’t ‘Like’, produced by Room 9 Media, comprises a suite of resources including school gate banners, posters and pop up exhibition stands.

Road safety teams who buy into the campaign will also be provided with the graphics in a digital format and two presentations, one aimed at secondary school students and another for sixth forms and colleges in the UK.

Room 9 Media points to a recent  survey in which 27% of motorists who participated said they have nearly hit a pedestrian who was distracted by their mobile phone; and 8% said they have actually knocked into a pedestrian distracted by their phone.

John Billington, Room 9 Media, said:

“It’s a widespread problem and we’re approaching it with a punchy headline which can easily be transferred to different media and used effectively across a number of platforms. “We’re looking to push the hashtag  on social media.”

For more information about the campaign contact John Billington at and follow Room 9 Media on Twitter

World Crossing Campaign of 2010 continues to inspire

World Crossing Campaign of 2010 continues to inspire

In 2010, YOURS launched its first ever global awareness campaign, the World Crossing Campaign. In this, young people from all over the world united in our video contest to show the world that young people are committed to road safety. After we chose the winner of that competition, Mr Siaka Dba of the Gambia, he ran his own road safety project with a small grant from YOURS. That project continues to inspire three years later.

The premise of the World Crossing Campaign of 2010 was simple, shoot a video of a young person crossing the road holding a banner calling for global road safety for young people. The response was incredible. Participants entered from around the world and submitted their walk which we merged into one long crossing. For the winning video, we chose the videos of Mr Siaka K Dba of the National Youth Parliament of the Gambia and awarded him with €1000 for his own road safety project in the country.

His project spanned across the media, included trainings, school and university talks and radio shows across the country sharing the message of road safety with young people in The Gambia. Since then, the legacy of that project continues to show inspired young people taking a stand for road safety. Recently, Siaka (Rt Honorable Member of the National Youth Parliament of the Gambia) forwarded us an article written in The Gambia’s most popular newspaper. It was written by one of the young people who the project reached; we reproduce it below. Read more about Siaka’s project after the World Crossing Campaign here.

Original Source for the article can be found here.

We Want to live.
Road crashes have always been a major killer in this country. Though we do not have the statistics at hand, media reports testify to the fact that many lives have been lost, through road accidents.

The causes of these accidents are many and varied.

Over-speeding, negligence due to faulty brakes or worn-out tires or the lack of headlights (especially at night) have often been pinpointed as the root causes of road accidents in the country.

Poor roads, with crater-like potholes or narrow slippery bends, are also at the root of most accidents.

An accident is an accident, simply because it was not planned or intended, but its resultant harm could be mitigated or curtailed through caution and forethought.

The National Youth Parliament of The Gambia are active members of our network and participated in the Embrace Life Photo Exhibition.

One such measure is the continuous use of the seat belts or safety belts, as it is sometimes called. We think the use of safety belt is more appropriate, because it conveys more explicitly the purpose it is meant to serve.

The great merit of the safety belt is that it gives the passenger stability, when an accident happens. As a result, he or she suffers less harm than they would have suffered without using their safety belts.

A few years ago, the idea of the use of safety belt was mooted, it was greeted with skepticism. Most people were of the belief that it was unenforceable.

But the police stood to their grounds, and warned that any violator of the safety belt law would be dealt with sternly and right on the spot.

Since then, drivers themselves have taken it upon themselves to remind passengers to always fasten their safety belts.

There are three issues at play here. One, it is ironic that people have to be forced to safeguard their own lives. Two, it tells us that any rule or law is enforceable, provided there is the will to enforce it. Three, it has disabused our minds of the misconception that Africans cannot be made to keep basic laws.

But there is another dimension to the use of safety belts.

The authorities should and must not be seen to slacken their vigilance. If they do so, the rot will set in. They should work hard at it until the practice becomes as involuntary as the blinking of our eyelids.

People in low-income areas at higher risk of being involved in a crash

People in low-income areas at higher risk of being involved in a crash

According to a new study out of Mc Master Univerisity, Canada, a professor warns that poorer areas of a country are at more risk of being involved in a road crash. We already know that low and middle income countries suffer a higher rate of road crashes in the world in a macro perspective but zooming into to a nation’s economy suggests similarities.

Source: CBC News Canada

Children living in downtown Hamilton, Toronto, Canada may be at a higher risk of pedestrian injury, according to a new study out of McMaster University. The study shows a link between high-levels of commuter traffic — as opposed to local traffic — and higher levels of pedestrian child injury.

Geography professor Nikolaos Yiannakoulias studied Toronto neighbourhoods and compared local traffic (drivers coming from that neighbourhood), arriving traffic (drivers arriving at their destination in that neighbourhood) and flow-through traffic (drivers passing through the neighbourhood on their way somewhere else).

He discovered certain neighbourhoods, especially lower income areas, with higher levels of flow-through traffic also saw higher levels of pedestrian child injury.

However, areas with high levels of local traffic did not see the same levels of injury. Even if the neighbourhood had very high volume of traffic, if it was local the levels of injury did not increase, the study found.

“It may be that drivers going through a neighbourhood may not know where children are or where schools are,” Yiannakoulias explained. “Their decision to commute or not commute has an impact on everyone.”

Yiannakoulias said he plans to continue the research to identify exactly what the connection is between commuter traffic and pedestrian injury. He hopes to expand the research to other cities, especially Hamilton, where Yiannakoulias says many similar issues exist.

“There are major East-West throughways in Hamilton with schools very close,” he pointed out.

“There are kids walking to school and many are having to cross these major streets where there is a lot of traffic going fast and this is the same kind of commuter traffic we saw in Toronto.”

Yiannakoulias said busy commuter streets have an impact not only on pedestrian injury but also personal and community health. If parents are worried about traffic, they may not let their children walk to school, which deprives them of physical activity and a chance to engage with their neighbourhood, he said.

“It’s definitely a concern to many people living in lower Hamilton. They’re scared to let their children walk to school.”

City council has been cautious in making transit changes in Hamilton. The issue of two-way street conversion often crops up, as recently as last fall, but as Mayor Bob Brattina said then, making changes is not always as simple as it seems.

“We’re sacrificing an awful lot for through traffic.”

A global comparison – YOURS Analysis
While the reasons behind higher traffic in low-income neighbourhood in Canada is still under investigation, in comparison to a global perspective, it is clear that the poorer parts of the world also experience higher levels of road crashes and hence fit a burden with regards to road deaths.

When we picture ‘poorer’ countries, we often think of a deficit of material goods and this translates, in road safety terms, to poor infrastructure, inadequate or no road safety laws, poor road safety education and poor safety systems in cars. These components of the road safety system are often neglected or missing in low and middle income countries as could be the case in ‘poorer’ neighbourhoods in the Western world.

Poor road infrastructure in some parts of Kenya, Africa result in higher rates of road crashes and deaths.

It is therefore clear that road safety is inherently linked to economics but also to education, law making and law enforcement. While an argument for investment in road safety may be made of economic arguments; that a country simply cannot afford it, the reverse is true. Road safety actually saves money in the long run such as the recent example in Catalonia Span (report in attachments). The road safety policies implemented in Catalonia in recent years were associated with a reduction in the number of deaths and injuries from traffic collisions and with substantial economic benefits to society.