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.”