In March, GRSP and Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit hosted 64 participants from 20 countries for the first regional offering of the Global Road Safety Leadership Course (GRSLC) in Kuala Lumpur. Over the two weeks, participants built leadership skills to design and advocate for effective road safety programmes and policies.
The Global Road Safety Leadership Course is aimed at building leadership capacity to design, advocate for, and implement effective road safety programs and policies, and is made possible through the generous support of Bloomberg Philanthropies. The first regional offering was officially launched on March 19 by Kelly Larson from Bloomberg Philanthropies and Dato Sayed Abdul Rahman bin Sayed Mohammad, the Secretary General of the Malaysia Red Crescent Society.
The first week of the GRSLC consisted of sessions conducted by GRSP, Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit, World Health Organization (WHO), and the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO). During her presentation on the role of behavioural risk factors in road traffic death and serious injury, Dr. Margie Peden from the World Health Organization (WHO) brought attention to the #SlowDown campaign designed for the UN Global Road Safety Week, which will happen in May 8-14 of this year. Dr. Peden also discussed the importance of addressing other road safety behavioural risk factors, including the use of seat-belts, helmets and child restraints as well as reducing drink driving. Besides these sessions, participants also attended a field trip to the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) to witness testing facilities for new cars, in partnership with ASEAN NCAP.
The second week kicked off with an overview of how advocacy can influence the development and effective implementation of strong road safety laws. Participants identified policy goals, SMART objectives and enjoyed robust discussion on the process required to influence policy change. Further speakers during the second week included Dr. Soames Job from the World Bank Global Road Safety Facility, also led students through the role of infrastructure in road safety, including detailed strategies to encourage political support to fund evidence-based initiatives. Jessica Truong from the Global New Car Assessment Programme (Global NCAP) also detailed the role of safe vehicles in preventing deaths and serious injuries, including their star safety rating system for new vehicles.
After two dynamic and thought provoking weeks the participants received certificates reflective of their newly acquired skills and knowledge, which they will take back to their countries to implement in their road safety initiatives. GRSP and Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit, alongside other stakeholders, look forward to future iterations of the Global Road Safety Leadership Course, including the next offering that will be held in Baltimore later in the year.