Cape Town was the host city for the Global Road Safety Partnership’s 3rd Africa Road Safety Seminar on August 12-13, dedicated to ‘Improving road safety for children in African cities’.
The seminar featured a strong line-up of expert regional and international speakers, with an opening keynote address from South African Minister for Transport, Dipuo Peters (pictured). During her passionate address, Minister Peters called for stronger support from the Ministry of Justice in the enforcement of traffic laws and the prosecution of offenders. She called for investment in mass transport within Africa and urged for a heightened sense of responsibility amongst all road users.
More than 130 delegates from 30 countries filled the venue representing government ministries, NGOs and the private sector. The agenda over the two days was information rich and clearly focussed on the very real issue of child road safety in Africa. Data presented by the World Health Organization demonstrated the scope of the problem, highlighting that the African continent suffers the highest road fatality rates in the world, and that 41% of those killed are children.
Through a series of participatory sessions and open sharing platforms, the seminar examined current knowledge in child road safety including the GRSP developed Safe to School – Safe to Home programme, looked at examples of where the special needs of children have been incorporated into city design, reflected on the models and importance of the partnership approach and shared the challenges, successes and experiences from a range of current child road safety programmes throughout the region and world.
Delegates and organizers all provided glowing feedback labelling the seminar a success in terms of sharing good practice, building networks and attracting the ear of media and government alike.
Global Road Safety Partnership CEO, Dr Pieter Venter laid down a challenge in closing the event, saying: ‘Of utmost importance is taking what we learn here, taking the ideas and the relationships, and then taking action. I challenge each of you here today, to go home empowered to work toward changing minds and saving lives – and then I invite you to join us next year and share what you have done’.
The 3rd Africa Road Safety Seminar is conducted as a part of the Global Road Safety Initiative, one of the world’s largest private sector road safety collaborations, proudly supported by Michelin, Renault, Shell, Total and Toyota, and is organized in partnership with GRSP South Africa.