Crossing roads around the world, one film at a time

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The Gambia is a country situated in West Africa, well known for its music and the impact it has made on the world of football. But this year, The Gambia became known for another reason thanks to Siaka K. Dibba. Siaka recently won a competition hosted by Youth for Road Safety, a new non-governmental organization focused on road safety and led by youth in more than 40 countries around the world.

Launched in January 2010, Youth for Road Safety has successfully tapped into the energetic resources of the world’s youth, who are not only the most vulnerable road users – with over 1000 youth dying each day from road collisions – but they are also some of the most driven to make a difference and improve safety on our roads today.

In an effort to draw visibility to vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, and also encourage a creative approach to road safety, Youth for Road Safety launched a project called the “World’s Crossing Campaign.” The campaign’s competition required youth submit a film illustrating how they safely cross the street in their neighbourhood. The winner, Siaka Dibba received a grant of 1000 Euros to begin a road safety initiative for young people in his country.

“Young people are among the most adversely affected by the road safety crisis, but they are often not in the driver’s seat when it comes to responding to the crisis,” says Nellie Guyshani, a road safety advocate from Lebanon, a founding member of Youth for Road Safety, and advisor for the Middle East North Africa Global Road Safety Partnership.  “People tend to talk about youth as a target audience or for the road safety, but not as the creators of that message. Youth for Road Safety changes that.”