Two Brazilian cities engaged in GRSP’s Proactive Partnership Strategy have won the prestigious Volvo Road Safety Award – the reward given as a high recognition of excellence for professionals and communities in Brazil for effective road safety practices. Winners of the 18th Volvo Road Safety Awards were announced in September.
Porto Alegre, capital of the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, was the winner in the “cities” category. Since 2008 Porto Alegre has been implementing road safety programmes using a proactive partnership approach supported by GRSP. The strategy has helped city agencies establish a reliable road-crash database through cooperation of key city departments (health, transport and education) and tailor interventions to specific problems.
The city of Guaíba (100,000 inhabitants), also from Rio Grande do Sul and actively involved in road safety partnership, was the winner at the regional level among three southern states. In the past year, the city has documented dramatic reductions in death and injuries – as well as in hospital costs. In 2009, Guaíba reported 146 consecutive days without fatal accidents on the municipality roads – an achievement few cities in the world can claim.
“With the proactive partnership strategy, we managed to get partners and volunteers who helped to find solutions through participation, not through additional funding,” says Henrique Tavares, the mayor of Guaíba. “With police, medical institutions and city engineers on board, we get progressively safer districts in the city.”
The Volvo awards have now been won by three towns implementing PPS approach in Brazil – São José dos Campos (2008), Porto Alegre (2010) and Guaíba (2010). In 2010, 254 professionals from 114 cities and 19 states in Brazil were competing for the Volvo Award in several categories: professional drivers, cargo and passengers, cities, business, press and general.
“The Volvo Road Safety Award was established in 1987 with the aim to draw public attention to the dire situation of Brazilian traffic safety and to discover, encourage and promote good safety practices, generating a multiplier effect for similar actions,” said Anaelse Oliveira, Program Coordinator Volvo Traffic Safety.