Field Stories

A Journey from Grief to Worldwide Action: Rochelle Sobel, A Mother’s Story

In 1995, Rochelle Sobel faced the worst possible news a mother could hear—her son, Aron, had been killed in a bus crash in Turkey, just days away from graduation at the University of Maryland medical school. But instead of becoming paralyzed by grief, she educated herself about the issue and helped mobilized governments to take action for safer roads and accessible public information. Learn more about Ms. Sobel’s efforts worldwide to advocate for road safety, and how the organization she founded, The Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT), has become a global player in road safety progress.

Road Safety Success Story in Bogota, Columbia

From 1995 to 2002, the city of Bogota, Columbia, successfully reduced the number of people who died from traffic injuries by approximately one-half. Read the case study of how a city of seven million people accomplished these impressive results through political and social will, and by choosing interventions customized to the unique problems and social norms of the city.
Innovative “Vision Zero” Philosopy from Sweden

Dr. Claes Tingvall, the Director of Traffic Safety for the Swedish National Road Administration, believes road safety is moral obligation for all governments and what he calls the “professional society” to provide safe transport for citizens. Developing countries ramping up infrastructure can spend an extra 1% in cost and reduce fatalities by 90%. “Safety is very seldom expensive. The expensive thing is to modify what you did wrong in the beginning,” Tingvall believes. Learn more about Dr. Tingvall and his Vision Zero philosophy.

Interview with Goff Jacobs, Specialist Advisor for the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) in the United Kingdom.

With over thirty years of experience in road safety research, Dr. Jacobs (far right) brings a unique perspective to the global road safety crisis and outlook for the future. The TRL is an internationally recognized centre of excellence providing research, advice and solutions for all issues relating to land transport. TRL works with governments, aid agencies and private companies both in the UK and internationally to find sustainable solutions for transport.

Examples of Successful Road Safety Collaboration Between Countries:

Sharing knowledge and expertise can produce tremendous results. Read below about how Costa Rica achieved success by working in tandem with the FIA Foundation of London and experts from the Swedish government.

SweRoad Helps Costa Rica Meet Road Safety Challenges

As a leader in road safety advocacy, The Swedish National Road Administration takes their road safety management, education, and engineering expertise to countries throughout the world. Through its subsidiary, SweRoad, trained consultants spend time in countries working with their transport, planning, design, and maintenance organizations to improve road safety. Read about a two-phase SweRoad project in Costa Rica that helped multiple sectors upgrade methodologies and planning to improve road safety research and engineering design, and provided guidance on achieving successful results in public awareness campaigns.

Costa Rica and the FIA Foundation team up for Seat Belt Success

Seat belt usage among Costa Rican drivers was at 24%, prompting the government to take action to address this issue. The Costa Rican Automobile Club, and the country’s Ministry for Transport, National Council for Road Safety and National Insurance Institute, teamed up with the FIA Foundation for the Automobile and Society on a major new seat belt awareness campaign. The objective was to reduce the number of road fatalities by increasing the number of vehicle occupants wearing a seat belt. Recently the government of Costa Rica passed a law mandating seat belt usage, and former Vice-Minister of Transport Karla Gonzalez said the social will built through this campaign will be instrumental to public compliance.

Vietnam and The World Bank

The Vietnam Road Safety Project, currently being prepared by the Government of Vietnam for World Bank funding, provides a useful case study of how international agencies can work together to evaluate factors and solutions contributing toward road safety. A host of government and civil society organizations in New Zealand, the UK, and Asia are reviewing ways to align together for a road safety strategy for ASEAN countries including Vietnam.

The Coming Plague of Road Traffic Injuries: A Preventable Burden for Rich and Poor Countries

This story demonstrates the factors contributing to road traffic injuries and deaths and the proposed solutions from the World Report on Road Traffic Injury Prevention. Learn about the most recent road traffic injury statistics and proposed plans for long-term strategies.