On 21 June, on the occasion of its 20th anniversary, the FIA Foundation held a Forum on Safe & Healthy Mobility in London entitled ‘Design for Life. For People & Planet’. The Forum brought together international policymakers to review progress in meeting the UN global targets to reduce road deaths and serious injuries ahead of the first-ever UN High Level Meeting on road safety (that will be held on 30 June), and to discuss air quality improvement and decarbonisation of road transportation.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, FIA Foundation

Consisting of three panels: Streets for Life; Streets for People; and Streets for Climate, the Forum was opened by FIA Foundation Chair Rt. Hon. Lord Robertson of Port Ellen.

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem took part in the ‘Streets for Life’ panel along with Ukraine Impact NGO Director Oksana Romanukha, London City Hall Walking and Cycling Commissioner Will Norman, Hon. Floyd Green MP from Jamaica's Office of the Prime Minister, African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy H.E. Dr Amani Abou-Zeid, as well as Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health Chair Hon. Helen Clark and Child Health Initiative Global Ambassador Zoleka Mandela (via video messages).

The FIA President looked at the creation of the FIA Foundation twenty years ago as an independent charity to promote safety and health for the public benefit and highlighted the strong connection between the Foundation and the FIA in the field of public advocacy. He mentioned the importance of programmes such as the Global and Regional New Car Assessment Programmes (NCAP) and the iRAP’s International Road Assessment Programme. President Ben Sulayem also emphasised the FIA Road Safety Strategy that aims to achieve Vision Zero along with the FIA Member organisations. He finally insisted on the need to fight climate change, across both sport and mobility, and to offer safe, clean and affordable mobility for all.

The second panel, entitled ‘Streets for People’, shed light upon how streets, vehicles and policies are designed to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goal target to halve deaths and serious injuries by 2030 and to make sure that the most vulnerable people are put first. It was introduced by Jean Todt, former FIA President and UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for Road Safety.

The ‘Streets for Climate’ panel dealt with the challenge to harness calls for climate justice and clean air to re-design urban mobility to be clean, safe and low carbon. Forum participants heard about the unprecedented attention and support for electrification of the vehicle fleet at COP26 and on the need to guarantee safe walking and cycling. The difficult recovery of public transportation after COVID-19 and the growing demand for clean air were also discussed.

On the occasion of the Forum, the FIA Foundation released a new study entitled ‘Development of the Investment Case to Reduce Road Traffic Injuries among Adolescents’ that shows that almost 12 million serious injuries to youth aged 10 to 24 could be prevented between now and 2050 if proven road safety interventions are implemented across 77 low- and middle-income countries. The study also emphasises that the economic returns on safety investments would be at least threefold, and in some countries, would deliver up to fifty-fold returns. The research model, elaborated by the Victoria University Melbourne’s Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, looked at how proven interventions including traffic speed reductions, safe road infrastructure design, motorcycle helmets, drink driving enforcement and vehicle safety measures would save lives and deliver economic returns on investment. The study focuses in detail on three case studies with projections up to 2030: Tanzania, Vietnam, and Colombia. FIA Foundation Chair Rt. Hon. Lord Robertson of Port Ellen commented: “This report shows the huge potential for road safety investment to prevent road crashes wrecking young lives. A thousand young people in this age group are dying on the world’s roads every day, a conflict-scale carnage, and thousands more are injured. We know how to prevent this, we have the tools, we have a UN development target which every country has endorsed, and we have a UN Road Safety Fund poised to act. Donors, national governments and city authorities must now provide the funds and the political commitment to save young lives.”

The Forum was also the opportunity for the FIA Foundation to announce new funding commitments to help achieve the UN global targets for reducing road deaths and serious injuries and decarbonising road transport.

On the day before the Forum, a partner meeting was organised on the Child Health Initiative which operates as a collaborative partnership, with a focus on global and national advocacy, research, and programme implementation. Hosted at and coordinated by the FIA Foundation, the Child Health Initiative aims to provide a voice for the particular needs and rights of children within transportation and urban mobility policymaking; to highlight the serious and costly health impacts on the young of unsafe roads and air pollution; and to demonstrate, through applied research, programmatic support and technical assistance, the many effective solutions that are available. FIA Member organisations from Moldova, Azerbaijan, Latvia and Armenia attended the meeting to share their experience designing and implementing effective and collaborative projects.

FIA Foundation 20th anniversary