The United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Road Safety, Mr Jean Todt, and Jean-Charles Decaux, co-CEO of JCDecaux, launched today a new UN Global Road Safety campaign to address road traffic crashes, which are the leading cause of death for people aged 5 to 29 around the world.
Road traffic crashes kill 1.35 million people every year and injure over 50 million, often for life. Developing countries account for 93% of the victims. The most vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists) and the poor are disproportionately affected worldwide.
Over the next two years, the campaign will appear on billboards and in public areas in 80 countries worldwide thanks to a global partnership with JCDecaux. Displayed in about 1,000 cities, the campaign will be translated into 30 languages.
Contributing to the European Mobility Week
The campaign was launched today in Brussels during the European Mobility Week (16-22 September), with the participation of Adina Vălean, European Commissioner for Transport. On this occasion, the campaign is on display in the streets of Brussels and at Brussels Airport, as well as in the streets of Liège, Antwerp and Lier.
The Special Envoy declared: “Road safety is not high enough on the political agenda in most countries. While we know the remedies to road crashes, action is lagging behind. With this campaign, together with the celebrities that are joining us, and our partners JCDecaux and Saatchi & Saatchi, we are trying to revert this and mobilize the political will that is needed to increase actions and financing to save millions of lives, in line with the objectives of the Decade of Action for Road Safety.”
Speaking at the press conference of the launch, EU Commissioner for Transport Adina Vãlean said: “During this year’s European Mobility Week, around 3,000 cities from 50 countries will be encouraging their citizens to try out more sustainable ways of moving around. Walking and cycling are two such options. But sustainability must go hand-in-hand with safety, and sadly vulnerable road users are still over-represented in road fatality statistics: in the EU, pedestrians account for around 18% of fatalities, and cyclists for 9%. I welcome this global campaign to turn this around – to help us learn from each other, raise awareness of how to keep all road-users safe, and – ultimately – to save lives”.
Jean-Charles Decaux, co-CEO of JCDecaux said: “We are very proud to partner with the United Nations and Jean Todt, the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Road Safety, to launch this international road safety campaign that’s relevant to everyone. No matter how we travel, this important cause affects us all, from pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and drivers to people using new forms of mobility or making shared trips. We can all play a part in reducing the terrible consequences faced by so many families around the world. This campaign underlines how our sustainable media can use its power and mass reach to raise awareness of the safety rules that must be respected at all times and the care that must be taken, in order to ensure a safe and pleasant public space for us all.”
Under the motto #MakeaSafetyStatement, the campaign gathers celebrities to encourage road users to adopt simple and effective rules to stay safe on the road.
The first participating celebrities include:
- Naomi Campbell, supermodel
- Ousmane Dembélé, football icon
- Patrick Dempsey, actor
- Novak Djokovic, tennis legend
- Didier Drogba, football legend
- Michael Fassbender, actor
- Julie Gayet, actress
- Charles Leclerc, F1 driver
- Marc Márquez, motorcycle racer
- Kylie Minogue, musician
- Youssou N’Dour, musician
- Mick Schumacher, F1 driver
- Michelle Yeoh, Oscar-winning actress & UNDP Goodwill ambassador
They #MakeaSafetyStatement to:
- wear a seat belt
- drive slow
- wear a helmet
- not text and drive
- not drive under the influence
- not drive tired
and call on fans, followers and the public to adopt the same habits.
Note to editors
About some of the main causes of road crashes
- The death risk for pedestrians hit by car fronts rises rapidly as vehicle speed increases (4.5 times from 50 km/h to 65 km/h).
- In Europe, some 30% of road fatalities (19,800 in 2021) are caused by excessive or inappropriate speed.
Driving under the influence
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and any psychoactive substance or drug increases the risk of a crash.
- A 2022 study by U.S. highway safety regulators (NHTSA) found that more than half the people injured or killed in traffic crashes had one or more drugs, or alcohol, in their bloodstreams.
- Drivers using mobile phones are approximately 4 times more likely to be involved in a crash
- Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that's like driving the length of an entire football field with eyes closed.
- In the U.S., distracted driving is estimated to play a role in 25%-30% of fatal crashes, according to the National Distracted Driving Coalition (NDDC).
About the Special Envoy
UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, appointed in 2015 Jean Todt as his Special Envoy for Road Safety. He was reconfirmed in this role by António Guterres, in 2017 and in 2021. In 2018, together with 14 UN organizations, the Special Envoy launched the UN Road Safety Fund (UNRSF). The Special Envoy contributes, among other things, to mobilize sustained political commitment to make road safety a priority; to advocate and raise awareness of UN legal instruments on road safety; to share established good practices in this area; to striving to generate adequate funding through strategic partnerships between the public, private and non-governmental sectors. Special Envoy brochure and Twitter account.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is the custodian of the United Nations road safety legal instruments, applicable worldwide, which offer countries a basis to legislate to increase the safety of roads, vehicles and traffic.
It hosts the only permanent United Nations intergovernmental forum on road safety (Working Party on Road Traffic Safety) and the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations. UNECE also hosts the secretariats of the Special Envoy for Road Safety and of the UN Road Safety Fund.
JCDecaux – a French family-owned company founded in 1964 and the No.1 outdoor advertising company worldwide – is committed to improve the quality of life for people wherever they live, work and travel by offering innovative, sustainable street furniture and services that are meeting citizens’ expectations and financed by brands and their advertisement. With a presence in more than 80 countries, JCDecaux is the only company in the world to operate exclusively in the outdoor advertising sector and to develop all of its activities: street furniture, transport advertising and billboards. For almost 60 years, the products and services offered to cities by JCDecaux have been considered the benchmark for quality, aesthetics and functionality. As a sustainable media in contact with more than 850 million people every day and true to its mission of improving the quality of life for all citizens, JCDecaux enhances and promotes responsible outdoor advertising and places social and environmental quality at the core of its solutions and its business. Since 2023, JCDecaux is an official partner of the UN Joint SDG Fund, supporting the Sustainable Development Goals across its Group.