Road Safety Takes Centerstage in Safe Kids Worldwide Philippines-SM Event

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IMG_5946In a bid to reverse grim statistics on road traffic crashes, SM Prime Holdings Inc. has partnered with road safety advocates to bring back security in the streets.

This week, SM Supermalls and SM Cares in partnership with Safe Kids Worldwide Philippines (SKWP), Safe Kids Worldwide Network, Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety, Motorcycle Development Program Participants Association, Inc. and the World Health Organizations have lined a series of activities that will promote and call on all stakeholders to implement the SaveLives #SlowDown campaign that aims to reduce motor vehicle speeds to save lives.

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The program will bring together stakeholders from government as well as non-government organizations, policy makers, teachers, parents, students, drivers, motorcyclists and media to educate them on the importance of road safety and the need to address the grim statistics in recent years.

The event will start at 3:30 pm on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at the Music Hall of Asia with an advocacy walk followed by a short program which will highlight the call for speed management where National and local government officials and attendees will pledge their commitment to the campaign by signing the SaveLives#SlowDown signboard.

Recent data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that road traffic crashes kill an average of 34 Filipinos in a day and is the main cause of death for youngsters aged 15 to 19 years.

Worldwide, an estimated 1.25 million die and over 50 million are injured on road crashes annually and by 2020, road traffic crashes  are expected to increase by 80% in low and middle income countries due to increasing motorization.

In order to enforce speed management and road safety, SKWP will also ask the commitment of local governments on the SaveLives #SlowDown campaign through the promulgation of appropriate ordinances in their own cities and barangays to implement speed limits.

International organizations like the World Health Organization, UNICEF and Asian Development Bank are also expected to join the event which will also coincide with the worldwide Fourth United Nations Global Road Safety Week on May 8 to 14, 2017.

In 2011, the World Health Organization launched the Decade of Action for Road Safety prescribing a framework designed to curb the rising number of road traffic injuries and fatalities in the World. Following the 2011 Framework on Road Safety, the Philippines’ Department of Transportation spearheaded the Philippine Road Safety Action Plan (PRSAP) 2011-2020 with the goal of reducing road traffic crashes by the year 2020.

Jesus De la Fuente, Executive Director of SKWP said road traffic crashes have increased in the Philippines for the past several years. “Government data show transport-related crashes in the country have increased sharply from 15,572 in 2014 to 24, 565 in 2016,” he said.

It is important therefore, he further stated, to implement slower speeds in our roads because speed has always been a major factor in road traffic crashes. “A great portion of our road traffic crashes especially those that are fatal are caused by speeding and it has already proven that a 5% cut in average speed can result in a 30% reduction in the number of fatal road traffic crashes. This is what we hope to achieve in this event,” De la Fuente stressed.

Based on the recent studies, when motorized traffic mixes with pedestrians and cyclists, the speed limit should be under 30km/h.

Royce Cabunag, Director of SM Cares Program on Children and Youth, said SM is proud to be part of the advocacy to make roads safer for everyone. “In this fast-paced world, not everything needs to move at the speed of light. We need to slow down and the road is definitely a place where slowing down is vital and lifesaving. SM is a proud partner in this worthwhile endeavor to save lives especially our children. Let’s slow down to be safe and save lives,” Cabunag said.

SM Cares, a division of SM Foundation Inc., is the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of SM Prime Holdings, Inc. Its advocacies include Programs on Persons with Disabilities, Senior Citizens, Women and Breastfeeding, Children and Youth, OFW (or SM Global Pinoy), Social Entrepreneurship and Environment and Sustainability. To know more about SM Cares, you may visit www.facebook.com/OfficialSMCares.

Safe Kids Worldwide Philippines (SKWP) is a non-government organization working for the prevention of unintentional injuries to children 14 years old and below. It addresses the issues of road traffic crashes, drowning, falls, burns and poisoning. SKWP is a member of Safe Kids Global Network with more than 30 member countries and 400 coalitions in United Stated and Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety more than 170 member NGOs working in road safety from more than 90 countries around the world.

To know more about Safe Kids Worldwide Philippines please visit www.safekidsworldwide.ph or https://web.facebook.com/SafeKidsWorldwidePhilippines