UN Security Management Italy

Drive Safely – UN Road Safety Awareness

A new road safety campaign targeting United Nations staff has been launched by the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) with a video focusing on the risks associated with speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol and distraction. https://dss.un.org/dssweb/Resources/RoadSafetyCampaign.aspx

The 5 minute video has been developed by the Training and Development Section of UNDSS. Training and Development Section (TDS) designs and delivers standardized training for UN and associated personnel and the video is consistent with their new vision 'From training to Learning'. The video emphasizes the need for us all to be aware of the everyday hazards on the roads, and what we can do to reduce them. United Nations drivers and passengers can all make a huge difference by following the advice in the video, a small effort from all UN staff really will save lives.

The 2010 Secretary-General's report on safety and security of United Nations and associated personnel highlighted the fact that more UN personnel were killed and injured in safety-related incidents than by violence. Of these safety-related incidents, road traffic accidents caused 84 per cent of the deaths and 90 per cent of the injuries, making road hazards the primary cause of death and injury to UN personnel in that year.

Although some of these casualties may be due to bad road conditions or less rigidly applied traffic laws; frequently the poor driving practices of UN personnel is the cause of accidents. USG Gregory Starr warned: “Unsafe driving practices and road traffic accidents involving UN vehicles are a danger not only to our own personnel but also to the local citizens of countries that the UN is trying to help.  Furthermore, unsafe driving practices can create a negative reflection on the reputation of the UN and generate resentment within the local population towards us.”

Road traffic crashes kill nearly 150 people around the world every hour of every day. About three-quarters of those who lose their lives are men, and are often a family's main or sole breadwinner. So, in addition to the emotional devastation road accidents cause, they can plunge families into poverty.  USG Gregory Starr: “I strongly recommend that the video is given the widest possible distribution and that it is viewed not in isolation but taken as a focus for further discussion and debate. Drivers, passengers and managers can all play a part in heightening road safety awareness across the United Nations system by imaginatively embracing the video.”

Eleven Peacekeeping field missions and regional offices participated in the design and development phase of the campaign, contributing their own video content highlighting aggressive driving practices.

The new Road Safety Awareness campaign, developed by the Department of Safety and Security, is being launched to raise the awareness of all UN personnel on road safety, and the safe use of United Nations vehicles.