The George Institute For Global Health
United Kingdom

Save adolescent lives by reducing road traffic injuries in India

The road traffic injuries are increasing rapidly among adolescents and is the 4th leading cause of death among children in aged group 5-14 years. Children from poor families are particularly vulnerable to road traffic injury; when tragedy strikes, they suffer severe and often protracted effects, which can lock them and their families into a cycle of poverty.

In India, ~ 270,000 people lose their lives every year on the roads and more than half of these deaths occur in 15-34 years old, our future. The country loses upwards of 3% in GDP due to Road Traffic Injuries.

Improve road safety around schools through a safe systems approach

Increasing evidence from several studies focussing on school settings, in low- and middle-income countries has found that educational interventions only are not sufficient for bringing sustainable change to prevent road traffic injuries.

There is need to adopt a holistic approach – “Safe Systems”, wherein not only education but other issues across the entire spectrum of factors causing road traffic injuries are considered and implemented. This will have larger impact and greater beneficence in bringing sustainable change to prevent road traffic injuries. Safe systems approach has been recommended by the World Health Organisation as well as the World Reports on road traffic injury prevention and child injury prevention.

We propose to expand the current school education interventions by using the safe systems approach and develop an intervention in few schools to create ‘model schools’. The key component would be to sensitize school children; influence the behaviour of children and through them influence their families, friends and peers to bring change in behaviour education and communication activities; understand environment of schools and adjoining areas, risky behaviours and transportation patterns in school children and build the following safe systems component -

  • Safe Speed – Speed restrictions around schools and areas used by school children during their transportation to protect them from injury.  
  • Safe Roads & Roadsides Around School –Implementing low-cost improvements in infrastructure around schools to protect children on the school journey. Identified parking spaces, traffic calming measures, free sidewalks, safe crossings etc. 
  • Addressing road policies, regulations and enforcement - Providing inputs for evidence based policy change/ recommendations for improved vehicle safety for modalities used by children for transportation to and from schools. School buses, private vans, motorcycle etc.   
  • Safe Vehicles- Advocating for the use of safety devices for children. Child restraints anchorage, reflective vests and helmets (motorcycle/bicycles). 

The outcomes would be improved road safety around selected schools and demonstrable model that can be scaled up to reduce road traffic injuries among school children (adolescents). The project aims at 2 years of intervention and will target children from Class 5th to 9th (the ages of 10-14 years).

How you can help

We are currently looking for funding for this project. Interested organizations and indivuduals can contact: