Safe Child Mobility in Argentina

Children's Road Safety is one of the pillars of the Gonzalo Rodríguez Foundation's work, mainly due to its high knowledge on the subject. That is why one of the work plans in Argentina -where the Foundation already has an operational site- is precisely to develop a national road safety plan in Argentina.

For this purpose, we started working with the National Road Safety Agency (ANSV) and developed a course to generate specific knowledge on safe child mobility, from the perspective of Safe Systems. The main objective was to deepen the different forms of safe transportation for children on the roads.

The global pandemic of COVID undoubtedly altered the way this project was carried out, but not its objective. That is why a virtual course was generated in the FGR Campus platform where 33 participants from 23 provinces + CABA started their training.

At the same time, and in a complementary way, webinars were generated with international experts to further enhance this training and transform a weakness (the impossibility of developing the contents in a classroom setting) into a strength (being able to count on international experts in related topics). Thus, talks were given on School Transport, Safe Mobility, and Child Retention Systems, among others.

The results could not be more promising: more than 40% of the provinces participating in this training already established the basis for developing their children's mobility and road safety plans by 2021.

To complement this plan, sales advisors for Child Restraint Systems were also trained, generating a specific course for them. The fundamental idea is to educate for the training of SRI salespeople in the needs and best practices in child safety according to their role, improving the quality of the advice and the correct selection according to the needs of the client; as well as providing updated theoretical and practical information with professional technical support on child mobility.

During the next year, the Gonzalo Rodríguez Foundation will accompany the process of these provinces -as well as those that have not yet developed their plan- so that they can implement it correctly. Working together to achieve a substantial improvement in safe child mobility.

All this national and provincial work is based on a solid foundation, which is the work done so far in Argentina. The Safe School Environments project, part of the Latin American Children Safe in Transit program of the Gonzalo Rodriguez Foundation - with the support of the FIA Foundation - focuses on road safety for children in school environments, through the work articulated with local authorities and actors in legislation, enforcement, road safety education for students and teachers, prevention and safe transportation and infrastructure.

The city of Guaymallén in Mendoza, was one of the five that were part of the pilot program of the Gonzalo Rodríguez Foundation in Argentina. Initiated in 2017, the program was kicked off by five schools that, because of their characteristics, had an average of 3.6 stars (using iRAP's Star Rating for Schools tool). After six months of improvement and adaptation work, they all achieved 5 stars, a result that prompted the municipality to extend the program's reach to all schools in the city. Today, school environment improvements in the city include 81 schools where 740 crosswalks were painted, 170 "Slow School" signs were installed, over 1200 speed bumps, and over 190 parking spaces were created. The next steps include completing the 200 schools by 2022 and positively impacting more than 25,000 school children.

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