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United Nations-JCDecaux Global Road Safety Campaign hits the road in New York City 

United Nations-JCDecaux Global Road Safety Campaign hits the road in New York City 

New york traffic

UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Road Safety Jean Todt will launch the UN Global Road Safety Campaign #MakeASafetyStatement, in partnership with JCDecaux, in New York City on 1 July. 

The campaign aims to promote road safety and create safe, inclusive, and sustainable streets worldwide. This is a call to action, amplifying the message of the New Decade of Action for Road Safety, aiming to halve the number of road-related victims by 2030. Over two years (2024-2025), the campaign is set to reach more than 80 countries and 1,000 cities, displayed on JCDecaux’s street furniture and on social media.  

Addressing the silent pandemic 

Every year, the staggering toll of road-related fatalities claims the lives of 1.19 million people, leaving countless others with severe injuries. This silent pandemic overwhelmingly affects developing nations, where over 90% of the road traffic fatalities occur. Furthermore, road crashes are the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 5–29 years.  It is also the main reason of death and serious injury to UN personnel. 

Hitting the road in the USA  
In the US, road crashes are the second biggest cause of accidental death, after firearms. According to the World Health Organization (2021), the US fatality rate is estimated at 14 per 100,000 people, while that of Europe is 6.5 per 100,000 people. Pedestrian deaths in the US rose by more than 40% from 2010 to 2018, which is over twice the pace of any other OECD country. 

The launch of the campaign in NYC coincides with 4th July break and with summer vacation in several countries. Public holidays are usually periods of risk for road users. Highways are more dangerous, and there is a spike in risk-taking behavior. Sleep deprivation, distracted driving, driving under the influence, non-respect of speed limits and the non-use of restraints, are more common on public holidays. This is therefore a time of the year to hit the road with extra caution. 

Launch events  

Actor Jean Reno will deliver his safety statement at 4 p.m.   

The launch of the campaign in NYC will be made of three events: 

Venue: NYC street, Marshals and riders begin to gather at 1st Ave/38th St. At the corner of Freedom Plaza.  

More information and registration here. 


bike bus flyer
  • 4-6.30 p.m.: Launch event with Panel discussion on “safe & sustainable mobility in the city, from NYC to Marrakesh” (4-5.30 p.m.), discussion hosted by the International Peace Institute (IPI), with the support of Global Citizen.  We will also have the second act of the live street-art performance on road safety from Street Art for Mankind artist Dragon76. Dragon76 will finalize the creation of an original piece of art that will be unveiled at the conclusion of the event.  French actor Jean Reno will join the event for a road safety statement.    

Venue: IPI; More information and registration here. 

Note to editors 


The campaign seeks to reduce risk factors, especially in urban areas, enabling people to walk, live, and enjoy their environment safely.  Fourteen global, and dozens of national, celebrities have joined forces to advocate for simple and effective road safety rules in the six official UN languages.  The messages the celebrities focus on mitigate risk factors on the road. Key aspects include wearing a seat belt, driving slowly, wearing a helmet, not texting and driving, not driving under the influence or while tired, and respecting pedestrians.  

Participating celebrities in the campaign include football legend Mr. Didier Drogba, F1 Driver Mr. Charles Leclerc, Oscar-winning actress and UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Ms. Michelle Yeoh, tennis legend Mr. Novak Djokovic, musician Ms. Kylie Minogue, motorcycle racer Mr. Marc Marquez, supermodel Ms. Naomi Campbell, Actor Mr. Patrick Dempsey, Musician and Inspirational leader Mr. Youssou N'Dour, Actress Ms. Julie Gayet, Actor Mr. Michael Fassbender, football icon Mr. Ousmane Dembélé, Double Olympic Champion Ms. Faith Kipyegon, F1 Driver Mr. Mick Schumacher. Actor Jean Reno will join the launch event in NYC to deliver his safety statement. 

Major risk factors 

Drink-driving, speeding, drowsiness, carelessness, non-use of seat belts and helmets, negligence and non-compliance with the Highway Code are responsible for most road accidents. However, according to the WHO Global status report on road safety 2023, more progress must be made regarding legislation and safety standards. 

Only six countries in the world have laws that comply with WHO best practices for all the risk factors - speeding, driving under the influence or distracted driving, use of UN-standard motorbike helmets. 

Helmets for Hope  

One of the messages of the campaign is wearing a helmet compliant with ECE 22.05  - United Nations’ minimum safety standards, which can reduce the risk of head injury by up to 74%. Since the beginning of 2024, the Special Envoy has redoubled efforts to support African countries in their efforts to address the lack of helmet for motorcycle drivers. Africa is the continent the most affected by road crashes with a mortality rate of 19 per 100,000 people, while in Europe the rate is 7 deaths per  100,000. Not wearing a helmet is one of the main causes of fatalities and serious injuries on the road.  In that perspective, the Special Envoy has already visited 8 African countries in 2024, with a particular focus on wearing helmets responding to UN standards. He notably supported initiatives promoting the use of certified helmets in Côte d'Ivoire, Benin, South Africa, Rwanda or Sierra Leone. The Special Envoy has started to work with President Kagame, President Julius Maada Bio and First Lady of Sierra Leone, H.E Ms. Fatima Bio and continues to engage with other African Union Member States, to include road safety in African Union Agenda 2063, and for ECOWAS to give the issue due consideration. 

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Information Unit

Tel.: +41 (0) 22 917 12 34

Email: [email protected]

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