Caribbean Youth targeted to decrease road fatalities: 90% of youth road fatalities are males

A picture is worth a thousand words, and a video could possibly save a life. That’s the thinking behind the second annual staging of Proyecto Luz Amarilla (Project Yellow Light), a video contest which invites young people from Latin America and the Caribbean to get creative while thinking about solving the problem of road fatalities among youth. By creating and submitting a short video on the importance of responsible and safe driving, they could win a trip to see professional drivers and fast cars in action in at the Formula 1 Gran Prix, Mexico in October.

In a bid to increase road safety awareness in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Caribbean Development Bank, CDB, has partnered with the Inter-American Development Bank, IDB, to launch the second edition of Proyecto Luz Amarilla. Young persons living in CDB and IDB member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, who are between 18-30 years of age, are invited to participate. The top three finalists will win a trip to Mexico in October 2015 to present their work and attend the Formula 1 Gran Prix, while the fourth- and fifth-place finishers will receive iPad Mini’s.

Glen McCarvell, Operations Officer (Civil Engineer), CDB, noted that partnering in this project was a natural extension of the work that CDB has been doing in the region to promote road safety awareness among youth.

He said that ‘30% of the road traffic fatalities in the region are youth, and of that, 90% are males. Contests have been an effective means for us to engage youth, especially in the area of road safety awareness. We have found that youth have proven to be effective ambassadors and communicators, especially when it comes to conveying an understanding of the risks that they and their peers face as road users. Being part of Proyecto Luz Amarilla, therefore, is an important mechanism by which we hope to raise awareness, and reduce the road fatality rate among young persons in the Caribbean.’

Since 2008, the CDB has been supporting its Borrowing Member Countries, BMCs, in their efforts to reduce road traffic injuries and fatalities. These efforts have included capacity building and training, as well specific interventions in various countries.

In 2013, the CDB, in conjunction with the Government of Belize, funded an ongoing USD8.844 million Road Safety Project, which was aimed at supporting interventions to build the country’s road safety management capacity, improve the safety of road infrastructure and improve post-crash care.

The Youth and Road Safety Capacity Building Project, which was launched in 2014, and also funded by the CDB and the Government of Belize, is expected to enhance the original Road Safety Project, by educating 2,000 Belizean youths between ages 16-29 about road safety, and youth-related issues surrounding the safe use of Belize’s road network.

Proyecto Luz Amarilla was created by the Inter-American Development Bank, and the sponsors for 2015 are the Caribbean Development Bank, Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and MTV LA. The campaign draws its inspiration from a program of the same name (Project Yellow Light) founded by Julie Garner, an American who lost her 17-year-old son in an automobile accident in 2007. Entries should be 25 or 55 seconds in length and be submitted by September 21, 2015. For more information on the campaign, persons may go to proyectoluzamarillaen.iadb.org.

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