By Aber Ahmad & Lydia Shotton
As part of one of our Student Coordinator’s participation in the 2nd World Youth Assembly for Road Safety, we hosted a dynamic and inspiring youth consultation at the SIGHT offices with representatives from our Student Organisation Network. As participants of this youth consultation, we were tasked with discussing road safety in the area in which we live in – in this case, Stockholm. We had a lively brainstorming session in which we shared the challenges we face related to road safety in Stockholm, what we ask of decision-makers based on these challenges and which commitments we are willing to commit to as youth to improve road safety in the area we live in. Here is what we came up with!
Main challenges in Stockholm:
- In Stockholm, e-scooters are not safe for both the users and passers-by because there are no safety regulations in place
- In Stockholm, cyclists do not use cycle lanes because cycle lanes are not maintained in winter when there is ice or snow
- In Stockholm, it is not safe for pedestrians to cross the cycle lanes in high traffic zones because there are no zebra crossings on the cycle lanes
- Drafting and implementation of city-wide e-scooter policy regulations and creating a public awareness programme on e-scooter safety (schools, public transport, incorporating companies into this as partners)
- Maintenance of the bike lanes during icy conditions (aimed at Stockholm municipality)
- Mapping of the city high-density traffic areas (bikes and pedestrians) to determine where the need is for better signaling and zebra crossing could be implemented
Our Action Point: As young leaders from Sweden living in Stockholm, we commit to raising awareness on the global scale of road safety following the road safety assembly and the process of youth inclusion within global decision-making. We ask decision-makers from our city to support our initiative by continuing to advocate for youth input in decision-making.
The youth consultations done from participants all over the world were then gathered by the organizers of the assembly and directly built into the Stockholm Youth Statement for Road Safety. This statement was then shared with global decision-makers in road safety during the 3rd Ministerial Conference in Road Safety which took place after the World Youth Assembly on road safety.
This ended up being a very exciting opportunity for us Student Coordinators at SIGHT to host a youth consultation at SIGHT with the Student Organisation Network by allowing us to take part in the decision-making process of designing policies and finding solutions to road safety challenges.
Road safety assembly
Impressions from Lydia, one of SIGHT’s Student Coordinators, on the 2nd World Youth Assembly for Road Safety
I was very impressed by the organisation of the event, which included many different types of activities and talks. We listened to testimonies of those who had personally experienced tragedies because of a lack of road safety and listened to youth leaders and change makers who are working tirelessly in their respective countries and communities to put road safety at the top of the agenda. We also had (non-youth) representatives from the public and private sector who spoke about the work they are doing to promote road safety and how much they support the involvement of youth in this field. In the afternoon, we had workshops on different SDGs related to road safety – I attended the workshop on SDG 10 which was about youth claiming their space around the decision-making table. We were able to discuss which stakeholders we could approach and how we might go about involving them in our work. We then heard from the ministry of transport of Iceland and of South Africa. The atmosphere itself was dynamic and fun – with a street artist decorating the space with road safety inspired art-work and a reggae artist performing his songs on road safety. It was definitely a crowd-pleaser!
I think one of the most valuable takeaways from this assembly was the provision of a space in which youths from all over the world, who are all actively involved in road safety work, can share best practices and advise others on how to make an impact in their respective countries. This exchange of knowledge was inspiring to see and key for participants to get something meaningful from attending the assembly.