Newsweek

MAKING ROADS SAFE

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Formed in 2016, the National Agency for

Road Safety (ANSV) replaced a previous system of road safety funds provided by insurers. Since then, it has become a vital institutio­n for developing safer, more efficient roads across Colombia. Luis Lota, the agency’s current director, explained his priorities.

Conscienti­ous road users “One of our greatest challenges is teaching road users appropriat­e speeds, and the risks associated with them. We’re also working – alongside various universiti­es across the country – on making the driving tests more rigorous, so as to give us a better idea of where drivers are at.”

A comprehens­ive plan “This year we launched the National Plan for Road Safety, which is aligned with the objectives and measures outlined by over 140 other countries, and ultimately seeks to reduce deaths and injuries on the roads by half in the next decade.”

Training the most vulnerable “Part of that plan has led us to give trainings across the country, teaching 3,000 people so far – mostly motorcycli­sts and cyclists as they are the most vulnerable. Any road accident is ultimately avoidable after all.”

A society wide approach “We’re well aware that the only way we can affect change is by working across society, with the national government, local and provincial authoritie­s, the private sector, academia, and each and every road user.”

Teaching a new generation “At the recent Internatio­nal Forum for Child Road Safety we were able to teach young children about staying safe with roads, and that the bicycle is not a toy but a vehicle that comes with rights and responsibi­lities.”

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