Helmets For Hope: UN And Indian Advocate Team Up To Save Lives On The Road

Jean Todt’s #3500LIVES campaign (2017-2021) highlighted the importance of helmet use to prevent injuries and save lives. (Photo: Digit Insurance)

More than 100,000 helmets have been donated in over 40 countries, including India, Kenya, and Vietnam, under these partnerships.

In a major effort to cut down road traffic deaths worldwide, UN Road Safety Envoy Jean Todt and Rajeev Kapur, President of Two-Wheeler Helmet Manufacturers Association in India, have launched the ambitious “Helmets for Hope” initiative.

From 2009 to 2021, Jean Todt led the FIA in promoting helmet use through various campaigns. These efforts aimed to improve road safety and reduce fatalities, especially among motorcyclists and cyclists.

3500LIVES Campaign (2017-2021)

Todt led the #3500LIVES campaign from 2017 to 2021, emphasizing helmet use to prevent injuries and save lives. This campaign, featuring high-profile ambassadors, spread the word about the importance of wearing helmets and following road safety rules.

UN-JCDecaux #MakeASafetyStatement Campaign (2023-2025)

Launched by the UN in collaboration with JCDecaux and Saatchi & Saatchi, this campaign aims to promote road safety in over 80 countries and 1,000 cities. Using billboards, transportation modes, media, and social media, it features global and national celebrities advocating for helmet use and other road safety measures.

Todt has worked with various NGOs, corporations, and local bodies to distribute helmets and educate communities on their importance. Over 100,000 helmets have been distributed in more than 40 countries, including India, Kenya, Nigeria, and Vietnam, thanks to his efforts.

Todt has visited several countries, including India, Kenya, and South Africa, to promote road safety and helmet use. These visits aim to raise awareness, garner political support, and implement safety measures.

As the UN Special Envoy for Road Safety, Todt collaborates with organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF) to promote helmet safety and road safety education.

Helmets for Hope: A Comprehensive Proposal

Rajeev Kapur has submitted a proposal to the UN to dramatically reduce road fatalities through increased helmet usage. Key recommendations include:

  • Mandatory Helmet Provision: Requiring two-wheeler manufacturers to supply two helmets with every vehicle sold.
  • Tax Reductions: Lowering taxes and duties on helmets to make them more affordable.
  • Quality Assurance: Establishing independent testing labs to ensure only high-quality helmets reach consumers.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Mandating corporations to allocate CSR funds for helmet provision and road safety awareness.
  • Standardized Helmets for Delivery Fleets: Ensuring large delivery fleets like Amazon and Uber provide standardized helmets to all drivers.

Kapur emphasizes the critical role of proper helmet usage in preventing road traffic injuries, citing WHO data showing that high-quality helmets can significantly reduce the risk of death and brain injury. Shockingly, only 54 out of 147 countries have helmet laws aligning with international best practices.

The UN has welcomed Kapur’s proposal, working to implement it across member nations. With widespread adoption, millions of lives could be saved in the coming decades.

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