Ideas for launch events

In planning a launch event, it is important to keep in mind that the event is not an objective in itself, rather it should mark the beginning of a series of actions a government, agency or organization plans to take across the ten years of the Decade. It is vital that groups are strategic in planning their actions, so that they lead to concrete and measurable results, which ultimately save lives.

On 11 May 2011, events marking the launch of the Decade will take many forms. In addition to governments, groups such as international agencies, civil society organizations, schools, hospitals, automobile associations, private companies and others are encouraged to be involved in organizing and hosting their own events launching the Decade. Beyond the ideal national launch event described above, other initiatives may be considered:

By policy-makers:

  • enactment of new legislation;
  • launch of campaigns to promote the use of seat-belts and helmets and prevent drinking and driving, speeding, and distracted driving;
  • release of new research on specific aspects of road safety;
  • creation or announcement of new funds to support proven and promising road safety initiatives.

By civil society organizations:

  • release of brochure or flyer with key national or local road safety data;
  • letter writing campaigns or petitions targeted towards policy-makers;
  • street demonstrations, fairs, walks or similar events;
  • charity sports events;
  • benefit concerts;
  • first-aid demonstrations;
  • open days in hospital emergency rooms;
  • quiz to test road safety knowledge.

By private companies:

  • release of a fleet safety policy;
  • launch of campaigns to promote the use of seat-belts and helmets and prevent drinking and driving, speeding, and distracted driving among staff;
  • launch of similar campaigns for the public in communities in which the company operates.

With young people:

  • youth assemblies;
  • school-based activities, including reviews and improvements of the environment for road safety around schools and demonstrations of safe journeys to and from school;
  • programmes to distribute helmets;
  • training sessions at children’s traffic parks;
  • photo, painting, essay or other types of competitions;
  • release of a new cartoon for children and young adults;
  • launch of an interactive web site.

For victims and survivors:

  • inauguration of memorials to victims and survivors, such as remembrance gardens and Internet-based memorials;
  • ceremonies dedicated to victims and survivors, such as moments of observed silence and candlelight vigils;
  • announcement of events planned for the coming year's World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, held annually on the third Sunday of November.

All groups organizing events to mark the launch of the Decade can make use of these activities to draw attention from the media. In addition, they can reach out to the media through:

  • press releases and press conferences;
  • radio or television talk-shows;
  • open letters in the printed media;
  • special newspaper supplements;
  • televised debates;
  • other efforts attracting the media to new road safety data, reports and initiatives.

Other ways to publicize activities:

  • Post information on web sites;
  • Use social media;
  • Develop posters, brochures, leaflets and other printed materials;
  • Spread the news by word of mouth.

Who should be informed about the plans for events?

In order to enhance coordination and collaboration within countries, all those organizing events to mark the launch of the Decade of Action for Road Safety are encouraged to complete the event registration.

This way, descriptions of events, including detailed contact information for the organizers, can be added to the listing of activities around the world. The listing will be made available on the Decade of Action for Road Safety web site at this address .

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