Luchemos por la vida
|Founded||20 June 1990|
|Key people||Alberto Silveira, María Cristina Isoba|
|Focus(es)||Road traffic safety|
|Method(s)||Volunteering, free workshops, mass media campaigns, research|
|Revenue||In-company courses, donations|
|Motto||"Every effort is worth to save a life"|
Luchemos por la Vida (Spanish for "Let's fight for life") is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to help prevent traffic accidents in Argentina. It promotes road traffic safety and focuses its efforts in contributing to safe behavior in the traffic system. The organization does not receive financial support from government agencies and is mainly held by the effort of volunteers, help from private firms, and services provided to the community. In 2010 there were 21 deaths per day in Argentina (nearly 7,600 in the course of the year), more than 100,000 injured people, and severe material losses due to traffic accidents.
- 1 History
- 2 Objectives
- 3 Areas of work
- 4 Activities
- 5 Government and public policies
- 6 Production of teaching materials
- 7 Research
- 8 The Luchemos por la Vida awards
- 9 Participation in international scientific organizations and publications
- 10 Training courses for drivers
- 11 Support of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020
- 12 Board of Directors
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 External links
Luchemos por la Vida was created in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 20 June 1990 by a group of people concerned about the daily loss of lives in Argentine traffic. Their principle stated that "every effort is worth to save a life", but their main goal was ambitious: "that no more people die in traffic accidents". As none of the members had specific training on the subject, it was decided to look up national and international information about the problem. Some local institutions related to the road issue in Argentina were contacted apart from embassies to know the situation abroad.
The first tasks of the organization consisted in spreading the concern about traffic accidents in the Argentine population. Since this process required to work closer with the community, initially each member talked to friends and neighbors about the problem, followed by the first brochures and posters that were distributed in shops, schools, churches, and newspapers in the neighborhoods of the city. Since then, Luchemos por la Vida has maintained a continued work that, among other things, helped place the problem of traffic safety in the media agenda and national politics. The authorities of Luchemos por la Vida estimate that many lives have been saved due to the changes that have occurred in road safety in Argentina since 1990.
Luchemos por la Vida's main purpose is to prevent traffic accidents to reduce the fatality rates connected to this cause. The organization concentrates its biggest efforts in actions to modify the attitudes, behaviors, and habits of those who walk or drive on the streets every day (car drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists) to reduce the number of dead and injured people. Because of this, the organization takes three main courses of action:
- Creating awareness about the risk of traffic accidents among the public.
- Educating people so that they learn to practice life-preserving habits (simple safety rules to reduce risks).
- Encouraging the passing of appropriate laws and their enforcement.
Areas of work
Luchemos por la Vida works on four areas to improve traffic education and road safety:
- Mass media: An ongoing campaign for public awareness and education on TV, radio, and newspapers, and other activities.
- Institutions: Educational activities in all school levels: pre-school, elementary, and high; intermediate organizations, etc.
- Government: Bills of laws and regulations to be presented to the executive and legislative powers.
- Research: Analysis of local and foreign situations, surveys, statistics, and projects.
Since 1992, Luchemos por la Vida has carried out a massive campaign of prevention of traffic accidents on Argentine radio and television that is broadcast throughout the country and other Latin American nations. Designed to help prevent traffic-related deaths and injuries, it attempts to raise concern about the problem of traffic accidents, increase the "perception of risk" among users of public roads, and promote safer road behavior. Through the use of several and changing advertising strategies, the organization provides information about safe behaviors along with main causes of accidents and deaths in traffic. The keys for prevention of mortality in traffic are spread every day: use of seat belts and helmets, alcohol and driving, speeding, night driving, and safety of pedestrians, passengers, and bikers, among others. With different formats, the advertisements provide messages that are suitable for the population in general and also focused groups. Nearly 1,000 Argentine media outlets –among them, open TV channels, cable TV channels, and AM and FM radios from Buenos Aires and all the Argentine provinces and from Latin America through CNN en Español and other international channels have contributed to spread the campaign of the organization.
Work with newspapers, magazines, TV, and radios
The organization has built channels of communication with radios and television channels to guarantee the collaboration of opinion formers in spreading public awareness regarding the lack of road safety and its possible solutions. Different kinds of activities are carried out, among them:
- Delivery of periodic reports about research and analysis of current facts to be spread in newspapers, magazines, and TV programs.
- Participation in TV programs, news programs, and talk-shows.
- Advertisements for Life campaign: Monitoring of commercial spots and complaints to companies that show behaviors that are against road safety.
- Media for Life campaign: Contacts with companies that produce fictional or entertainment content for local TV to introduce commentaries or show safe road behaviors in characters and programs.
Luchemos por la Vida magazine
This quarterly publication is distributed freely to all town councils and is designed to promote public interest on traffic safety and prevention of traffic accidents and share information from developments and research in other countries.
Traffic safety education
Since the beginning of its activities, the organization has promoted the incorporation of traffic safety education at schools with the help of private firms.
- Schools for Life program: Educational workshops for elementary and high school students. Teams formed by especially trained teachers belonging to the organization carry out participative workshops in private and public schools with contents and activities that are suitable for different ages and the environment which the children belong to. According to the organization, by 2010, approximately more than 600,000 people had received, direct or indirectly, road education through this way.
- Training courses for teachers: Since 1994 the organization has given theoretical and practical courses for teachers from all levels that aim to provide theoretical knowledge of basic concepts of road safety and education, and training in teaching resources to develop these concepts in their daily work integrated with the program of studies.
Government and public policies
The organization petitions the authorities for public policies about road safety and effective actions, and attempts to contribute, clarify, and collaborate with these activities.
Proposals for laws and monitoring of their effective enforcement
Luchemos por la Vida promoted, through mass media and document mails sent to the national authorities, the sanction of a decree (692/92) and, later, a new National Law of Traffic (24,449), declaring the obligatory use of seat belts and helmets for motorcycle and moped riders, the prohibition of taking children on the front seats of a vehicle, and maximum BAC levels, apart from other regulations. Luchemos por la Vida also follows the proper enforcement of the law so that it is really put in practice through effective controls and sanctions to the transgressors. Luchemos por la Vida is currently promoting the punishment of crimes against traffic safety and its inclusion in Argentine legislation.
Members of the Consultative Committee of the National Road Safety Agency
The organization is part of the National Road Safety Agency (Agencia Nacional de Seguridad Vial, ANSV) as a member of the Consultative Committee and provides direct advice in several issues, such as: campaigns for public awareness, training and traffic education programs, criminal research, production of books, implementation of controls, training for patrols, statistics, etc.
Training courses for government employees
Every year, conferences and training courses for government employees with executive responsibilities, inspectors, and traffic police are developed in the city of Buenos Aires and different provincial towns to improve their enforcement of the law in the traffic system or as trainers of their forces or community traffic teachers. 18 National Conferences on Safety and Road Education have already been given only in Buenos Aires and more that 700 government employees have been present at them.
Traffic safety courses for drivers looking to renew their licenses
As certain Argentine town councils do not require minimum conditions of suitability for driving when granting licenses, Luchemos por la Vida designed and promoted training programs and theoretical and practical tests in order to achieve a responsible granting of driving licenses. In addition, the organization has designed and given courses for new drivers and people that renew their driving licenses in the Directorate of Traffic of the government of the city of Buenos Aires.
Production of teaching materials
The organization has created two free educational videos that aim to improve traffic safety and education.
Claves para una conducción segura ("Keys to safe driving")
Produced for training of drivers, it is given without cost to offices that grant driving licenses in Argentina and Latin America.
Cazadores de peatones ("Hunters of pedestrians")
Its distribution is free to all public and private elementary schools in Argentina. The film promotes the participation of the students and encourages their capacity to think about the traffic system and safe pedestrian behavior. A guide for educational activity in the classroom is attached. It can be used for teaching of ten to thirteen-year-old children, as part of the program of studies or in an extracurricular way.
Production of books, posters, and brochures
Design and printing of posters, brochures, and books concerning road safety and education and manuals respecting safe driving.
Luchemos por la Vida carries out studies and research about two problems of road safety: statistics of traffic accidents, especially about mortality in Argentina, and research on human behavior in the traffic system: behaviors that are able to be seen and beliefs, knowledge, attitudes, and other factors that motivate them, use of seat belts and helmets, efficiency of law enforcement, and traffic flow.
The Luchemos por la Vida awards
Given for the first time in 1996, the Luchemos por la Vida awards are bestowed on those who make important efforts to promote the prevention of traffic accidents and spread public awareness. The ceremony is held yearly and guests, people who represent institutions and private firms, authorities, and media outlets are present.
Participation in international scientific organizations and publications
Luchemos por la Vida takes part in or collaborates with international technical and political scientific organizations such as:
- United Nations: Luchemos por la Vida makes up the list of NGOs that work for road safety, part of the UN and WHO's Collaborators Net on traumatisms in traffic.
- Global Road Safety Partnership: members of the organization have been invited to participate as speakers in some of its International Conferences, as well as to take part in the scientific committee for one of its conferences. Moreover, the organization also collaborated in reviewing the Spanish version of the book "Speed Management, a Road Safety Manual for decision-makers and practitioners".
- International Traffic Medicine Association: Whose regional vice-president for Latin America is the President of Luchemos por la Vida as well, Alberto José Silveira.
- Prevention Rutiêre International.
Training courses for drivers
The organization has designed and puts into practice safe driving courses for new drivers, drivers seeking to renew their licenses, drivers working in private firms, and professional drivers.
Support of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020
In support of the declaration of the years 2011–2020 as the "Decade of Action for Road Safety" by the United Nations General Assembly, Luchemos por la Vida promotes its own actions and seeks to engage authorities and society regarding four subjects to reduce road fatalities: helmet use, use of safety belt and child restraint systems, avoidance of driving after taking alcohol, and speed control.
Board of Directors
- President: Dr. Alberto Silveira
- Director of Road Safety Education and Research: Lic. María Cristina Isoba.
- Secretary: Jorge Sabaté.
- Permanent members: Alicia Balboni de Copello and José Auletta.
- LA NACIÓN (23 July 2011). "Editorial: Reducir los accidentes viales" (in Spanish). LA NACIÓN. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
- REUTERS (22 September 2000). "Driving is murder on Argentina's roads". Countdown.org. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
- AUTOTÉCNICA TV (4 June 2011). "Debate Autotécnica con María Cristina Isoba" (in Spanish). YouTube - Canal debateautotecnica. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
- GOYA VIRTUAL (28 June 2011). "Inspectores y docentes asistieron a jornada educación vial en Buenos Aires" (in Spanish). WWW.GOYAVIRTUAL.COM.AR. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- CLARÍN (16 June 2011). "Sin control, sin sanción" (in Spanish). CLARÍN. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- SILVEIRA, ALBERTO JOSÉ (16 June 2011). "Experiences and approaches of a non governmental organization planning an awareness program for a developing country". WWW.WHO.INT. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- m24 Digital (23 July 2011). "Wearing a helmet isn't optional". www.m24digital.com. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
- PRESS TV (10 September 2011). ["http://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/xl0gk6"> "Argentina road rage"]. Daily Motion. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
- AMÉRICA NOTICIAS (4 December 2011). ""Haz lo que yo digo pero no lo que yo hago" premiado" (in Spanish). YouTube - Canal TheHugoMendonca. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- CLARÍN (2 December 2010). "Premio Luchemos por la Vida a Clarín" (in Spanish). CLARÍN. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (23 July 2011). "Agenda for the World Health Day". WWW.WHO.INT. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
- ANDRIOTAKIS, MANOLIS (27 July 2011). "2nd Global Meeting Of Nongovernmental Organizations Advocating For Road Safety And Road Victims". YouTube - Canal LxLVArgentina. Retrieved 20 August 2011.