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A Conversation with Experts Working at the Intersection of Vision and Safer Mobility

I recently had the privilege of hosting a virtual discussion with several leading experts on the topic of vision’s role in safer mobility.

Our conversation focused on the importance of continuing to fight for the inclusion of vision correction and protection in the global road safety conversation. Our participants included Vinod Daniel, CEO, India Vision Institute; Jinaro Kibet, President of the Automobile Association of Kenya/FIA; David Navarro, VP Vision and Road Safety Group Plan, Essilor International; and Dr. Sergio A. Useche, Professor Associate, Senior Scientist, Research Institute on Traffic and Road Safety (INTRAS), University of Valencia, Spain.

It also proved timely given the United Nations General Assembly’s recent adoption of the Vision for Everyone: accelerating action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals resolution. In a major step forward for vision correction, this resolution commits the international community to eye health for the 1.1 billion people living with preventable vision loss by 2030. Good vision on the road can play a unique role in the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 3 (Good Health and Well-Being) and Sustainable Goal 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities).

This topic is especially relevant for this moment:

  • First, as economies and societies continue to emerge to pre-pandemic levels after over a year of lockdowns, more people are once again back on the road as drivers, passengers or pedestrians.

  • Second, we are at an important point in time when vision and road safety intersect once again. In 2020, the United Nations offered recommendations to governments for enhancing national road systems within the framework of its “2021–2030 2nd UN Decade of Action for Road Safety Plan.” This finally included a call to ensure that road users around the world have good vision.

  • And now with the adoption of a UN Resolution on Vision, we have even more impetus to address poor vision wherever we notice it.

Throughout the webinar, I was impressed by the wealth of knowledge that this diverse group brought to the table, and I was particularly struck by a few comments:

Vinod Daniel | Managing Trustee and CEO, India Vision Institute

"There is a taboo aspect (to wearing glasses), there is an access aspect. Then there is the policy aspect. Unless we can look at this in a very holistic manner I’m not sure it will be very easy to make a difference, but I know there are many countries working in that direction.” Watch the full clip here.

Jinaro Kibet | President, Automobile Association of Kenya

“I think the new Decade (of Road Safety) gives us an opportunity to now take the conversation to the next level for mobilization, for campaigning, for supercharging ideas for road safety, including the very important discussion on vision.” Watch the full clip here.

David Navarro | VP, Vision and Road Safety Group Plan, Essilor International

“If we want to address this issue, and now really succeed in halving the number of victims in 10 years, we have to start creating the notion of private and public collaboration, putting the best of the private sector to the service of the public and vice versa.” Watch the full clip here.

I wrapped up the conversation asking what brings each speaker hope when it comes to seeing poor vision recognized as an issue on the road. Dr. Useche challenged us to consider this:

“It’s not about being hopeful. It’s about being more ambitious.” Watch the full clip here. Sergio A. Useche, PhD | Senior Researcher, University Research Institute of Traffic and Road Safety (INTRAS)

With renewed ambition and a unified message, let’s raise vision advocacy to new heights. If you prefer to watch and share this video from YouTube, click here.