UN Global Road Safety Week calls on the public to demand stronger leadership
London, May 7, 2019 (AltAfrica) – The UN Global Road Safety Week ( 6th – 12th May 2019) will this year focus on the theme, “Leadership for road safety.” The theme acknowledges that stronger leadership is needed to advance road safety in countries and communities worldwide.
According to the World Health Organization, despite progress, road traffic deaths continue to rise, with an annual 1.35 million fatalities.
Furthermore, road traffic injuries are now the leading killer of children and young people aged 5-29 years. Globally, of all road traffic deaths, pedestrians and cyclists account for 26% and motorcycle riders and passengers account for 28%.
The risk of a road traffic death remains three times higher in low-income countries than in high-income countries, with rates highest in Africa (26.6 per 100 000 population) and lowest in Europe (9.3 per 100 000 population).
In the settings where progress has been made, it is because of strong leadership around legislation on key risks such as speeding, drinking and driving, and failing to use seat-belts, motorcycle helmets and child restraints; safer infrastructure like sidewalks and dedicated lanes for cyclists and motorcyclists; improved vehicle standards such as those that mandate electronic stability control and advanced braking; and enhanced post-crash care.
These are staggering figures and the goal of the Week is to generate a demand from the public for stronger leadership for road safety worldwide. Its objectives are to:
- provide an opportunity for civil society to generate demands for strong leadership for road safety, especially around concrete, evidence-based interventions which will save lives.
- inspire leaders to take action by showcasing examples of strong leadership for road safety within governments, international agencies, NGOs, foundations, schools and universities, and private companies, among others.