The fourth global UN Road Safety Week took place from 8th-14th May.
With its theme of “Save Lives: #SlowDown”, this year’s campaign aimed to draw attention to the dangers of speed and the measures which should be put in place to address this major cause of road traffic deaths and injuries.
Speed Contributes to Many Fatal Accidents
A recent report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) highlighted that excessive or inappropriate speed contributes to one in three road traffic fatalities worldwide, and that around 1.25 million people die every year on the world’s roads.
“Speed is at the core of the global road traffic injury problem,” commented WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan. “If countries were to address just this key risk, they would soon reap the rewards of safer roads, both in terms of lives saved and increases in walking and cycling, with profound and lasting effects on health.”
Manifesto for Road Safety
At the start of Road Safety Week, the Global Network for Road Safety Legislators launched its Manifesto #4roadsafety in London, which calls for proven and urgent measures to tackle the 3,500 deaths on roads each day globally.
The manifesto has been backed by road safety charity Brake, which is in agreement with the Network’s prediction that it is unlikely that the UN’s target to halve road deaths by 2020 will be reached, and agrees this is “a tragic missed opportunity to apply known and effective policies to make roads safe”.
Brake supports the calls in the manifesto for Governments around the world to:
- Set casualty reduction targets.
- Adopt WHO’s Save LIVES technical package (which recommends laws to tackle speeding, drink driving, lack of seat belt and motorcycle helmet wearing, etc.).
- Apply the UN’s road safety-related transport conventions and agreements, including minimum vehicle safety standards.
- Have regulatory standards for workplace road safety.
- Apply good governance principles to national road injury prevention programmes and donor-funded road safety projects.
- Prioritise non-motorised transport for road safety and sustainability reasons.
The charity also backs calls in the manifesto for increased funding for road safety that will be of particular benefit to low- and middle-income countries.
The Time for Action is Now
“Every hour, 146 people are killed on the world’s roads,” said Brake chief executive Mary Williams OBE. “Road crashes are the biggest killer of young people. If a plane fell out of the sky every hour killing that many people, then all planes would be grounded immediately.”
“The solutions to tackle carnage on our roads are with us today and the time for action is now,” he added. “They require Governments to pass life-saving laws, and invest comparatively small amounts of money compared with the enormous cost of loss of life. Change has to happen at the top, and it has to happen urgently; the United Nations must lead the way, and Governments must take action.”
Our personal injury lawyers have many years of experience helping people deal with the challenges that can result from a road traffic accident. We offer a free consultation to let you know about all of the options for getting compensation, care and rehabilitation as soon as possible. To arrange a free consultation, or to find out more about our no win no fee service, call us on 01412496903 or contact us online.