United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020

“The Decade of Action for Road Safety can help all countries drive along the path to a more secure future… Today, partners around the world are releasing national or citywide plans for the Decade, hosting policy discussions and enabling people affected by road crashes to share their stories widely. Now we need to move this campaign into high gear and steer our world to safer roads ahead. Together, we can save millions of lives.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon ,Message on the launch of the Decade of Action for Road Safety, 11 May 2011.

With resolution A/RES/64/255 of 10 May 2010, the UN General Assembly proclaimed the period 2011–2020 as the Decade of Action for Road Safety, with a goal to stabilize and then reduce the forecast level of road traffic fatalities around the world by increasing activities conducted at the national, regional and global levels.

11 May 2011 – Launch of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020

The calendar of activities for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 reflects an impressive number of events – several hundred in more than 70 countries. From New Zealand to Mexico and the Russian Federation to South Africa, governments are committing to take new steps to save lives on their roads. In countries such as Australia, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, Niger, Nigeria, the Philippines, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan and Viet Nam, governments will host high-profile events and release national plans to improve road safety and services for victims.

A number of landmark national monuments will be illuminated with the road safety “tag”, the new symbol for the Decade. These include Times Square in New York City; Christ the Redeemer statue and the Castillo de Fiocruz in Rio de Janeiro; Trafalgar Square in London; the Jet d’Eau in Geneva; the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw; the World Trade Centre in Colombo, among others.

Road traffic injuries remain a major public health problem and a leading cause of death, injury and disability around the world. Each year, nearly 1.3 million people die and between 20 million and 50 million more are injured as a result of road crashes. More than 90 per cent of these deaths occur in low-income and middle-income countries, which have less than half of the world’s vehicles. Road traffic injuries are among the three leading causes of death for people between 5 and 44 years of age.

Road traffic injuries threaten to hinder achievements in economic and human development. It has been estimated that global losses due to road traffic injuries total $518 billion and cost Governments between 1 and 3 per cent of their gross national product. In some low- and middle-income countries, the loss is more than the total amount of development assistance they receive. Road traffic injuries place a heavy burden on a country’s economy as a result of their direct impact on health-care and rehabilitation services, as well as through indirect costs. They also can put considerable financial stress on affected families, who often must absorb medical and rehabilitation costs, funeral costs and such other costs as the lost earnings of the victim, in addition to extensive emotional strain.

Originally Published in: http://www.un.org/en/roadsafety/

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