The manifesto, calling for measures to reduce road deaths, has launched during UN Global Road Safety Week
The ‘Manifesto #4roadsafety’, created by the Global Network for Road Safety Legislators, is calling for greater measures to tackle the estimated 3,500 road deaths across the world each day.
Around 1.2 million people die on the world’s roads each year, with more than half of victims aged between 15 and 44 years, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The network predicts the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 3.6, which aims to “halve global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents by 2020”, will not be reached, something it says is “a tragic missed opportunity to apply known and effective policies to make roads safe”.
“Tougher laws and better education on road safety worldwide can save lives. But until governments act, we will continue to see too many families whose lives have been shattered by unnecessary road collisions.”
Its new manifesto urges UN Member States to redouble efforts to meet the target during the UN’s Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011-2020), with 10 recommendations, including:
- Adopting the ‘Safe System Approach’, to prioritise road injury prevention and speed awareness
- Supporting policies that promote workplace road safety
- Adopting the World Health Organisation’s ‘Save LIVES’ technical appeal, which advises on laws to crack down on speeding, drink driving and other reckless behaviour
- Integrating road safety in sustainable transport policies
Road safety charity Brake has backed the manifesto. Citing the fact 146 people are killed on the world’s roads hourly, its chief executive, Mary Williams OBE, said governments need “to pass life-saving laws, and invest comparatively small amounts of money compared with the enormous cost of loss of life.”
“In the year ending March 2016, more than 24,000 people were killed or seriously injured on UK roads alone, but this issue spreads further than our borders,” said Peter Magee, senior serious injury solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors. “These recommendations are only as good as the governments implementing them, so it’s vital all world leaders appreciate the importance of road safety and make a genuine commitment to do more to ensure the safety of road users.
“While at present it seems the world is off-target with aims to reduce road deaths by 50 per cent, there is still time to make a difference. Tougher laws and better education on road safety worldwide can save lives. But until governments act, we will continue to see too many families whose lives have been shattered by unnecessary road collisions.”
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