Road traffic crashes have remained a major cause of death globally. Every day, over 3500 people die on the roads. This figure amounts to over 1.3 million preventable deaths and an estimated 50 million injuries each year – making it the leading killer of children and young people aged 5 to 29 worldwide. It is currently estimated that road crashes will account for a further 13 million deaths and 500 million injuries during the next decade, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.
Recognising the importance of the problem and the need to act, governments from around the world unanimously supported the declaration of the second Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030 with an ambitious target to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries by at least 50% by 2030. A Global Plan for the Decade of Action developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN regional commissions, in cooperation with other partners in the UN Road Safety Collaboration, was released in the official launch on the 28th of October. The new plan includes the accelerated actions below:
- To make walking, cycling and using public transport safe, as they are also healthier and more climate friendly modes of transport;
- To ensure safe roads, vehicles and behaviours; and
- To guarantee timely and effective emergency care.
The Global Plan clearly and systematically shows the link between improving road safety and the broad societal benefits that accrue as a result. For example, we know that lower speeds dramatically reduce crash casualties, however lower speeds also reduce CO2 and NOX emissions, fuel use and noise while increasing feelings of wellbeing and safety for vulnerable road users, particularly children, the elderly and those with disabilities.
– David Cliff, CEO of GRSP
He added, “Cities that are designed to create safe environments for walking and cycling also make cites more liveable and increase community safety and wellbeing. While there are a tremendous number of things we need to do, we also know that the Plan is achievable and internationally, examples of excellence already exist for us to follow.“
The Global Plan outlines recommended actions drawn from proven and effective interventions, as well as best practices for preventing road trauma. Acting as a blueprint to inform and inspire national and local plans, it is aimed not only at policy makers, but also other stakeholders who can influence road safety, such as civil society, academia, the private sector and community and youth leaders.
“The loss of lives and livelihoods, the disabilities caused, the grief and pain, and the financial costs caused by road traffic crashes add up to an intolerable toll on families, communities, societies and health systems,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, “So much of this suffering is preventable […] The Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety lays out the practical, evidence-based steps all countries and communities can take to save lives.”
GRSP supports the Global Plan and highlights the pivotal importance of effective and ethical road policing in reducing global road trauma. In this regard, police officers from all over the world are encouraged to register as part of the GRSP’s Global Road Policing Network.
We at the GRSP strongly endorse the Plan and actively encourage governments, corporates and civil society to follow the recommendations that we know work. Reducing the unacceptable burden of road trauma, improving sustainability and making the world safer for people everywhere is at the heart of the 2nd Decade of Action for Road Safety.
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