Each year, more than 270 000 pedestrians lose their lives on the world’s roads. Many leave their homes as they would on any given day never to return. Globally, pedestrians constitute 22% of all road traffic fatalities, and in some countries this proportion is as high as two thirds of all road traffic deaths.
Today sees the World Health Organization, together with partner organizations including the Global Road Safety Partnership, launch the sixth in a growing series of road safety Good Practice manuals, this edition entitled ‘Pedestrian safety: a road safety manual for decision-makers and practitioners’ (2013).
Launched just weeks ahead of the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration Global Road Safety Week (May 6-12), this year dedicated to pedestrian safety, the manual equips the reader with necessary information on: the magnitude of pedestrian death and injury; key risk factors; how to assess the pedestrian safety situation in a country or area and prepare an action plan; and how to select, design, implement and evaluate effective interventions. The manual stresses the importance of a comprehensive, holistic approach that includes enforcement, engineering and education. It also draws attention to the benefits of walking, which should be promoted as an important mode of transport given its potential to improve health and preserve the environment.
The manual, which is designed for a multidisciplinary audience including engineers, planners, police, public health professionals and educators, will contribute towards strengthening national and local capacity to implement pedestrian safety measures in settings worldwide.