Traffic Safety – A Global Epidemic?
How many times do we open the newspaper and read the headlines, “Drunk Driver Kills Pregnant Woman,” or turn on the TV news and hear about a person texting while driving who kills a pedestrian, or listen to the radio and hear the story about a motorcyclist killed in a single vehicle crash because he wasn’t wearing a helmet. We know these stories happen daily in communities across the United States. But interestingly enough, in the U.S. we ignore that these tragedies happen everywhere on the planet. That is why a new website, Justice Speakers International has traffic safety as one of its key global issues.
Decade of Action for Road Safety
Did you know:
- Around the globe 1.24 million people are killed annually in road traffic crashes.
- Between 20 and 50 million people sustain non-fatal injuries annually.
- More than 270,000 pedestrians lose their lives, 22% of all road fatalities. Combine motorcyclists and cyclists with pedestrians and it totals 50% of all annual road annually.
- Road crashes are the leading global cause of death for young people aged 10-24.
- Without action, road traffic crashes are predicted to result in the deaths of approximately 1.9 million people annually by 2020.
Recognizing the growing threat, in March 2010 the United Nations proclaimed a Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011–2020), focusing on five “pillars”: Road Safety Management; Safer Roads and Mobility; Safer Vehicles; Safer Road Users; and Post-crash Responses. The Decade, officially launched May 2011 in over 110 countries, aims to save millions of lives by enhancing the safety of roads and vehicles; altering the behavior of road users; and expanding emergency services. Countries are encouraged to implement activities based on the World Report on Road Traffic Injury Prevention, with the goal of stabilizing and then reducing the devastation caused by global traffic crashes.
The call to action by the U.N. has brought country alongside country and agency alongside agency, all focused on finding the path to safer roads, protecting citizens everywhere from the wreckage of crashes. There are promising results thus far. Eighty-eight countries reduced the number of deaths on their roads between 2007 and 2010, before the call to action even occurred. Clearly, improvements are possible. But during that same time, 87 countries saw increases in the number of fatalities. Since 2009, there has been no overall reduction in the number of people killed; however, this is in light of an increase of registered vehicles by 15%. Such an increase implies some global activities had an impact when considered against the expected increase of fatalities.
Other Traffic Safety Topics
The Traffic Safety Guy, JSI Founder David Wallace, continues the discussion covering such topics as distracted driving and cell phones, motorcycle helmets, drink driving and DWI Courts.
The United Nations has called for a Decade of Action; it called us to action to save lives and make a difference. Think how much can be achieved if everyone takes up the call, and acts. It is time to step up, speak out, and take action. It is time to make a difference.
The Traffic Safety Guy talks Global Road Safety