Tuesday, 7 April 2015

United Nations Global Road Safety Week - 23–29 April, 2015

The week dedicated to Global Road Safety supports and promotes initiatives to inform the general public on the victims of car accidents at global level. The phenomenon hits in particular the poorest population and it is further heavy in developing countries.


“the statistics are horrendous, said Stephen Karing. “Every year more than 1.2 million people die in road crashes around the world and 65 per cent of these deaths are pedestrians who do not own cars.” In addition, according to Karingi, sixty-five percent of deaths involve pedestrians - 35% of these, are innocent children. “This level of road carnage imposes huge economic costs – constituting about 1-3 percent of GDP in most countries. Unfortunately, the majority of these deaths – 70% occur in developing countries,” he adds. “Closer to us,” Karingi says, “the figures for our continent (Africa) are worse.” Road crashes are the second leading cause of death for the 5 to 44 age group in African countries. In our region where 50 per cent of the population is below the age of 16, road crashes exact a heavy toll on the continent's younger members and robs Africa of its future human capital.”

 “Sadly, for Africa, most of those affected by road traffic crashes are people who will never be able to afford a car – these are pedestrians, cyclists and users of public transportation.” “Estimates suggest that the economic cost of road traffic accidents to African countries amounts to US$10 billion per year- which approaches two per cent of GNP,” he adds. Background: 

At the global level, the UN General Assembly, through Resolution 64/255 of 2nd March 2010, proclaimed 2011-2020 the Decade of Action for Road Safety. The Resolution requested WHO, the UN Regional Commissions, in cooperation with other partners and stakeholders, to prepare a plan of action for the Decade to support the implementation process. 

In response to the resolution, the UN Regional Commissions, under WHO’s leadership, and in collaboration with other UN bodies and development partners prepared a Global Plan of Action that was launched on 11th May 2011 to guide national responses to implementing the Decade. African road transport and safety experts, however, content that the global plan does not necessarily address the specific problems of Africa as it is global in nature.

The African Plan of Action is therefore informed by the global plan, but takes account of African perspectives.

It is a comprehensive document containing five broad issues that will form the basis for the outcomes of the discussions:

 (i) Road Safety Management which concerns the institutional framework needed to implement road safety activities, and thereby sets the oversight of all other pillars;

(ii) Safer roads and mobility that deals with road development, the safety of all road users, especially pedestrians and other vulnerable users;

(iii) Safer vehicles which focuses on standards, entry and exit of vehicles into and from countries;

(iv) Safer drivers and other road users that addresses driver training, testing and licensing, driving permits and enforcement of the driving code, awareness and education of the public, and the development of a safety culture, and

(v) Post-crash response which deals with on site care, transport and trauma care of injured. The organizers hope that this will be endorsed by African countries through the African Union Conference of Ministers in charge of Transport and will thereafter serve as the guiding document to support the implementation of the Decade 2011-2020 in Africa. The conference is being convened by ECA; Sub-Saharan Africa Transport Policy Program (SSATP); Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF); Government of Ethiopia; and International Road Federation (IRF) in collaboration with the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank and the World Bank.

The point are further discussed in the following document

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